While the question of good and evil was at the heart of the first volume, these next two look at fate and the roles people play in the world. Is there a master plan and everyone has their role to play in it? Or is it all coincidence and free will that is shaping the world?

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By Megumi Osuga
Publisher: Viz Media – Shonen Sunday
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Mystery/Drama
Price: $9.99
Rating: ★★★★☆

Ando’s words at the end of volume 1 seem to have hit a nerve with someone. While trying to discover the limits of his ventriloquism, he is given a warning that leads to a contract being put out on him. But when he begs for his life, it seems he is no longer worth killing. Then Inukai is arrested, and the gangs of the city celebrate by rioting. Ando inadvertently disrupts Inukai’s plans to stop it. In a face to face meeting, Inukai admits to believing in fate. That it is his fate to change the world, and maybe, it is Ando’s fate to stop him. We also finally meet the president of the Anderson Group, the company behind the new urban development, and his son, who transfers into Ando’s class at school and who Ando then befriends. Then while investigating a photo for the school paper, Ando and Machiko get caught up in Anderson’s retaliation against the Grasshopper’s guerilla warfare against the project, and end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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There is quite a bit of plot movement over these two volumes. Ando doesn’t seem to be the only person with special abilities. The bartender from Duce has the ability to bend things to his will. He can cause accidents and force people to do whatever he wants. Compared to that, Ando’s ventriloquism seems kind of weak. But he still finds ways to make it useful, and keep himself alive, at least for a few more minutes.

A little more is also revealed about Inukai. He believes he knows how to fix the problems of the city and even the country, and everything he does is to move toward that end. He believes in “God’s recipe”, that everyone in the world has a specific and predestined role to play, and his is to change the world. Ando’s role may be to stop him. Can it be all co-incidence that Ando started thinking of using his power again just as Inukai started to gain prominence in the city? That he “just happened” to see Inukai’s dark side? That the son of the Anderson Group joined his class? Is Ando just a puppet of fate? This is the question Ando must answer or else get swept away in Inukai’s predestined flood.

Maoh‘s plot continues to slowly build up. Volume two doesn’t seem to really do much to forward it with so much of it devoted to Ando’s chase, but with what happens in volume three, a lot of it makes more sense. Just enough about Inukai is revealed to explain his motivation, but there is still a lot mystery surrounding who he is and what his true goals are. I’m looking forward to the next volume to see what will be the straw that breaks Ando out of his waffling and finally take a stand.

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