Like a train chugging into sight of it’s destination, the penultimate volume of Kieli is here. I must say that I really did enjoy this volume a lot more than the past few. It focused on Kieli herself and started to move towards wrapping everything up. Though this volume does end on a somber note, it also ends on a cliffhanger. Making the wait until September is even more difficult.
(obviously, spoilers ahead)
As I said, this volume was a treat but it was for many reasons. Things just start off plot-oriented and we don’t really waste time with any side ghost stories like usual. On top of that, things are very Kieli focused. After the traditional Kieli-Harvey split (complete with a means to having minimal Corporal interaction), the story is just about Kieli (and Joachim). It isn’t until a small interlude that we see what happens to Harvey (and that he was in such a state but so upset about Corporal was pretty sad and a nice empasis on how important they are to each other). It isn’t just Kieli idling around either. This time she’s the one getting stuff done. Kind of.
This was a good volume for Kieli herself and some last minute character development. It’s repeated often in this volume just how childish she is and it’s shown through her actions over and over (which she also reflects on) but it also shows her a lot more hardened. Towards her father and towards everyone who isn’t Harvey, Corporal or Beatrix. It’s good this was reflected because of how her attitude was in the last volume. She was so ready to kill and do whatever it took to protect Harvey. While she got over and realized her fault in being so OK to kill, she’s still a lot more callous here.
Looking for Beatrix has been a big thing for awhile and since it’s been a few volumes since she really did anything, I forgot how much I liked her. Her breakdown and freaking out at Kieli did seem a little out of place but she recovered quickly enough. It almost seems like a parallel with Harvey. That after eighty years of wear and tear, it’s almost at its limit. After eight years of wear and tear, her mind is almost at its limit.
I mentioned that this volume ended on a cliffhanger. That’s would be where Beatrix’s part in the last chapter ends off. She sees a monster that is different from the others. I thought it would be Joachim at first but that wasn’t the case. Given that her part ended like that and her final words to Harvey mirrored her earlier memory, I can’t say I expect her to survive to the end of the next volume. If she does die, as much as I like her, I’m glad it was after getting a reminder of how cute she and Kieli are together and how interesting she is.
As much as I don’t want it to end up that way, I can’t see any of the Undying making it to the end of the next volume. I’d like to believe that they all go home (or at least Kieli and Harvey) like they said and that Corporal is suddenly some how fixed but I don’t really see that happening. I kind of expect Kieli to end up all alone (except maybe she’ll realize not really since she’s not as alone as she thought based on everybody she met through her journey) and maybe staying at the Church and trying to fix it and save the world with Julius. I really, really don’t want to be right but that’s the vibe I’m still getting.
Another thing I really enjoyed was Sigri and Yoshiu. Father Sigri turned out to be a really normal and nice guy which felt anticlimatic to both me and Kieli, who was very frustrated with this fact too. It was hard to dislike him despite abandoning his wife and pursuing the Undying. I kept expecting him to do something horrible and when Kieli’s situation mirrored her mother’s, I thought that would be it. But then he rescues her! I was legitimately happy when he rescued her then and then when he again tried to save her from Joachim. Now if he does something horrible and is actually really evil, it’s going to be a real punch in the gut.
Yoshiu was a character of little importance but his interactions with Kieli and Beatrix were nice. He was just a good characters who didn’t do anything really bad, even towards an Undying that he was afraid of. When he wasn’t afraid of her during the commotion at the end, that really sold him for me. If I didn’t think Beatrix was going to bite it next time, I’d be happy to see them interacting again.
So if Sigri isn’t the bad guy, who is? Well the rest of the council is pretty awful, I suppose. The ghosts killing them (I assume) were the prisoners sent to work on the planet before the Church came since they had built over their graves. Was it specified otherwise? Well in any case the real problem is the bomb. Yoshiu (I believe it was him?) even mentions that everything didn’t start until after it arrived but Harvey is the one who speculates after Joachim tells him about the bomb that it’s what is setting the monsters off and making the ghosts all react. So how do our heroes even deal with something like that?
If Sigri doesn’t die next volume, that would at least wrap up the happy ending part if we are getting that ending and not the Kieli All Alone ending. (So help me god if it ends with them splitting up and promising to meet again) Sigri could pardon Harvey and stop him from being hunted since he’ll be the one to fix things obviously.
Still, Harvey is in worse shape. With each volume he gets worse and worse. Unless something happens at the enegy tower where the bomb is to help repair his core but prevent him from becoming like Joachim, I don’t think he’ll make it. I’m afraid to go and look at the reviews I’ve seen for the final volume on amazon and stuff. They really help drive this point home though I haven’t seen any spoilers.
All in all, I really did enjoy this volume and though I’m fretting about the ending, I think the end of this volume served as a nice setup to the next one. Hopefully that isn’t messed up in any way (time skip, etc) but of course I’m still going to be excited. Now I’ve got four months to prepare myself for the ending. Oh boy.