Last winter, I introduced you to Rinka, daughter of a powerful and evil lord, who escapes her father’s clutches with her servant, the zombie YanYan, in Hourai Girls, Volume 1. The two girls head out to find the mythical land “Hourai.”
Along the way they’ve picked up a dog-tailed leader of a warrior clan, Ku-long, who is actually not much of a fighter and prefers to read books. He had a book about Hourai when he was a child and wants to find the paradise, too. Before they head to Hourai, he insists they stop at his home, so he can get the book. In Volume 2 of Hourai Girls (蓬莱ガールズ) we learn that his hometown has been infested by monsters and many of his people have been slaughtered.
Ku-long hasn’t been a good leader, in fact he ran away, so his people resist his sudden drive to roust the monsters, but of course YanYan and Rinka lead the way and Ku-long admits that the book about Hourai is long ago burnt by his malicious father. However, he discovers his new leadership skills and takes the place of command. Then he abandons his people again to go follow the girls on their quest.
Rinka and YanYan have vivid memories of Rinka as a child, but their memories differ in some key ways. Rinka remembers YanYan as her beloved friend, while YanYan remembers being turned into a zombie and rendered into pieces and reattached by Rinka’s evil father, then forced to attend Rinka. She admits this all to Rinka and they discover that, now, so many years later, they truly have come to a place where they care about and trust one another. Rinka puts her own life on the line for her zombie friend and YanYan is able to let the past go. Until it comes back in the form of her brother – the man who brought her back from the dead, in desperation, after his family was slaughtered. They also make peace with their misdeeds and part as family once again.
At which point the volume and the epic story wraps up with YanYan, Rinka and Ku-long finding Hourai. The End.
The ending is abrupt, but it was perfectly fine. We’d slaughtered all the monsters we could usefully slaughter, had all the emotional epiphanies that could be had and it would all get rather repetitive from here on in. I was quite surprised that the story took any time to deal with YanYan’s past, much less her family and gave a big chunk of time to her feelings about Rinka and vice versa. I’m not sure I’d call their relationship love, but it’s surely affection.
Art – 8 Not bad for so much gore
Story – Likewise
Characters – Likable, in an action movie kind of way
Yuri – 4 Probably more sisterly than anything, but if you wanted to go there, you could
Service – Of the zombie guro kind, mostly blood and body parts.
Overall – 8
A fun rollicking tale that I absolutely could not read just before bed or I’d dream of dismembered people. Not bad for a $1 purchase at the used book store. ^_^