Genre: Dark Fantasy Seinen
Year Release in English: 2019-2021
Reminder: The star rating reflects overall opinion of the series. Spoilers for the movie and Volumes 1 through 5 abound.
Content warnings: Body horror. So much body horror.
It took me a few months to recover after the Prushka arc, not going to lie. It hurt in a way that I wasn’t sure the crying was going to stop. Since I’m a glutton for punishment, I simply had to keep going. And I’m glad I did.
Riko, Reg, and Nanachi pass the Ido Front into the Abyss’s Sixth Layer. It’s bittersweet because on the one hand, Nanachi wants to see the journey through with her new friends. On the other hand, we found out how White Whistles get made and that ghost haunts the story.
The crew make it to the Village of Hollows, consisting of creatures not unlike Nanachi. It is full of mystery and exists in what looks like the body of an animal. This will absolutely come to fruition later, and I am dreading what fresh hell lurks within this already creepy place.
Content warnings: More body horror than in the previous volume. Dismemberment.
The entire concept of value honestly reminds me of In an Absent Dream, Book 4 of the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire. If that kind of disturbing content in your thing, well, it’s in the Village of Hollows.
It is, however, put to positive use as Riko sacrifices her hair during a battle between the village and a creature threatening its existence. It’s intense with a dynamic attention to detail. This volume ends with a win that seems deserved with not too many caveats.
However, I feel like the truth about Faputa and her relationship to Reg and the Village is going to reach a peak.
Content warnings: Body horror. Infant death. Starvation. Dehydration. Exploration death.
Ah, backstory time. If you were fascinated and horrified by Nanachi’s backstory, there are whispers of it in the tale of Vueko and the Three Sages. It’s disturbing, but feels so organic as far as the progression of those characters goes.
Vueko as a character interested me the most. She seemed to be least adventure-y of the crew, but she retains the most of herself as the story angles towards the present. I’m not going into too many specific details, but Reg’s observation about the Village proves more true than just a metaphor. And oh, it is very upsetting. We also find out about Faputa’s immortal origins.
It’s been a minute since we’ve seen human characters, and I really appreciated the range of designs Tsukushi displays here.
Content warnings: Body horror. Violence. Gore. Choking.
Based on revelations in the previous volume, Faputa has every right to be as pissed and violently angry at the villagers as she is. Her relationship with Reg is so interesting, especially since we know so little about the artifact boy.
So much happens in this volume that hinges on the previous entries, I won’t say much except that some questions get answered. More get introduced. For anyone who needs the tissues, Mitty makes a comeback. It’s as upsetting as you might expect.
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