Freedom gained and lost.
Story/Art: Yoshitoki Oima
Translation/Adaptation: Steven LeCroy
What They Say
Fushi remains on Jananda with Hayase, and by doing so, frees Tonari and the group. But Tonari returns to the island to save Fushi, where a grave danger awaits them yet again. When the lives of his dearest friends and the island’s inhabitants are under threat, it’s up to Fushi to take the next step …
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Fushi has grown so much in only six volumes, yet it all feels like natural growth. He acts so human now it’s hard to remember when he was just a mindless organic mass responding to external stimuli. Tonari realizes that this immortal being thinks and feels like a human, and acts far more reasonable and just then he has to. He is even is capable of fear and hatred just like her. He’s not perfect, and that galvanizes her into being a better person. She too has grown in the short time that we’ve known her.
Which brings us to the unexpected antagonist of this arc. If there was ever any question that Hayase wasn’t in her right mind, the first few pages of this volume will dispel that notion. She outright attempts to rape Fushi in the opening chapter and is only prevented by an untimely intrusion. Her strange behavior only continues as she is desperate to become one with the immortal, either through traditional means or by having him kill her and thus forcing him to gain her form.
With her actions, Fushi truly knows rage and hate. He wants nothing to do with her or her men, and her misguided and nearly religious fervor toward him puts all he cares about at risk. She seems only out to make his existence more miserable.
Fushi’s selfless actions bring out the best in Tonari, but it proves to be a crazy and dangerous move that her friends make to support Fushi. They run right back into danger and end up paying the ultimate price. Fushi knows he can’t stay around so many people with how he attracts nokkers, yet he can’t bring himself to kill Hayase. So he removes both of them from the island and gives Hayase over to a fate she deserves.
Ultimately it’s not Hayase or the nokkers who prove to be the worst enemy of Fushi, it’s time. He was warned by the Beholder (as the book now calls Fushi’s creator) that eventually those he cared about would perish. Pioran and Fushi’s quiet life in the woods soon becomes increasingly burdened by Pioran’s growing senility. Her behavior will look familiar to anyone who’s had to deal with those suffering from dementia. Her last moments show that even though she had been selfish many times she cares so much for Fushi that she wishes to continue to watch over him in her next life.
As for Fushi, we see him stay in his original human form and age up once again, living an isolated life. It will be fascinating to see what ultimately drags him back into humanity.
Fushi is becoming a living legend, and he may not be able to escape those that would seek to destroy him or those he cares about. The nokkers may not be the biggest danger out in the world, not with people like Hayase roaming around. While Fushi loses some new friends he loses one of his oldest as well. The stark mortality of everyone around Fushi is beginning to push him away from others. Plus, there are signs that while he is evolving the nokkers are as well. You can’t stop progress.
Content Grade: B +
Art Grade: B +
Packaging Grade: B +
Text/Translation Grade: A –
Age Rating: 13 +
Released By: Kodansha
Release Date: August 21, 2018
MSRP: $12.99 US / $16.99 CN