Just a warning to start that the contents of this manga are not suited to everyone containing explicit (and sometimes graphic) sexual non-consensual relationships between male characters. While I have included no images below, the story content will be discussed.
My review of Volume 1 can be found here. Volume 2 was review here.
Review – Some plot spoilers:
A good half of this book is devoted to wrapping up Aldin and Ral’s story with Ryuka and Ixto assisting or being sidelined. That isn’t so much a problem because Aldin and Ral’s story has been interesting from the beginning and it makes sense that their story should conclude before we get to the end of Ixto and Ryuka’s story. A lot of this is closely tied up with Aldin’s family and the relationship between Aldin and his two brothers and while it is a distraction from the journey to the moon it is compelling in its own way. I’m a little dissatisfied that even after overcoming the spell they still have to be apart for the next three years but at least there is now a solid chance for them to build a life together in the future, so that was actually kind of nice.
Plot however is a tricky thing. You need complications to keep things interesting and sometimes that involves characters doing stupid things. Ixto steps right into that in this book with an action he takes to allow Ryuka to help Aldin and Ral out. It is kind of obvious from Coon’s reaction (the moon cat) that Ixto shouldn’t do what he does and yet he does it anyway and as another character points out later Ixto volunteered. No one even asked him to do it because if he hadn’t suggested it, they wouldn’t have even known it was an option.
This creates a complication and for the first time since the story began we see that Ryuka is completely cut off from Ixto’s influence and still chooses to make the journey to the moon, though with the usual self-denial of these stories where he doesn’t openly admit he has actually grown to love Ixto but more he wants to punch him for some stupid reason. Ryuka also enters into a fairly stupid deal in order to achieve this goal and I’m really quite concerned about how that is going to play out.
As much as I enjoy this story and am looking forward to the fourth book, sometimes these standard tropes just make you roll your eyes.
Now as for the warning label, this book brings us a reasonably consensual and yet slightly coerced scene between Ixto and Ryuka. Ixto aware he probably isn’t coming back decides to make the most of his potential last time seeing Ryuka. We then get another Ryuka gets abducted moment by a guy who very graphically describes what he’d love to do to Ryuka (thanks for some of that imagery) but fortunately doesn’t get very far before he is forcibly stopped. Compare to book 1 it is fairly tame but it is about the same as book 2 and might still rub some people the wrong way.
All and all, the overall story remains on track. Ryuka is still trying to find true love and is journeying to the moon where Ixto is waiting. The friends he met along the way were helped to a kind of happy ending and now there’s just one major obstacle left to overcome (and a whole bunch of little ones). I still like Ryuka as a character and while some of the content is a bit confronting, the story is kind of sweet, though clearly not a manual for healthy relationships at this point.
If you’ve read it I’d love to know your thoughts but please don’t spoil the ending because I’m getting to the next book very soon.
Thanks for reading.
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