The vigilante Element Network’s plan to strike fear into the heart of Tokyo’s underworld has been a success, but it has also attracted the attention of super-cop Detective Genda. Assigned to the kidnapping of Haruka Tooyama, Genda has uncovered evidence of the Network’s existence and their adoption of the tween psychic. But Genda seems far more interested in one particular operative than the missing girl or the group of self-appointed protectors. What is Detective Genda’s connection to the blind swordsman Mamoru? And how is it possible that a police officer can match one of the world’s greatest fighters with only a wooden kendo sword? These questions are quickly cast aside as Haruka puts herself in danger while trying to save a classmate from Yakuza assassins. Mamoru and his allies—the white-hat hacker Igawa and master-of-disguise Juliet—will have their hands full trying to save Haruka while staying under the police department’s radar.
Fans of Until Death Do Us Part will be delighted to see how well Takashige develops the series’ major characters in this volume while leaving room for copious amounts of action. We finally catch a glimpse of Mamoru’s past, learning something of his training and contacts before he joined the Element Network. We also see Haruka grow up quite a bit, as she decides that the moral imperative in using her powers to help a stranger is more important than maintaining her carefully-designed cover and playing at being a normal schoolgirl.
As usual, DOUBLE-S does stellar work on this volume. The line work in this series is incredible, containing far more detail than many manga artists attempt, much less carry off with such success. Its action scenes are all well-choreographed and the artist’s choice of viewing angles for each moment of every fight scene could not be better.
This series is appropriately rated OT for Older Teens. While not as violent as previous volumes, this book still features several realistic scenes of people being shot or cut apart. It also contains a fair amount of creative cursing, up to and including the F word. Top it all off with some suggestive scenes wherein Juliet must go undercover as a prostitute, and you have a book that is definitely meant for high school students (although there is no actual nudity).
Until Death Do Us Part, vol. 4
by Hiroshi Takashige
Art by DOUBLE-S
Yen Press, 2013
Publisher Age Rating: OT (16+)