That was a hell of a cliffhanger the previous volume left off on. You’d think that mangaka Nagabe would pick right back up to show you how it’s going to be resolved, but you’d be wrong. He wants you to squirm for a while yet. So you’ll have to see Teacher deal with the soldier he’s encountered before we find out how Shiva has dealt with hers. Unsurprisingly, Shiva’s ordeal turns out to be the more interesting of the two as the soldier after her happens to have an impairment that turns their encounter into a tense game of cat-and-mouse. There are also a couple surprises near the end of that ordeal. One of them happens to be of an unpleasant variety and sets the stage for the volume’s second half as Teacher sets off to get a soul for Shiva.
I won’t spoil the exact reason why Shiva needs a soul, but the thing is the other Outsider has told Teacher that it’s possible for him to steal one. There are even other, unchanged human soldiers looking around the forest for the two of them. All Teacher has to do is kill one of them and take their soul. He’s got the backing of the other Outsider and his crew, so how hard is this actually going to be?
About as hard as you’d expect when someone who imagines themselves to be an upstanding individual tries to cross a line they weren’t meant to. The problem with this dilemma is its familiarity and that it feels too drawn out the way Nagabe handles it. You’re not going to be fearing for Teacher’s soul so much as hoping he’ll just get this task over with. That also makes the ultimate resolution of this little arc more than a little unsatisfying, and it’s subsequently compounded by another, less interesting, cliffhanger ending. All this wheel-spinning drags down the good stuff at the beginning of the volume and leaves me hoping that vol. 8 will have the story start moving forward again.