Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Black Bullet Vol. #3 Manga Review

The further we get away from fighting, the more we suffer.

Creative Staff:
Art: Morinohon
Original Story: Shiden Kanzaki
Character Design: Saki Ukai
Translation: Nita Lieu
Lettering: Abigail Blackman

What They Say:
After being invaded by viral parasites known as Gastrea, the people of Japan have had no choice but to encase themselves within colossal monoliths designed to repel the beasts. The Gastrea, however, have still managed to slowly trickle through the barrier and infect some of the population. In order to fend them off, humanity has created a "Civil Security" branch trained in the extermination of the parasites. Rentarou Satomi and Enju Aihara are just two of many Civ-Sec officers fighting to keep humanity safe and fix what has become of their world once and for all.

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
When we last left off, things were looking a little bleak for Rentaro Satomi. In fact, all signs were pointing to his inevitable death. But, no fear! In the beginning of the third volume, Rentaro wakes up in a hospital and is greeted shortly after by Kisara and Enju who are both ecstatic to see him alive. Turns out that Rentaro's plunge wasn't enough to finish him off and, after a very touch-and-go surgery, he came out triumphant. In fact, according to Kisara, the doctor almost gave up on him. I'm glad she didn't, though. That would have made this volume pretty darn depressing.

Anyway, this isn't the time for things to calm down. Hiruko is still on the loose after all -- and he has the inheritance of the seven stars in his possession. After a quick phone call from Lady Seitenshi, it becomes evident that Hiruko is now able to summon a class five gastrea, also known as a "Zodiac" gastrea (Only eleven of these things exist and they're the reason the world is in shambles in the first place). So, yeah. Things are looking pretty grim. After a quick inner debate about whether or not it's even worth it to chase after Hiruko, Rentaro decides that he must. Kisara, on the other hand, is even more worried about this than he is. The two wind up exchanging some dialogue about how if Rentaro died, everything would be over. But, according to him, dying isn't part of his agenda. He then takes his leave and embarks on an assault mission with Enju and several other civ-sec squads.

Several hours into the mission, our dynamic duo comes across Shougen Ikuma's initiator, Kayo, who has apparently been separated from her partner after a gastrea attack. Now, Kayo isn't your average cursed child and is essentially the polar opposite of Enju. Being labeled as a dolphin-class initiator, Kayo possesses an intellect on par with a...well, dolphin. Dolphins are smart, we all know this. The cool thing about Kayo, though, is that she's able to debate with Rentaro about why cursed children fight in the first place. In her eyes, they are simply tools of destruction that must be used in order to attain victory. After a relatively lengthy debate on the purpose of war and fighting, the trio heads toward the village where the attack on Hiruko is planned. As Kayo stays back on the cliff to protect the rear from gastrea attacks, Rentaro and Enju make their way down. Before leaving, though, Kayo asks them that they simply just protect Shougen and make sure he comes out okay.

Long story short, that doesn't happen. By the time the two make it down the hill and into the village, everyone is dead except for Shougen -- who somehow has his own sword stuck in his back. Being caught up in the delusions that accompany death, Shougen seems to see Enju as Kayo and slowly makes his way toward her. With his last words, Shougen reveals that he not only sees Kayo as a tool but that he seems himself as one as well, prompting Rentaro to change his opinion on their overall relationship which, to this point, seemed cold and harsh. With a new type of anger welling up inside him, Rentaro decides to proceed with the mission and take Hiruko and his daughter on in a good, old fashioned two vs. two fight. The fight is almost entirely in Hiruko's favor. That is until we find out something new and mysterious about our protagonist...

In Summary:
Lead by more action and further development of characters, Black Bullet Vol. #3 remains as interesting as the previous installment. The addition of Kayo adds a sense of philosophical flair to the series in that she sees war in an entirely different way than our main characters. Apart from just the characters, though, the plot itself begins to act like a boulder and is quickly picking up an excitingly fast pace. With just one volume left in the series, things are going to need to wrap up in a very neat manner for it to have a strong finish. The one thing I'm afraid of is that the ending may seem as rushed as the preceding actions. Either way, thanks to another cliffhanger ending, I'm excited to see what happens next in this series.

Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B-
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A-

Age Rating: 14+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: March 22, 2016
MSRP: $13.00

No comments:

Post a Comment