Living the lie.
Story/Art: Tatsuki Fujimoto
Translation/Adaptation: Christine Dashiell
What They Say
With his promise to Tena imprinted on his mind, Agni can only enjoy an inauthentic peace coated thickly with lies. His existence blames, tortures and undermines him, becoming an affliction worse than the anger, pain, and madness he’d experienced as Fire Punch. As Agni searches desperately for an escape from this hell, an old friend suddenly appears.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
This is a slow volume of Fire Punch after the insanity that most of this series has been. There’s almost a moment of clarity, of calm, but it’s a peace which doesn’t last. It’s not even peaceful for Agni, who has crafted a lie around his life and Judah’s in order to survive. The life he wanted with his sister is a memory, an illusion he tries to fool himself into believing.
Agni then spends 10 years living a normal life, or somewhat normal. The spike in temperature means survival is slightly easier. They can fish for food and Tena gives birth to a little girl who she names after Oia. During that entire time, Agni forces himself to act normal. He can’t feel emotions, or so he tells himself. He eats without tasting and fakes a smile. Yet between acting like the good older brother he pretends to be he attempts to take his own life, first be drowning and then by cutting, and chainsawing. Nothing he does succeeds. He can’t will himself to die.
Agni’s mental struggle is the heart of this volume. He goes through the motions of life in a daze, eventually confessing to Judah (who has been going by Luna) that he isn’t her brother. She responds by saying she knew… and then they fuck.
You know in horror movies where the teens have sex and then they are doomed? Same premise here. From Judah/Luna’s perspective, there’s nothing wrong with having an intimate relationship with Agni, and really there isn’t. However, for Agni, she looks EXACTLY like his sister, and yikes to that. Judah, the woman he wanted to kill, now becoming the closest thing to him. The only thing he cares about.
Because, let’s face it, there weren’t that many shocking places left for this series to go besides semi-incest. (Although I appreciate the random shade thrown at Tom Cruise in a random flashback to something Togata said. That’s the random shock I can get behind.)
While he played house for ten years time went on outside. The cult of Fire Punch found its leader in Sun, the boy who worshipped Agni. Sun has fully adapted and learned how to use his abilities to the fullest, and has been getting high on his own supply. He firmly believes in the cult, while the other two leaders serve to attempt to manipulate him to their own needs. One of those others is the Ice Witch, and when they discover where Agni is an armed patrol is sent to retrieve Judah.
Neneto, now a grown woman, tries one attempt to talk Agni into handing over Judah, then the bloodbath begins. Meanwhile, Sun removes both of his co-leaders from the picture. The once peaceful boy is now a ruthless leader. With everything crashing down around Agni there is only one path left open to him. To rescue Judah he has to become Fire Punch once again.
Normalcy doesn’t exist for the man once known as Fire Punch. He lives a life that should have made him happy. He had constructed a comfortable lie to live in and in doing so saves the lives of four women. Yet the past haunts him and the two competing directives keep chewing away at his mind until the past finally catches up to him. His destiny seems to be inescapable, and sanity fleeting. A confrontation is at hand and Agni is forced once again to walk the path of destruction. Will the world perish in fire, or ice?
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B +
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: A –
Age Rating: Mature
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: July 16, 2019
MSRP: $12.99 US / $17.99 CN / £8.99 UK