Wild Adapter 4

January 19, 2012

Kazuya Minekura – Tokyopop – 2008 – 6+ volumes

Okay. Volume 4 and volume 6 are my favorites in the series, because they deal with Toki and Kubo directly. This volume shows what happens when Kubo disappears and Toki has to get him back. Volume 6 is about what happens when Toki disappears and Kubo has to get him back. But that one is a very violent story for another day.

Interestingly, the past two volumes have been more about side characters than the boys themselves. Volume 2 had the lover of the W.A. victim, and volume 3 was about the reporter that the boys team up with to investigate the cult. This volume’s side character is a murderer, and we see him occasionally as the story makes concessions to the fact that guilt is driving him mad, but he doesn’t really have the starring role that the other characters did. This volume is all about Kubo and Toki.

While making a “sketchy” delivery for Kou, Kubo inadvertently winds up at ground zero of a murder. Kubo was delivering drugs to a prostitute, who is killed minutes before he shows up at the door. With no record of the man the prostitute was with, the police only have Kubo on the security tape and his prints on the buzzer. They bring him in, but unwilling to compromise Kou’s business by admitting to the delivery he was making, Kubo remains silent while the police torture him into admitting he was on the scene. This situation is made worse by the fact the police know he was a former yakuza boss, and has a prior for assault.

Meanwhile, he tells Toki to stay clear of the apartment, and nothing else. Toki gets angry, and begins to suspect that Kubo’s disappearance may have something to do with Anna, a girl that tries to get in touch with Kubo right before everything goes wrong. Toki doesn’t know anything about Anna, and while trying to figure out what happened to Kubo, realizes he doesn’t really know anything at all about Kubo. But that doesn’t stop him from digging to the bottom of the mystery, and it’s Toki’s detective work, along with Anna and the reporter from last volume, that help Kubo in the end.

Kotodama, the belief that something becomes true once you say it aloud, is one of the main themes in this volume. The murderer believes he was cursed into being a “small man” by something a grade school teacher said to him when he was a child. Kou mentions that Kubo doesn’t really believe in truth, that once something is said aloud it becomes a lie. And Toki doesn’t believe in kotodama, period. I wasn’t sure what to make of all this, particularly of the point that was made along the lines of Toki being Kubo’s truth. I know that there’s a shiny surface fujoshi meaning to it, but I wasn’t entirely sure what the metaphor was trying for. Maybe it’s as simple as the fact that Kubo only relies on himself because he doesn’t really believe in anything else, so Toki has to be his “truth” and pull him out of this mess? There’s a conversation with Kou that makes sense in that light. Saying it aloud here makes it sound less sensical, but the dialogue in the book itself is a little… vague itself.

There are lots of beautifully ambiguous scenes. Aside from the stuff I mentioned above, other good ones are Toki and any other character. His interaction with Anna is especially ambiguous. He seems shocked by the fact Kubo has had sex with her, and tends to dodge her questions about who he is and what he’s doing. Anna also makes Toki uncomfortable in general. There’s more dodging of inquiries into Toki and Kubo’s relationship when the reporter asks what’s up with that. Whether it’s romantic or not, the ambiguity and the strong bond between the two is one of the best things about this series.

I am literally dying for more. Minekura is very ill, and I wish her the very best in recovering from her terrible illness. Drawing this and Saiyuki seem very important to her, and Wild Adapter recently changed publishers and was reissued in a new edition, so I hope her recovery has put her in a place where she can continue, if she wishes.

2 Responses to “Wild Adapter 4”


  1. […] Take-Out Night (Slightly Biased Manga) Kayden L on vol. 2 of Wandering Son (Okazu) Connie on vol. 4 of Wild Adapter (Slightly Biased Manga) Connie on vol. 17 of xxxHoLiC (Slightly Biased Manga) Did you enjoy […]


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