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.
The final volume of this series and one that concludes Ryuka’s journey to the moon to find Ixto. Also where we will find out whether it is love or really just a spell. My reviews of the previous 3 volumes can be found here.
I’m going to get my one and only real criticism out of the way so that I can then focus on what a great conclusion to the adventure this volume was. What is that criticism? The prologue to this volume which sees Widow helping Ryuka and Coon collect the last items needed to open the door to the moon. No real problem with them wrapping up the fetch quest, however they felt the need to include one of those random trees that appear in these sorts of stories that for some reason have vines that wrap themselves around the hero and well, they didn’t get a lot further here but they certainly suggested the possibility.
Given the rest of the volume pretty much dealt with the characters’ actual emotions and feelings and their relationship that had been built up over three volumes and this adventure across the desert and back again and again collecting what was needed before travelling to the moon, it just felt so out of place and such a throw back to the first sequence where the main character was raped. Maybe they are worried they’ll lose readers if they actually just let the story be sweet because it seemed like one of these types of scenes cropped up any time things actually looked like they might settle into mature and sensible romance.
However, that is literally my only complaint of substance about this. Volume three wrapped by Aldin and Ral’s story though Ryuka does make good on his promise to fill Aldin in when he returned the dragon’s breath, so they get a brief cameo toward the end of this volume. Without their distraction, we turn our attention fully to the moon spirits and Ryuka.
All the way through this story Ixto has been a bit of an enigma. You kind of want to hate him at first because of how Ryuka meets him but time and again he’s helped Ryuka out (though I guess you could point out Ryuka wouldn’t have needed to be rescued so often if it wasn’t for Ixto’s spell in the first place). This volume fleshes him out as we learn about his family and his history. We also get to find out whether Ixto’s spell really did cause all of this or whether Ryuka genuinely has fallen in love at this stage.
Widow, who also started off as a character that we probably could have done without, becomes someone of genuine interest here and while he does add in an unneeded complication, for the most part his contributions to the story this volume are quite welcome.
On that note, Coon also finally gets a cool moment for about two seconds before turning back into the whiny little moon-cat that he is. But still, at least he got his moment.
I’m not going into spoiler territory so I’m not going to say anything more about what actually happens. What I am happy about is that the story does resolve itself nicely and everything feels complete. Despite a few scenes that I’d rather have not walked into unprepared (and I was unprepared back in volume 1) I ended up really enjoying Ryuka’s story. I’d definitely recommend reading it provided you won’t be put off by male on male sexual relationships. sometimes quite explicit (though there’s definitely worse out there) and the ongoing issue of non-consensual sex which comes up in most of the books a couple of times at least. Ultimately I’d say it was a sweet romance except that I just can’t use that as a final conclusion to any romance that starts with a rape.
If you’ve read this series, I’d love to know your thoughts on it.
Thanks for reading.
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