This volume takes a dramatic turn as Nora and Kazuma are given a window into the past where they learn the truth about themselves, their destined roles, and the history of Fall, leader of the Resistance. Not that either of them are given much time to process this new information as immediately upon their return to the present, Resistance forces invade headquarters, covering the entire area in a force field and trapping the Dark Liege inside to face Fall alone. As the Dark Liege’s army fights their way through the barrier in order to save her (and maintain balance in the demon and human worlds), Nora also learns an important lesson about the value of friendship, though it comes at a terrible cost.
With Nora’s discovery of his true purpose and the real nature of his bond with Kazuma, this series takes a much-needed foray into darkness, providing exactly the kind of compelling, painful drama it has lacked up to this point. Though the series’ art is still unremarkable, the characterization has grown immensely in just a single volume. Though the primary villain, Fall, remains flat and uninspiring, both Nora and Kazuma have benefited measurably thanks to their greatly heightened stakes. Whether this new depth can be maintained remains to be seen, but it is a big step in the right direction.
Packed with new revelations and emotional drama, this volume may finally earn Nora its place in Viz’s Shonen Jump Advanced line.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at PopCultureShock.