Story: YUKAKO KABEI YOU DEVIL WOMAN. As usual, it’s easiest to just quote the author’s afterword. “A story about a girl with a complicated personality and a man with a tiresome personality, getting together and being separated.” That is Kieli as a whole. Since the two were just reuited, they don’t split in this one. The next one… well we can probably make a very educated guess about what’s going to happen. Though in a way I guess it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say ‘current’-Harvey and Kieli have been seperated. I don’t want to outright ruin the end of this volume since it was a sort of twist that’s already happened once but now on a greater scale since ghost/out-of-body Kieli is visiting the young undying whom she has been told very little about. I like how we’re progressing into serious plot. For awhile it’s been building up to it and we’re still a long way from any real development or conflict that will solve anything and, in the storyverse, I think it may take a few more years before we do. The next volume should hold a lot of events taking place in the past which doesn’t sound that exciting but was set up nicely by the end of this novel which also providing a little growth for Kieli’s character (even though I think it was a lesson she’s already learned once).
Characters: Tiresome man, complicated girl. It didn’t seem like they interacted that much here. They did, but most of Kieli’s important scenes were spent with other characters. Joachim returns which was a bit surprising but not entirely since he is an undying. The whole core buisness is interesting though and I think it will factor in making Harvey more human. Joachim is in a sorry state and is not so different from the monster in the last book. There is also a character-of-the-week who is ne of the ‘monsters’. They’re actually really just zombies. Which makes an interesting divide between what Harvey is, an Undying, and what Christoph and Joachim now are. Julius has a random chapter pushed into the middle of the book that doesn’t even involve Kieli or Harvey. It probably is to show us that he’s going to play a big part later on so we shouldn’t forget about him. Corporal got some attention and had the spotlight for awhile at the beginning. Character development for the radio and Harvey? Very nicely done.
Art: I actually have some complaints about the art this time. It’s still consistently… good. But I’ve noticed that the art, especially in this book, has been taking the safe route. It would have been interesting to see an actual image of Christoph or defective-core Joachim (it’s hard for me to imagine someone’s skin as being ‘pulpy’). Maybe it’s specifically meant to be left up to the imagination but it still feels like a cop out (though you do see a bit of Christoph’s skin in one image so it gives you a little image of what to expect). On a side note, Yukako Kabei has won several points for her request of the artist and saying, “Kieli’s shorts would be cuter if they were a little shorter. i’m sorry I started ranting broken things like ‘Bare shins!’ and ‘Glorious legs!’ and ‘Clavicles!’ and I’ll stop now before people start to question my personality”.
Overall: Satisfying book with a frustrating end if you are, like me, now waiting another six months to see what happens. If you are, years down the road, reading the series from start to finish then perhaps a bit less for you. There are four more volumes left so things should really get rolling and prepare you as Kabei starts wrapping up the series.
Story: 7/10 (author says we are now “100% backwards looking” in terms of the story. She means that both figuratively and literally)
Characters: 8/10 (Harvey and Kieli have some cute moments together, but seem generally cold to each other, Corporal gets development, and Joachim returns? Everyone was busy and it worked)
Art: 6/10 (fine as usual, scenes chosen are just pretty boring)
Fang’s Rating: 8/10