What would it take for me to drop this series? At this point it would have to be some truly offensive storytelling or for it to become truly boring. We get neither in this volume as mangaka Gamon Sakurai simply has the opposing factions here continue their battle inside a massive office building. There are some impressive scenes of gunplay strewn throughout the volume, but we don’t get the same level of bravura action seen in previous volumes. Instead, we get to see Kei and Sato show off some different uses of their powers. I was going to say “creative” but only Sato’s qualifies as Kei’s basically amounts to a demi-human-specific smokescreen. Sato’s are also creatively gruesome, as it’s not everyday you see a man feed himself into a wood chipper. How effective the reader finds this demonstration to be will require them to overlook some ropey plotting, however. I’m not saying that it’d be impossible for people to fail to tell the difference between fried chicken and a deep-fried human hand. It’s just that you’d have to assume the people doing the inspecting at all levels were idiots.
Admittedly, that helps when Sato finds his way into the building and starts murdering pretty much everyone in his way. In my review of vol. 7, I wrote about how the events of that volume effectively stripped away the appealing moral ambiguity surrounding his actions and revealed him to be nothing more than a thrill killer. Nothing in this volume changes that, except I’m reminded that I’m not really inclined to root for the people opposing him. I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing him take out the corporate suits who are exploiting the demi-humans for their own ends. Kei remains an unlikeable little jerk while his fellow demi-human, Ko, appears to only be useful as someone who our protagonist can spout exposition at for the reader in this volume. So if Sato does manage to kill off any of these people I’m really not going to be too bothered by it. Now that I think about it, I guess I can actually start to root for his success in this regard. Maybe the characters he kills will be replaced by more interesting ones later on. Then again, if Sato gets killed off himself I guess I’ll have my reason to finally stop reading this series.