April 25, 2012
Yuuki Iinuma – Viz – 2012 – 13+ volumes
I think I’ve mentioned before, the absolute best thing about this series is the way that Utsuho fights. I’m still not bored of the way he tricks and lies his way through the trials presented. He’s a great character. But it’s a small part of each volume, and I’m growing increasingly impatient with the rest of what’s going on.
This volume continues the storyline from last time, where there is a band of murderers roaming through a town of fireworks makers. The murderers are captured, and claim they began their spree because the town hated them and burned their shop down. So then the problem is, who burned their shop down in the first place?
This story… was only okay. The problem with the fun part of this series, Utsuho’s lying, is that it takes a long time to gather the facts and set the stage for him. So there are a lot of in-between parts, and that’s a shame. Utsuho isn’t even really part of the solution for half of the problem here, the townspeople do that with fireworks.
The second half of the volume, a kind of legend about a man that built a utopia and was disillusioned by an Itsuwaribito, is much more interesting. Utsuho doubts the legend at first, but they find some pretty spectacular evidence in its favor. So spectacular, in fact, that we get to see Utsuho’s eyes. He is shocked. Once that’s out of the way, they trace the history of the story to a town with a large library, only to find out an eccentric millionaire might have the only records left. So they go to the town where the millionaire lives. His estate is guarded by spectacular killer dolls that are so powerful that it’s not worth it to engage them in combat. Utsuho hopes to gain access to the library in the main house, and gains another ally in the process that is looking to shut down whatever power source controls the terrible robots. That power source is all kinds of disturbing, but how they deal with that is a story for the next volume.
Okay, you know, when I was talking about being tired of the series, I was thinking of that fireworks town story. But the framing device of the legend in the second half has given Utsuho’s group purpose, and the fact that it led them to an estate of nightmarish killer dolls is a promising start to this portion of the story. I could go for more of this. Perhaps it was just purpose to the story I was missing. I hope that the number of allies that are now traveling has stabilized (I’m hoping that the fireworks town story was necessary to introduce the last), and I’m really looking forward to how this legend will affect the town that the main characters are looking to build. I’m interested again!