This final volume is a collection of side stories and an epilogue that sends the series out on a high note. The most substantial (in terms of page count) is the opening three-part story about Viv and her arrival in France and the first time she saw Maria in action. While I can see what mangaka Masayuki Ishikawa is getting at here -- the reason the two witches get along is because they’re so much alike -- it actually winds up undermining Viv’s character. She made a nice, sassy counterpart to Marai in the main series, but that’s all tossed out the window in order to force this particular plot point (even if it does take place in the recent past). The two stories that follow are, respectively, amusing and interesting bits of fluff as Maria argues with her familiars about whose turn it is to get water for dinner, and meets Joseph for the first time. They’re fine for the stories they’re telling and don’t really add to or take away from the overall quality of the series.
It’s the final story, the epilogue, which really stands out. Taking place several years after the end of the series, we don’t get to see Maria or Joseph at all. Instead, the focus is on their daughter, Ezekiel. Though Maria has forsaken her powers as a witch, some of the objects she enchanted still have theirs as we see Eze take her mother’s flying stick out for a ride. That sequence itself is a silent and beautiful expression of childhood joy as Eze zips along the sky and thrills at seeing the world in a way people would normally never get a chance to. Then she meets and has a conversation with a particular someone that ties up one of the threads at the end of the previous volume in a very satisfying fashion. Easily the highlight of the volume, and probably of the series itself. It may have been more uneven in quality than I would’ve liked, yet “Maria the Virgin Witch” at least manages to end quite well.
Now can we get more “Moyasimon,” please?