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.
Well despite the warning there, volume 2 is decidedly tame by comparison to volume 1 in terms of what it actually depicts. It is problematic in that Ryuka is more or less clearly surrendering to the idea that he is falling in love with Ixto (you know, moon spirit who raped him and then essentially put a spell on him forcing him to find his way to the moon) but if you ignored that premise, volume 2 is actually kind of sweet. Ryuka’s working hard to find his way and to overcome obstacles, and Ixto is doing what he can to ensure not too many obstacles fall in his path. If their actions stemmed from a different starting point it would be sweet.
So to get it out of the way, this particular volume does have non-consensual sex going on yet again between unnamed characters who have been kidnapped and brainwashed by another former resident of the moon who now lives inside a cave and spirits away young men. This situation isn’t actually stopped or even dealt with in the story, it is merely a setting our main characters come across but they are rapidly kicked out and then the story moves on, but it is still fairly graphic for the short moment the characters cross paths with this scene. I’m kind of hoping somewhere down the line there’s a reason this character and this place even exist because otherwise the main characters literally gained nothing by the encounter and it did nothing to progress the plot. Still, given the one they met came from the moon and his place is inside the cave where the sealed portal to the moon is kept, I’m guessing this might become more important later in the story.
However, for Ryuka we have a fetch quest this book. Basically after reaching the portal to the moon, the pull that has been directing him to find Ixto kind of fades but he still can’t get through the door. Fortunately (and conveniently) there’s a list of items on the door that Ryuka will need to gather in order to open it and despite not really being compelled anymore, Ryuka becomes fairly determined to track them down.
He’s still accompanied by Aldin and the horse/man Ral. When asked why Aldin is still journeying with them, given he now knows that Ral and himself have been cursed, he points out he doesn’t know how to get rid of the curse and he may as well stay with Ryuka while looking for a way to fix the situation. In honesty, these two get very little development this book, though the final part of the story has the group return to Aldin’s home as one of the objects they need is a family heirloom (again with convenience) and it kind of looks like their story is going to be dealt with in earnest fairly soon so I’m kind of looking forward to that.
It is however an odd way to tell an adventure story with the cahracters having crossed the desert to get to the portal and then crossing the desert again, and encountering the bandits again, in order to retrieve all the items they need. Honestly, it feels like stretching content to have not told them in the first place that before you get to the door you will need x, y, z. More importantly, it just means bringing back characters and settings we’ve kind of already seen and the second encounter with the bandits was no more meaningful than the first.from volume 1.
Despite the fairly meandery plot, I’m liking how Ryuka is shaping up as a character and despite my misgivings about him actually falling in love with Ixto, I can’t help but want the two of them to end up together at this point. Though, I sort of suspect things are going to get worse before they get better for the two of them.
Anyway, I have the third volume ready to read, so I’ll get to it soon and write my thoughts then. If you’ve read this series I’d love to know your thoughts.
Thanks for reading.
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