POSSIBLE KIND-OF SPOILERS
Chakuro is compelled to write so he chronicles the events of the Mud Whale, a giant castle-ship that floats around on a sand ocean. It’s a closed society consisting of two types of people: the Marked, who use a type of magic; and the Unmarked, who don’t use magic but live longer and because of their longer lifespan, actually govern the Mud Whale.
Things start to get crazy when they spot an island and do some recon, only to “salvage” the lone survivor.
This will sound morbid but I actually liked the end of this volume the best. I appreciated the world-building and setting the scene but it felt…I don’t want to say “stagnant” but the entire time, you know something big and mysterious is going to happen (anything involving a Committee of Elders is a dead giveaway) and it’s like, “Get on with it!” I love a slow burn and appreciate pacing, but the anticipation was almost uncomfortable.
So when everything erupted with the suddenness and violence that it did, it was sickeningly gratifying. Like, “Yes! This is what I was waiting for!” even as I felt like a bad person all the while for so eagerly devouring their misfortune and trauma.
One thing in those final scenes that I thought was conveyed exceptionally well is the feeling and realization that the Mud Whale inhabitants hadn’t seen lethal violence. They had no reference for it. The incomprehension rather than terror on their faces during the initial wave really drove home the fact that these people had lived in isolation and relative innocence their entire lives…and thus the slaughter felt even more brutal and tragic.
I can’t believe it’s been twenty-five volumes! This is really the only way it could have ended; after the last page, I just felt like, “Yep. That was the ‘right’ ending. That’s the way it had to be.”
For anyone reading the series but hasn’t finished it yet, I do recommend buying the limited edition and getting the Kamistravaganza booklet. It’s totally worth it as the epilogue/extra story/final-final chapter included in the booklet really ties things up nicely. That last story was really necessary for closure after twenty-five volumes.
I’ve said in recent posts that I don’t read as much shojo as I used to, but back when I “used to” Kamisama Kiss was one of my favorites. While my love for the genre has waned a bit, I still think this is a very solid shojo series and I loved it till the end.
Volume 7 is one of my favorite volumes so far. Things started opening up in volume six and now I think the story has hit its stride.
This volume begins on a pretty serious and dramatic note since Yona and Yun are captives in the slave ship with the stolen girls. As a result, we get to see both Yun and Yona have to make some tough decisions and risk their lives to get that flare up so the (good?) pirates (with Hak and the Dragons) can target the ship and save the day.
I don’t want to spoil things so all I’ll say is that I’d forgotten about Yona’s last minute shot. I realllllly liked it. Yona now has to be viewed in a different light and I really like what that action means for her character growth.
On a lighter note, this volume is wonderfully full of Jaeha being…Jaeha and Hak trying to be smooth and Yona being oblivious. It has a great balance of tense action and dramatic situations offset with humor and sweetness.
Volumes six and seven are when the series (to me) turns into something “more.” The first volumes can be kind of meh, but this is the arc I have in mind when I encourage people to just keep reading, it’ll be worth it.
I can’t help but always love Black Clover.
This volume we’re still underwater but rather than attacking the members of the Underwater Temple in a game, everyone is teamed up to counter the attack by the Eye of the Midnight Sun. This villain is all about “despair, despair!” and no matter how grim things get, Asta is pretty much the opposite of despair. And it does get pretty grim…
We do get a couple other characters rising to the occasion in this volume. Things may not turn out so great for Kiato and Kahono, the enemies-turned-comrades from the Underwater Temple, but many of the Black Bulls get to shine a bit. We get a glimpse of Grey’s full ability…as well as actual Grey! And Charmy kicking ass is always great. Aaand Noelle gets into it and levels up as well.
Volume 8 was another great example of full-on shonen action, humor, battle-manga perfection.
Okay, this one’s been out for a while but I’ve just gotten around to reading it. In just the first few pages I got a very Gun X Sword/Trigun kind of vibe…and I mean that in the best of ways. The beginning was a bit more slapstick and light-hearted than I anticipated, considering the setup. However, “To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts” delves into serious territory soon enough.
Volume one was an interesting combination of silly and serious, violent and thoughtful. Several times I found myself thinking, “I like this way more than I should.” Much of it felt very predictable but I didn’t care; I still enjoyed the story. I do think the two main characters are mostly responsible for that–our girl has the desirable trait of being not-annoying and our guy is a badass, which is hard for me to pass up.
Can these two characters carry the series and make a predictable plot interesting or will the series ultimately collapse in on itself? I’ll report back after a couple more volumes…
I was already getting a bit tired of this series a couple pages into volume two. It suffers from the same issues as the author’s Dawn of the Arcana series–weird, randomly contrived things happen way too often. There also seems to be a lot of yelling and crying considering the main character can’t speak; I keep trying to remind myself that she’s a small child and that’s why she…acts like a small child. But it still gets tiring.
However, volume two did have some high points. When the Water Dragon God goes on his rampage, his monologue made me go, “Yes! This makes sense! This is what I want to read!” Though violent and angry, at least it sounded more reasoned-out and intellectual than how he’s usually idiotically portrayed. His thought process made sense, whereas usually he’s written to not have much thought process at all.
The other gods are spicing up the story as well. To me, they’re really the highlights and the saviors of a pretty dreary, yelling-and-crying-filled story. The author seems to like them so I’m hoping we see more of them in the next volume.
Because yes, after the final pages of volume two (I don’t want to spoil it for you!) I’m hoping volume three blows it wide open and this series finally takes off. *crosses fingers*
I really loved “The Ancient Magus’ Bride” when I first started the series. However, I opened up volume seven and had absolutely no recollection of where the previous volume left off or what the hell was going on.
I caught up quickly enough but I no longer find myself getting as immersed in the story as I once did. For a couple volumes now it’s had a feeling of…meandering. Initially I didn’t mind that kind of lazy, relaxed feeling but now I feel more like, “Where are we going with this? How many misunderstandings and reconciliations do we need?”
That said, we did get some intrigue and major drama later in this volume that gave it kind of a different, more urgent vibe. More characters were smattered in so it’s not just Elias and Chise misunderstanding and forgiving each other in circles. There were even a few spots for some cute humor, which I appreciated and miss from earlier volumes. I’m hoping the cliffhanger at the end of volume seven leads to some more interesting developments.