Translation: Althea Nibley & Athena Nibley
What They Say
Though a powerful warrior goddess, Bishamonten suffers from taking on so many shinki. Among Bishamon’s many shinki, a terrible plan is formed by one of her most trusted aides. This shinki has dangerous ideas and gets involved with the mysterious Stray. Kazuma has a sense that something is wrong, but can he figure out what exactly is going on? Meanwhile, Hiyori desperately wants Yato to fix her, but he is presented with a solution that is hard to accept. Will Yato fix Hiyori, even if it means he’d have to cut all ties with her?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Thanks to the ablution, things seem to be looking up for our heroes, with Yukine in particular making an impressive recovery. In the process of Yato going around and thanking those who helped him, we also learn that our hero was particularly tolerant, as with other gods, any act of hurting yourself or others is cause to be excommunicated. Furthermore, Tenjin warns that cutting ties with Hiyori may be the best way to cure her condition. To make matters worse, Yato is attacked by a monster with seeming ties to the Stray, but it turns out one of Bishamonten’s trusted Shinki, a healer named Kugaha, is also involved.
As Bishamonten picks up another stray and helpless spirit to make into a Shinki, we learn that she has a bit of a problem. That being that she has an absolute horde of Shinki, which is destroying her body and forcing her to rely on Kugaha’s medicine to dull the pain. However, as Kazuma points out, this leaves her vulnerable to not being able to sense when a Shinki is stinging her, which is quite dangerous. As Yato starts to grow distant towards Hiyori, Yukine befriends one of Bishamonten’s more distant Shinki, a boy named Suzuha who has tended a tree for years, thanks to a promise to a tragic love from his past.
When Kugaha pushes Suzuha to his death, things really start to heat up. Will Kazuma be able to save his mistress from the wicked medicine man’s plan in time? And just what is the Stray’s role in this scheme?
With this volume, we take a bit of a step away from Yato, and it actually works out for the better. Bishamonten and her Shiki take the center stage here, and by doing so this volume is really able to develop them as characters. Though there are of course some schemes involved, at their core these characters are in many ways doomed by kindness and the way of the world, rather than some blatant flaw that needs fixing. It makes for an interesting sort of tragedy, and one that helps to really set them apart. Add to this a really great little story beat or two for Yukine, and you get a great volume that does a nice job of elevating the series. Hopefully later volumes can keep up this level of quality, as what’s presented here is done very well and is sure to keep readers interested.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A-
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: April 28th, 2015