R.O.D. Volume 6 ended with Yomiko in a precarious position. Quite literally, in fact, as she had been captured and put in a giant birdcage in Dokusensha’s Headquarters.
So of course, it’s no surprise at all for Read or Die,Volume 7 to open with Yomiko in her apartment in Jimbochou, rolling around in a pile of books; specifically the series that she she has been reading steadily for four days.
After about 10 pages of detailed explanation about the “Zoolander Saga,” the scifi series in which Yomiko has immersed herself, I suddenly thought, “Am I reading the right book?” For some reason I expected Volume 7 to pick up at the end of Volume 6. But, no. Volume 7 is a gaiden, a side-story, as we would call it, that has nothing at all to do with the main plot.
Volume 7 continues on its merry way with a convoluted and utterly unfunny scenario in which Yomiko bathes in a large barrel on the roof of her building and is likely seen in her birthday suit by a neighbor who has nothing else to do during business hours.
Thankfully this ends and we’re left with Nenene and Yomiko taking a walk to the most secret store in all of Jimboucho, and thence to a bookstore where, through complications of plot, they end up running the store for an afternoon.
It is Nenene who gets to be cool this volume, taking out a disruptive creepy dude in the store, and garnering applause from the bookstore patrons.
This is followed by a short coincidence that ties the book up neatly and is notable for including the October 1972 volume of Shounen Jump, the significance of which I don’t know, but I bet the author does.
The final pages cover the tragic story of Dokusensha’s paper user Ou-En and his doomed little sister, the death of their parents and how he ended up at Dokusensha.
And so, this volume comes to a close after having been alternatively cute and frustrating for a little over 200 pages and still, somewhere, Yomiko sits on a perch in a cage in Dokusensha’s HQ, faced with the choice of marrying Faust or being killed by him.
As a side story, it was cute, but I felt like it was a whole-carbohydrate meal and I was craving protein. IMHO, any volume of R.O.D. without Yomiko going all paper master and kicking ass, is not the greatest use of a volume of R.O.D.
Art – 5
Story – Silly, but it had room to be awesome and just wasn’t – 5
Characters – Nenene – 7
Yuri – 2
Service – 7
Overall – 6
Next volume, we return to our original programming.