By Matsuri Akino
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
After a string of animal murders are discovered throughout town, Fuuto and his guardians vow to bring the killer to justice. But after the return of Sohki leads to a startling turn of events, the young king begins rethinking what justice really is. Also, what happens when Fuuto pays a visit to the mysterious new pet shop that just opened in Tokyo? Find out in this volume’s bonus story starring Pet Shop of Horrors’ Count D!
This volume is all about fathers and what it means to have great responsibility. Is helping people the right thing to do? Or should their destinies be left to fate? What is the true responsibility of a king?
Because his father is a famous photographer, Fuuto gets roped into helping the year book club, despite his protests to being a terrible photographer; and that his powers also capture the images of spirits. His ability leads to a classmate that can’t speak his mind, and helps him deal with his issues with his father. Then Fuuto gets the surprise that his father’s camera is found with photos of him in the Dhalashar Palace. This throws Fuuto so he is not in a good mood when he is introduced to Sohki, the Kirin guardian. Sohki threatens to destroy Fuuto and all of Japan, but Garuda steps in and take the lightening bolt for him. But, Fuuto is left with the power to hear people’s thought; everyone everywhere. He tries to escape and accidentally astral projects to Dhalashar and meets the seated king Atisha, where they end up changing bodies and seeing how the other lives.
The first chapter with Fuuto’s classmate Kugahara and his father is a foreshadowing to the revelations we get about Fuuto’s father. We finally get some clues about where he’s been for the last three years, but they only lead to more questions. Why was he in the Dhalashar Palace? What was he doing with Naga? Why did the US government have his father’s camera and he and his mother was never notified about it’s discovery? Of course we get no answers to these as the arrival of Sohki creates so much chaos.
What this volume really reveals is more about the conflict between Naga and Garuda. It seems to be less about who is the rightful king and more about how the king should rule. When Fuuto meets Atisha on the astral plane, we hear what Naga thinks through Atisha’s words. It’s pointless to help people when they will be reincarnated anyway. Salvation should be earned, not given away. This contradicts what Garuda has been teaching Fuuto since volume one, that he should be using his powers to help people. Fuuto and Atisha seem to be two sides of a coin, as if the Holy King’s soul was split between the two boys. One scene at the end of the volume seems to support this.
Akino-sensei presents us with another great volume filled with quirky characters and humor alongside some good drama. The bonus story at the end with Count D is really cute, especially for fans of the Petshop of Horrors series. With great storytelling and fun characters, this series needs to be on everyone’s bookshelf!