Light Novel: R.O.D., Volume 8

March 6th, 2012

When we left Yomiko at the end of Volume 6 (before the unrelated romp that was Volume 7), she was imprisoned by Dokusensha and we had no idea what had happened to Nancy at all.

At the beginning of R.O.D., Volume 8, all is made clear.

Yomiko is indeed imprisoned by Dokusensha, but is released from her cage to have dinner with Ou-En and the woman who heads Dokusensha, who goes by the name “China.” China looks like a little girl, but is as old as Gentleman himself…indeed, she tells Yomiko that she was Gentleman’s wife, back in the ancient past when humans were first roaming the savannah of Africa. She tells Yomiko a history of humanity that, while compelling, is completely at odds with all written and fossil records. China agrees and explains that those have been faked in order to disguise the truth.

Meanwhile, Nancy has been imprisoned in a submarine deep in the ocean, to keep her from escaping  – if she should phase out of her bonds, there is quite literally nowhere to go – the water pressure would crush her before she could make it to land. She is not fed, has nothing to drink, is hung uncomfortably from her arms and is in her underwear, so she is cold. She is not allowed to sleep, either.

China takes Yomiko on a tour of the Dokusensha Library, which fills the cavity of a mountain. China speaks plainly to Yomiko, and asks her to join Dokusensha. Yomiko thanks her for the offer, but refuses. And repeatedly, politely, she asks after Nancy.

Yomiko is sent back to a nice room, rather than a cage, where Ou-En brings her books to read (and remains there, while she does, since he can neutralize her paper-user skills.) She is then visited by Faust who gives her a copy of the book Donny was reading when she first met him. He asks her again to marry him and when she refuses, declares that she is his enemy. The next time they meet, he says, he will kill her.

In the meantime, back in London, Wendy returns back to her apartment to find Nenene in near hysteria. Nenene tells her a horrific story about how she killed a man that day. Crying, shaking, Nenene recounts how a thief broke in to the apartment, and she killed him, then dragged his body to the dumpster in the back. Calmly, Wendy insists they go to the police. Nenene gets even more hysterical crying, and confesses that it was a lie…she needed to know how honest Wendy was. The two women hold each other for a bit until Nenene pulls herself together and admits that, while they were in Yomiko’s, Donny’s, apartment in Tokyo, she found Donny’s diary. She hasn’t read it, but she feels that she needed advice about what to do with it. Wendy, obviously, can be trusted, and so the two put their heads together.

Drake meets up with and puts together a squad to carry out a secret mission….

In the British Library, Joker, who has not heard from Yomiko or Nancy in days, is told that he needs to look at the satellite feed. Somewhere in China, a mountain is erupting with paper flowers.

Nancy is at her limit. Cold, hungry, thirsty, exhausted, she knows she doesn’t have much more left. When an enemy submarine approaches, the captain orders a torpedo to be shot at the other sub, and she sees her chance. Nancy phases out of her bonds and into the torpedo, where she comes within about 100 meters of the other sub. She moves through the water as quickly as possible and falls from the ceiling onto the captain of the British submarine Victorious, in front of Drake.

Wendy and Nenene board a plane for China, determined to find Yomiko and give her the diary.

Yomiko takes the book Faust gave her, sends up the paper flower signal for Joker to see where Dokusensha HQ is and escapes on a paper airplane…but not alone. She steals China, as well. With the help of a mysterious dragon that appears, Yomiko fights off China’s bodyguards  (five odious sisters, who I really could have done without.) China and Yomiko spend the night in a dark forest, while Yomiko tries to convince China to return to England with her. China rejects the offer, but asks Yomiko to take her somewhere before returning her to Dokusensha.

In front of a statue, Ou-En and Faust meet and Ou-En confirms that Faust has given a piece of the Guttenberg paper to Yomiko. Ou-En lifts the book he holds to destroy Faust where he stands….

And in China’s Forbidden City, Gentleman stands and inhales, remembering that nostalgic scent of dust.

The Epilogue is a short entry from Donny Nakajima’s Diary, describing the day he met Yomiko Readman.

Well hot damn, that was a book full of book. ^_^

While at MangaNEXT, Sean Gaffney asked me if the novel Joker and Wendy were evil or good Joker and Wendy and I had to say that, at the moment, they were neither. What we’ve seen of Wendy up until now is entirely admirable and Joker is ambiguous to the point of being a non-entity.

Unfortunately for us, Yomiko’s aerial battle was somewhat ruined by the annoying sisters who were her enemy. A good fight needs a good enemy and these were not. They were tedious in the extreme. To make up for it, however, Nancy’s escape was extra wonderful. And of course Yomiko’s stylish signal to Joker was special, as well.

But…I find myself waiting impatiently for Nenene and Yomiko to reunite. ^_^

Ratings:

Art – 4
Story – 7 If the Bodyguard sisters hadn’t been so tedious, it might have made an 8
Characters – 7 Where the sisters were awful, China’s about a zillion times more interesting than Gentleman to date. C.p., “need a good bad guy…”
Yuri – 0
Service – 6 Of course Nancy’s in her underwear. And we have to mention that every single time and make sure we have a picture of it. Snooze.

Overall – 8

I’m really looking forward to Volume 9. ^_^

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2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    As someone who can’t find these books & can’t read Japanese its great that I found your site with these reviews.

    I was wondering how long does it usually take for you to review theses books. I see a large gap inbetween the dates they’re posted & I’m really anxious to see how the story continues.

  2. @Anonymous – How long it takes depends on so many things. I don’t read them one after another, I might not even start the next one for months. With lots of other books in between them.

    When I actually start one of this series, it probably takes me about a month. I read them mostly before I go to bed. ^_^

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