Title: 7th Garden Vol. 5
Author: Mitsu Izumi
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Fantasy, Battle
Publication Date: July 4, 2017
Volume five of 7th Garden opens up with a flashback between Lokihel and Marianne (Vyrde). It shows how the two of them played shogi together and that Vyrde has beaten Loki an insane amount of times. After the flashback, Loki decides to infiltrate the village in which Vyrde is staying in by possessing Illumina, who was busy preparing a letter of gratitude to the entire house. That’s where the story portion of the volume ends as the rest of the volume is dedicated to a battle between Loki and Vyrde while using Illumina and Awyn as their “gnomes.”
The battle itself was pretty intense. Awyn couldn’t bring himself to harm Illumina due to their friendship, but at the same time, Illumina was killing Awyn over and over, pushing Vyrde to her restoration limits. Still, despite being hit so many times, Awyn began to figure out the trick to Loki/Illumina’s attacks, which deal with temporarily freezing time in order to immobilize your opponent and deliver a fatal blow to a blind spot. By the time they figured it out, Loki unveiled his trump card, turning Illumina into a monster. Still, thanks to Loki’s ego and always doing things “by the book,” Vyrde was able to read his movements and bring about his defeat, but not until we saw a personality change within Awyn!
The history between Vyrde and Loki was pretty nice as it set the stage for the battle nicely, but the fact that this only lasted a volume was a little disappointing. Especially with the way the volume ended, it looks like this series is shifting to a one angel battle per volume pattern. I hope that’s not the case as I would still like to know more about what the angels are trying to do. Loki’s motive wasn’t really a clear indication as he was looking to fulfill his own agenda rather than Vul’s. That means we don’t really know what the true intentions are other than the fact that they want to re-originate the world. The question is to what degree does Vul want to do that versus what Loki wanted to do? Loki wanted to recreate their home world and rule over it as not just an angel, but as God itself
In the last volume, Awyn’s character received a very hefty backstory. The only way to move forward with him was to change his personality and we saw that in the battle with Loki. When Phigure was gravely injured, Awyn snapped and the dark side of him we saw in volume one, the side of him who doesn’t believe in God, showed up once again. I highly doubt that this is going to be a permanent shift in personality, but it was refreshing to see a darker side of Awyn for once. It still leaves a lot of mystery surrounding his character as I’d like to know where this dark side came from. We’ve covered his past so it’s most likely the manifestation of losing his parents, but the question is whether or not this dark side will become permanent over time or if it’ll just remain an ace up his sleeve when it comes to the battles against the angels.
Illumina got a bit of development as she wanted to express her gratitude for being allowed to live alongside everyone else, but she’s not the type of person who can express her gratitude vocally. She asked Awyn to help her learn how to write and then she spent a lot of time crafting a thank you letter to everyone. Sadly, she was taken by Loki before she got a chance to finish it.
This volume of 7th Garden was exactly what was needed at this point in the series. We went through a whole volume where we had information dumped on us and it was definitely time for some action to try and even out the pacing. By the looks of it, we may be heading into another battle straight away in volume six, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the pacing slowed down a bit to try and set up that battle. I would prefer a set up as jumping straight into more action would make things feel just a bit rushed.
I liked the darker side of Awyn and hope we get to see more of that. I just wish we got to spend more time with the supporting characters before we start throwing them into dangerous situations. It would make these kind of things more impactful that way. The character development in this volume as a whole was rather low, though. It was obvious that the main focus was the Loki/Vyrde fight which is fine for what it is. I just hope this series, which has been really balanced thus far, doesn’t skirt off the rails and start going all over the place.
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media.