Filed under: Ao no Futsumashi, Katou Kazue, Manga | Tags: Ao no Futsumashi, chapter 7, exorcist of blue
In the latest chapter of Jump SQ’s excellent new series, quite a bit happens, though it doesn’t go in any real particular direction. Whereas the last several chapters were centered on character development, this one is focused on plot development, and the story seems to favor twists and turns for now. I can’t really say I favored the arrangement – too many twists turning back on one another lead to needless complexity. First we learn that the monster attack of the previous chapter was a test, then that Neigaez was actually under orders from Mephistopheles, then that he wants to kill Rin for his own reasons, and then once again we are confirmed that Mephistopheles is pulling the strings.
What bothers me isn’t really the plot points themselves, but the execution. It’s obvious that Mephistopheles should have a good reason for all of this – there’d be no point to him murdering Rin after going through so much trouble already to train him, so it’s painfully obvious that there’s more to it. And yet, it’s also evident that Neigaez really does want Rin dead, so where do Mephistopheles’ intentions begin and his own end? Is Mephistopheles just using him with the false assurance that he wants Rin dead, or has he been given alternative orders and is trying to kill Rin as part of his own agenda?
I also wonder why it is that Neigaez seems fairly weak, and wonder if this fact has to do with the mission Mephistopheles gave him rather than his actual power level. I mean, his own attacks are almost the death of him, and he does virtually nothing to the protagonists – he’s almost just kind of a pussy. If he really, really wants Rin dead, he could accomplish it, couldn’t he? He had me somewhat convinced when he tried to get Rin with his giant… protractor in his sleep, but then why isn’t he more desperately trying to make this kid die? It’s just a bit confusing.
I enjoyed the mid-section of this chapter the most with it’s focus more on characters, which seems to be the manga’s strong point – not to say that the fighting isn’t great, because it is, but I think it’s best when the fights are also revealing something about the characters, which wasn’t really the case in this chapter.
The strongest element of this chapter was the continually amazing art, especially in some of the moments I’ve picked out to show you here. I’m always impressed not just by the detail of the backgrounds, but in how quintessentially awesome the characters are made to look. Neigaez’s hand-summoning arms were sweet as shit, and Mephistopheles continues to be Too Cool For School. Love his yukata towards the end of the chapter!
Ao no Futsumashi is still fun, but this is probably the weakest chapter yet – if we are going to pull into some more plot-intensive chapters, it should be done more fluidly and quickly.
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