By Volume 9 of Murciélago (ムルシエラゴ), one might expect the schtick to be getting a little tired. I mean, murderous bad guy, extreme violence, blah blah blah. But..nope. ^_^
The arc with the war-era group of crazy nationalists comes to an end with a strange connection to Hinako. But it comes to an end. And, as the final battle is occurring in the sewers below the city, a new/old character is handing herself over to the police. Aiko returns to us from an earlier arc and with her -at last – there is someone who is not Kuroko to care for former serial killer Ringo. In fact, Ringo and Aiko make a great team, as we see later in the volume.
To celebrate wrapping up the case, Hinako demands a beach vacation, where she and Ringo fish and swim and *finally*, moved to action by the return of another character from a former arc, Chiyo admits she desires Kuroko. While the gang fishes with the-woman-formerly-known-as-Teresa, Chiyo gets to enjoy Kuroko’s freakishly long forked tongue.
And then the robot lands in a ball of fire.
Mad scientist Saki is being tailed by another mad scientist and Hinako gets to be a pilot in a giant robot fight! It was awesome.
The whole volume was pretty great. Entire buildings are destroyed, but only a few people we didn’t like anyway die and Hinako gets to pilot a giant robot.
Art – Um…
Story – 9
Characters – 8
Service – 9
Yuri – 9, but really more for Chiyo cluing in than the sex which was um….
Overall – 9 Probably my favorite volume since the Virginal Rose arc and much less gruesome.
It wraps up with a oh-so-ironic story about incestuous sisters that I will now forget completely.