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Kagerou Daze Vol. #06 Light Novel Review

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Kagerou Daze Novel 6 CoverTeki-P slips hard when tackling on a new character in this volume.

Creative Staff:
Story: Jin (ShizenNo Teki-P)
Art: Shidu

What They Say:
It was a never ending long, long summer day when Shintarou feels a sudden change in his body. While this is happening, he has a momentous meeting with his upperclassman, who tells Shintarou the secret truths about this world’s past. What in the world is going on?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Death in novels can lead towards a lot of insight as to characters what motivates and even this human personality. It can help people confront their fears about death, as well as drive home important points about ourselves and about living life. Teki-P instead takes a different route with the sixth volume of Kagerou Daze. Instead of doing anything interesting, he instead writes a backstory that not motivate readers into caring about a character. If anything it makes a backstory feel not worth reading about.

Shintaro wakes up not knowing where he is, or even who he is, except for when his name appears on a TV set as the credits roll. As he starts to get his bearings, he then meets up with a former upper classmate, Haruka Konoske. While seeing Haruka gives him a sense of happiness he’s also shocked. Haruka, the one he knew, died two years ago, but right now appears in front of him. Haruka, not having much time to explain tells Shintaro what events lead him up to where they are at right now, and how Shintaro might be able to fix it.

This volume of Kagerou Daze introduces us to Haruka Konoske, an upperclassman who is in the same class as Takane Enomoto. He, having a disease which allows him only a year to live, gives us a lense as to how adolescents handle unavoidable death. In the case for Haruka, a sense of dissonance, but living in the moment happens as he works with Takane to prepare for a festival. In the mean time of preparing for the festival, he learns more about himself. He learns about the girls he may have feelings for, what might push him over the edge for her as well as what might get him feeling more like a normal teenage boy. It’s a shame that this story feels overall uninteresting throughout the time reading it.

The problem with this overall volume is that Teki-P fails to generate interest for Haruka. We get a sense of unrequited love, of interest, and how he and Takane met up. At the same time, it feels like more a retread seeing the meetup from his side and the love not feeling mutually exclusive. His character development doesn’t seem to stand out compared to the rest of the crew except for his time limit on earth. Knowing that he has one year to live should bring a better sense of narrative forlorn, or a handling of how a character that young would face death. At the same time, it could be argued that what Haruka is doing is facing death. Teki-P doesn’t seem to choose and more importantly doesn’t seem to care to choose. This apathy seems like a miss for a bit of a deeper conversation about how people react to their last days. As the narrative of the story builds and we get deeper into the memories, at many times we’re not given why these memories are important until the very end.

The path to relevance in the memories of Konoha is not apparent with the answer feeling more unsatisfactory. Making us believe that the snake posses the current Konoha body gives us a new plot convention, but it feel sprung upon us. What thing would make Konoha seem different from other people, and why would Shintaro have to be the one to take on that burden? While the second part is kind of given considering the ending, the first part isn’t and hasn’t been talked about throughout the series so far. How is the snake contrary to Haruka other than being a different person in their body? Teki-P really doesn’t give us motivation to explore that area or even understand it.

Sidu’s illustrations are per the norm in this volume. The designs of the characters retain most of their technical aspects with all characters and art on model. The detail for the characters and the scenery all work well and do give us visual glimpses into the situation. The color insert doesn’t really stand out from other volumes except the scene, but at the same time it doesn’t do anything to offend.

In Summary:
Volume six of Kagerou Daze is a blase affair. Teki-P gives us background to Haruka and Konoha and what Shintaro must do to make sure that no one gets hurt. The story to get us there however doesn’t feel motivated. It instead it feels more like a filler in the negative sense. That’s a shame as if Haruka was better demonstrated in this book, we could have had a more interesting volume. Instead fans will just have to wait until the next volume to find something a bit more interesting to learn excluding the ending.

Grade: C-

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: January 24th, 2017
MSRP: $14.00

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