Of the Red, the Light, and the Ayakashi Book 3 Manga Review

Overview:

Yue is struggling with the knowledge that Shin created the town to sustain the life of the Ayakashi. Meanwhile, Tsubaki is being hunted as a meal while Akiyoshi is still trying to sort out his feelings as to whether he can trust Yue or not.

Review:

This book is kind of hard to review because by itself it isn’t that interesting. There’s some gaps in the reader’s knowledge filled in and the characters are coming to terms with previous revelations, but most of the action in the story comes from the ayakashi’s hunt for Tsubaki through the deserted school. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but compared to the intrigue and mystery of books 1 and 2 it kind of felt like something was lacking.

This book also spends a lot of time in the past. Akiyoshi is really struggling with how he feels about Yue given he knows Yue has been raised among ayakashi. He’s also then burdened further when Akashi comes to stay with his family as a friend of his father, given Akashi is the guy who attacked Yue in the previous book. He isn’t exactly forthcoming with any explanations but he does drop a few teasing hints as to his purpose. We also see a little bit of Akiyoshi’s past which kind of explains why he doesn’t like the ayakashi so much.

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However, Akiyoshi isn’t the only one who is having their past examined. We learn a lot more about Shin in the volume and see a little bit about why he put the veil over the town. Though how he ended up inside Yue is still a little bit of a mystery as is his current purpose given Shin seems to be questioning whether or not his actions in the past were right.

But as I said before, the bulk of the action in this volume comes from Tsubaki trying to escape the ayakashi that has finally come to eat him. From this it is clear that Tsubaki at least trusts Yue to come to his rescue and while Tsubaki knows he can’t really escape on his own he certainly tries hard to buy time hoping that Yue will rescue him.

Of course, there are still mysteries surrounding the past and Yue’s future and plenty I still want to know. And this book does do a lot of world building, introductions, finishing off the young girl ayakashi’s story, and basically continues things well enough. So while as an individual read it wasn’t so great, as part of this series it continues things nicely.

I’m looking forward to reading the next volume when I finally get the chance to.

Previous Reviews:

 

Of the Red, the Light, and the Ayakashi Book 1 Manga Review


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Of the Red, the Light, and the Ayakashi Book 2 Manga Review

Overview:

Yue continues to get closer to Tsubaki and Akiyoshi while they attempt to continue the investigation into the missing people in town. However the arrival of a stranger in town who attacks Yue stirs up the ayakashi.

Review:

This second book remains as compelling as book one and while it unveils more information about each of the three boys it also gives us yet more mysteries. The reveal about Yue is particularly interesting and it is a great lead into the next book because now I definitely want to know what is going to happen next with that particularly story-line.

And that’s probably the biggest weakness of this book in that we’ve lost a lot of the atmosphere from the town because the focus is now so tightly on the main characters. The incidental conversations and rumours from the first book have become minor background details to make way for more conversations between the ayakashi. Admittedly, this means the audience are now getting much more information but it was at the cost of some of that immersive atmosphere that the first book did so well.

Fortunately, the developing relationship between Yue, Tsubaki and Akiyoshi more than makes up for it. Akiyoshi is still fairly distrustful of Yue, but we learn and Yue learn more about his background as we see Akiyoshi interacting with what seem like servants from his family and handling calls from his father. Also, by the end of the story, while Akiyoshi doesn’t totally trust Yue, he is finally done with treating him like the enemy.

Tsubaki on the other hand remains fairly aloof from the other two until much later in the book when he is once again attacked. Yue shields Tsubaki from the attack and gets injured and in the grand tradition of these sorts of stories that means Tsubaki and Yue have now come to some understanding.

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Ultimately, it is that sequence that makes Yue actually aware of the piece of the puzzle he needed to know and once he realises that the audience can finally start to put together the story, though it looks like we still have more secrets to uncover (as in the why we ended up in this situation).

This story knows when to reveal things and just how long it can conceal things before it becomes tiresome. There’s a feeling that we’re getting closer to something even while the picture slowly gets pieced together and we realise it was much bigger than initially thought.

While it might be awhile before I get the next book, I’m really looking forward to continuing this story.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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If you enjoyed this post and would like to see Patreon2more great content on this blog, consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month.

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Another way you can support the content here is by buying a copy of ‘Thoughts on Anime 2017‘ as an ebook. It contains a selection of reviews, features and top 5 lists from 2017 and while the content is available free on the site, this is a great way to give a one off show of support for the blog. It is available for $3.99.

Finally, you can use the affiliate link to shop at Play-Asia.com ifPlay-Asia.com - Play-Asia.com: Online Shopping for Digital Codes, Video Games, Toys, Music, Electronics & more you are interested in anime, soundtracks, figures or games. Should you use the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage of the purchase price.

 

Of the Red, the Light, and the Ayakashi Book 1 Manga Review

Overview:

Apparently this one is based on a visual novel but it is so far the story of Yue who has been raised at the local shrine. One night during a festival he descends the mountain for the first time and meets two high school students and wants to be friends with them. However, he is then informed by the master of the shrine that he needs to choose one of the boys as his ‘meal’.

Review:

I don’t really know what I was expecting going into this. It was another one of those random recommendations that came up while I was browsing the Book Depository and it was on sale so I picked it up. I don’t think I was expecting it to be as engrossing as it was.

There’s a very dark tone in this story and this first book seems to be about setting players into motion and getting the story set up rather than progressing anywhere. Yue has kind of made friends with Tsubaki and Akiyoshi, though Tsubaki is potentially being targeted by some little girl spirit that has clearly eaten the Principal at the kindergarten where his Tsubaki’s sister goes and Akiyoshi and his family clearly have some secret or knowledge about what is going on.

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Neither of them really trust Yue but neither of them can really see him as being anything more than a bit weird and spacey.

Honestly though, that is kind of what works about this first book. We don’t yet know anyone’s true motives and back story but we’re getting some interesting glimpses which give a myriad of possible future directions. Whether this ends up being a good thing depends on how this story develops in future books.

One minor criticism is that some characters, like the master of the shrine, are just deliberately withholding information for the sake of mystery. There doesn’t seem to be any reason to keep Yue as in the dark as he is. Maybe there’s a reason, but it hasn’t been explained, so at the moment, it just seems like the master uses ambiguous langauge because they can, which is frustrating when that is used as a way to create suspense.

However, it logically follows, that for the most part we aren’t getting huge info dumps or masses of exposition. We’re slowly finding things out through the character conversations and piecing them together or leaving them until later when they might make a bit more sense. This is a really engaging way to reveal a story and I’m enjoying that aspect of it.

I also like the set up itself. The town is full of rumours of people going missing, but no one can even remember for sure if that is true. They half remember making plans to meet someone but then can’t remember who or even if they did make plans. When the Principal disappears, the teachers at the school insist there never was a Principal. Part of me wondered whether his existence also was erased from photos when he was eaten because otherwise that would lead to some questions real quick. Still, it is a mystery where for once it is understandable the police are not involved given no one can even prove the missing people ever existed, assuming they remember them long enough to recall that they are missing. The few people with memories of them are simply told they are mistaken and they have no evidence to the contrary.

Basically, this first book made me very curious about where this story will go. It isn’t something I would recommend on its own due to the fact that it isn’t telling a story in its own right, just setting one up, but I certainly enjoyed the read and am looking forward to picking up the second book in this series.

I’d love to know your thoughts on the series if you’ve tried it (please don’t spoil as I think it will be fun to find out where this is going as it happens and I’ve just received the second book).


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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If you enjoyed this post and would like to see Patreon2more great content on this blog, consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month.

Thoughts on Anime.jpg

Another way you can support the content here is by buying a copy of ‘Thoughts on Anime 2017‘ as an ebook. It contains a selection of reviews, features and top 5 lists from 2017 and while the content is available free on the site, this is a great way to give a one off show of support for the blog. It is available for $3.99.