Illustrations By: Hinase Momoyama
Original Story: Fujino Omori
Character Design: nilitsu & Suzuhito Yasuda
Translation: Andrew Gaippe
What They Say:
It wasn’t exactly their dream to be always drenched in blood, fighting to survive, but for Runoa and Chloe, that was the only way forward …
Now these loners are after the same target, the blacklisted adventurer Gale Wind, who they think at least shares their plight. When further digging reveals that Lyu has turned her back on the dark, choosing to live in the light instead, Black Fist and Black Cat must confront what it means to live in a world they don’t belong to …
Content (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
After seeing how depressed Lyu has been as of late, the mysterious human named Syr takes the elf outside the Benevolent Mistress and into an abandoned church within the city’s Seventh District, only to have her witness a splendid sight: one of happy people enjoying life. This is what a mournful elf has forgotten, for while she fought alongside her comrades within Astrea Familia during the dark times, the events of those battles resulted in what she now sees before her … Orario at peace. Even as Leon glimpses at whispers of the past amongst the crowds below, this carefree girl reminds her of the Goddess of Mercy she once knew so long ago, and how they both could soothe her troubled heart. Perhaps Flover is meant to guide Lyu back from the somberness she now finds herself, and while she gives this stray an escape from the servitude under Mama Mia, the lone survivor cannot turn her back on this new friend and decides to stay plus repay her debt while relishing this pleasant change in her once remorseful life. However as the pair return to the tavern and see their fellow workers waiting, Lyu reminds herself they cannot replace the companions she lost, but instead decides to write a letter to her former deity and tell Astrea while she cannot forget the past, she can look forward to the future.
But as Lyu settles into her new life, there are still some in the present who wish to punish this elf for her transgressions of the past, namely two bounty hunters called Black Fist and Black Cat that have been spying on her actions. Although they have attempted to hide their presence from the elf, both cannot but wonder if this former avenger has noticed their surveying her daily life and witnessed a change in her personality to one of sincere tranquility, questioning if they too could have this same peaceful life. The human named Runoa Faust was born in an Imperialist territory and lost her parents in endless wars for expansion, leaving the poor girl to grow up on the streets needing to steal food and fight for survival. The determined child always felt the need to prove to herself and others she was the strongest, and when she heard about familias and the possibility to become even more powerful and a not need to worry about starving, she joined the first who would have her. But her so called goddess did not care for her followers, all she wanted was to cause chaos and their family was soon overthrown by an opposing group leaving Runoa alone again. The same was true for cat person Chloe Lolo who was born into a criminal familia and at an early age learned assassination methods to earn a living, suffering by consuming poisons to earn immunity and doing anything to please their goddess. Although it was not until much that she found out her deity was all too pleased to take a role of disposing of the filth in society, and she used her children to happily make those opportunities come true all while fulfilling her sick wish for enjoyment. It was a short time afterward did Chloe begin learning new techniques from another female assassin who treated her like a little sister, but when this woman protected her from a fatal blow it was only then did she find out this was her mother who was trying to keeping watch from a distance. With such tragedy within both their lives, can either Runoa or Chloe ever learn how to be at peace with themselves and accomplish what Gale Wind has done … find a place where they can be accepted despite their horrific pasts?
Although writer Omori-sensei may have wondrously created tragic backstories for two characters who are now utilized as comedic foils within the series, it does not mean their tear filled pasts cannot be reflected as painful comparisons to what may have happened to Lyu if she continued on her own quest for revenge. And it is with brilliantly fulfilling visuals that mangaka Momoyama-sensei morphs the imaginative words of the light novels into scenes which bring their sorrowful histories to life, allowing such woman to show readers how each followed similar paths of scorn and strife, but it was only Gale Wind who was lucky enough to be shown compassion from someone who cared enough to lend a helping hand. Although both bounty hunters were offered a chance to leave their underground lives behind by merciful deities, both chose to reject their requests due to selfishness in thinking they were not worthy of such charity due to the blackness of their past. One cannot but tear up in reading their tales: seeing Lyu finally accept the friendship extended by Syr, question the stubbornness of Runoa to prove constantly prove herself and mourn for the loss of Chloe in an existence where she was never given a chance to learn of anything another than death. For three women who could have lead parallel lives it is remorseful to see how they paths diverged – one who chose to avenge the wrongs done to her familia and two who were never saw anything past what they were taught and continued to venture forward steadfast until they reached Orario. It should be interesting to see what will happen when the three finally meet … all cold blooded killers and but one now willing to let go of the past to life a live with a hopeful future.
Content Grade: A+
Art Grade: A+
Packaging Grade: A+
Text/Translation Grade: A-
Age Rating: Teen
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: November 26, 2019