In case you weren’t convinced that Hiro was the bad guy in this story after the past couple of volumes, mangaka Hiroya Oku goes to make the case again here. After a Japanese S.W.A.T. team busts into Shion’s home in the middle of the night, wounding the girl and her grandmother in the process of getting to Hiro, the cybernetically-reconstructed teenager murders the attackers without a second thought. Then he goes to the nearest police precinct and spends a good chunk of the volume murdering everyone inside before turning his attention to the forces sent to apprehend him for doing that. If that wasn’t enough, he then declares war on Japan at the end of the volume and states in no uncertain terms that his goal is to kill everyone in the country.
Where’s the title character in all of this? Well, he gets more than a couple pages in this volume. Mainly because he winds up as a supporting character in his daughter’s subplot. Mari hasn’t been much of a presence in this series until now, serving only to fulfill the role of “teenage daughter who thinks her dad is soooooo uncool.” We do learn that she wants to become a manga artist, and it is interesting to see her father’s reaction to that. Especially since this comes after she sees her dad “in action” and realizes that he’s not an ordinary human anymore.
I’d much rather follow where that subplot goes than see more of Hiro’s selfish and nihilistic killing spree. There’s a slow-motion sense of horror to his murderous stroll through the police station, but Oku never fully taps into the waking nightmare that these policemen must be experiencing. In fact, most of the killing here almost feels glorified as Hiro uses his “finger-gun” to waste everyone he makes eye contact with and not experience any fear of retribution along the way. Until he meets up with Inuyashiki, that is. I hope that’s the case. My patience with this series is wearing thing and I’d really like to see Oku get to the main event before it runs out.
Oh, and apparently there’s a giant meteor heading towards Earth in this series too. Apparently the main conflict in this series just wasn’t interesting enough for Oku...