As far as cliffhangers go, the one for vol. 9 of this series was top-notch. It implied something awful and I was bracing for the worst when I opened up vol. 10. What I got… was a big ol’ flashback to when Teacher was still human. While his days as a human had long been hinted at over the course of this series, I wasn’t actually expecting to see them explored in the level of detail shown here. Mainly because I didn’t feel that they were entirely necessary to the story. Mangaka Nagabe clearly felt otherwise and so here we are.
At first, the flashbacks feel intrusive. If you’re like me then you wanted to know what happened after the end of vol. 9 at the start of vol. 10. That doesn’t happen as Nagabe takes their time giving us a brief glimpse of how good Teacher’s life was before things went bad. Then there’s something that looks like a nightmare and we’re back in the present day as Teacher tries to find out what has happened to Shiva.
To say more would be to spoil things as Nagabe builds to a climax that manages to be even more heartbreaking and cliffhanger-y than what they delivered last time. The mangaka takes a little while to get there, to the point where they could even be accused of spinning their wheels for a bit. This is a far less egregious case of wheel-spinning compared to the last time I talked about it here, thankfully. In fact, once the revelations start coming, you may even wish that things had been drawn out just a little longer. If only to keep that ending from hitting as hard as it does. The only good thing about the cliffhanger here is that for all the awfulness that it implies/foreshadows, it gives me hope that the actual ending of “The Girl From the Other Side” will be the mega-happy one that Teacher and Shiva deserve.