Manga Village

Shiki loses control of his senses and reveals his true “monster” nature within him as he goes on a mad killing spree. Subsequently, Shiki begins to recall fragments of his childhood memories, which reveal some important secrets of the Tohno family.  Just when Shiki collapses from his killing spree, Roa appears with the intention of killing him, but Akiha tries desperately to protect Shiki. Ciel later joins the fight against Roa, and more secrets of Ciel’s painful past are revealed.

By Sasaki Shonen
Publisher: DRMasters
Age Rating: 18+
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Price: $9.99

This volume is all about the flashbacks.  While these are often thought to disrupt the flow of a story, in this title, they are vital.  They give essential pieces to the puzzle that connect one part of Shiki’s past and open up a whole new section to piece together.  Ciel’s past is explored as well, with pieces connecting her to Roa is a rather surprising way.

The first flashback happens just before the appearance of Roa and does a lot to explain the snippets of memory that Shiki has been seeing over the last several volumes.  They fill in the gaps and answer some of the questions about his past at the Tohno family home, mostly the what, but not the why.  That is glimpsed at in the second flashback.  While the first is clearly Shiki remembering the past.  This second one is told for the readers benefit.  Most of it is from Shiki’s point of view, but the beginning is not.  This part gives some insight as to why Shiki does what he does, and doubt about who he really is.

The flashback with Ciel give insight into not just her motivations, but also Roa’s last past life.  The two are irrevocably linked, though that link seems to be a bit of an Achilles Heel for Ciel in this fight.  Part of Ciel’s flashback also make me feel squeamish, and I skimmed over some of it.  It wasn’t for any gore that was actually seen, but implied.  It creeped me out more than the last five and half volumes of blood and dismemberment.

You’ll notice the age rating was upped for this volume.  As I mentioned in a previous review, this title is based on a ero-game.  Up till now, the erotica in it has been mild.  The scenes implied were more than showing anything explicit.  Not this volume.  Right at the beginning of this volume is a very explicit scene between Shiki and Arcuied.  It’s not completely gratuitous, as it shows Shiki can control his “monster nature”, or at the very least break it’s hold when someone he cares about is being, or could be, hurt.

Alot is learned in this volume, but you’ll left feeling it’s not enough.  The questions outnumber the answers, making the long wait for volume 7 that more unbearable.  DrMaster has caught up to the Japanese releases so it’s all we can do.  But for a mystery this good, it’s worth the wait.

About the author

Lori Henderson is the writer and reviewer for the manga blog, Manga Xanadu. She also keeps a personal blog at Fangirl Xanadu, and a writing blog at Muse of Xanadu. She contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. As the mother of two teen daughters, she needs all the escape she can get, which reading and writing about manga gives her.

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