Story/Art: Sui Ishida
Translation: Joe Yamazaki
What They Say
Interim Bureau Chief of the CCG Matsuri Washu has gone conveniently missing, and the power vacuum has allowed the devious Furuta to step forward to take control. His erratic behavior concerns some of the investigators, but the special show he puts on for the rank-and-file CCG employees gains him their support, especially when he unveils the final act—executing Haise Sasaki as a traitor!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
This time around, we kick off with a bit of messed up backstory for what’s been up with Amon. It’s actually pretty well done and feels sufficiently nasty and cruel, but it doesn’t last long before we check in on what’s up with Urie. And it turns out that “what’s up” is that he’s busted his frame completely and gone fully berserk. What results is a big brawl between him and Saiko, with her desperate to bring him back. And man, this is hands down the best sequence we’ve gotten in volumes. It not only has a strong emotional core behind it, but also has easy to follow action with beats that all feel meaningful rather than being a pointless mess that tries to be flashy. It’s not exactly long, but it has more impact in those limited pages than what the series has given us in whole books.
What comes right after and gets a bit more focus, though… is the fight with a berserk Amon, focused around bringing him back to his senses. It still works better than what we’ve gotten lately, but… I mean, they literally JUST did the exact same thing mere pages before, and I preferred that previous instance to this one. It just feels a touch weaker in terms of visuals and character moments. It’s a shame, because had they not done this weird overlap I’d probably praise this fight like I did the last one, but as presented it just feels awkwardly like the book stepping on its own toes. Heck, even if it was essential to have both events so close to one another, there could have at least been some parallels being drawn to make it feel meaningful rather than like a plotting mistake. Still, again, it’s not bad and I’ll certainly take it over what we’ve been getting, even if it’s placed rather awkwardly.
As for the rest of the book, it’s kind of largely spent with Amon and Akira finding their paths forward in life after the great upheaval they’ve faced. It’s firmly decent, which is again better than what I can say about past volumes, though a bit on the slow side and nothing too impactful. But can that moderate amount of quality carry over into next time, or is the series doomed to drop right back off the cliff after clawing its way back up?
In a shocking twist, this volume actually manages to be… decent. There are still some issues to be had, mind you. For example, there’s an awkward overlap in the content on display that sort of robs an otherwise worthwhile scene of its impact. And the back half is a bit on the slow side, though not terrible. But we actually manage to get what I would call a legitimately well done event here, and everything else is at least alright rather than feeling like a mess. So while I would struggle to call this anything amazing, it’s still a massive step up from the absolute dreg the series has been putting out, so hopefully it can keep up this bare minimum amount of quality!
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: June 18th, 2019