Title: 7th Garden Vol. 7
Author: Mitsu Izumi
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Fantasy, Battle
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Volume seven of 7th Garden continues the battle between Leapher (Levi) and Awyn, but as we saw at the conclusion of volume six, Liz and Iola (Ahsleigh and Phigure) performed Demongellion and fused together much in the same way that Vyrde and Awyn could. The two of them showed their intense power by taking on Levi and her fused partner, the apostle Jacob. The battle was fierce and they pushed each other to the absolute limits. Just when Levi was going to get the final blow on Iola, Awyn shows up and uses his bare fists to smack him/her in the face (since Jacob was fighting with Levi “inside” of him.) Awyn ends up winning the hand-to-hand combat and they decide to prod Levi for information. She (or is it a he now?) states that they already found Maria (Vyrde) on the “other side”
Excuse me here if I’m a bit off on my understanding of this because I’m a bit thoroughly confused by this plot reveal. The “other side” refers to the real world. There, it’s stated that the world that we’ve been reading in the past six volumes has been nothing more than a computer simulation and that Vulpes was the administrator of the world. They’ve been writing code and programming the “gnomes” in this “miniature garden” so that their history matches the real world’s. Apparently, the goal is to digitize humans and “plant” them in this “garden” because they ended up destroying their own world. Maria and several other demons, including Liz and Iola, were imprisoned for various crimes including things such as murder, rape, kidnapping, hacking, terrorism, etc. They escaped and are looking to acquire a computer powerful enough to combat Vulpes so that Maria can take back her “garden.”
Where do I even start here? The characters that have undergone so much development only to be “born” all over again. Some characters are not who we thought they were and some are brand new once we explore “the other side.” It’s also really confusing since every character in this story has two different names. They casually switch back and forth between them, making it very hard to keep track who is who. Add in the fact that we now have the real world to contend with and this ends up as just one big confusing mess, but I’ll try to sort this out.
As far as new characters go, we have Masaru Hongo… sent to prison for 127 years for murdering 280 people at an underground battle arena. Other than the fact that he wants to jump in and kill people straight away, not much is known about him. He does wear a mask and carries with him a sword, giving him the nickname The Samurai.
Next we have J3, whose real name is unknown. He looks like a harder version of Batou from Ghost in the Shell. He was sentenced to prison for 5,000 years for 103 acts of terrorism. Like Masaru, nothing is really known about him except for the fact that he is extremely religious and will not stand for people badmouthing God. His nickname is Meteorite
Next up is Sadock the Ripper and that’s it. No information was given about this character yet. Moving on.
Next is Hong Misong. Sentenced to 28,000 years for murder, rape, kidnapping, etc. He did a lot of bad stuff in his short time on Earth because he is only 16 years old. His nickname is Demon H.
For familiar characters we have Iola and Liz. Known as the Double-headed Electric Dragon, they were sentenced to 936 years in prison for hacking and treason. Quite the different side to Ashleigh and Phigure from the village, I’d say.
Finally, there is Maria aka Vyrde aka Marianne Dunamites. She was sentenced to 1500 years for subversion of nation’s government through the creation of the computer virus Arka. So our dirty little demon was a computer hacker all along with her true goal being the same as her other world counterpart… to take back the 7th Garden for herself, but with this revelation, this brings on a whole new meaning to that goal.
I am just going to come out and say it. I have lost all hope for this series. When I first started reading 7th Garden, I was allured by the duality of what is considered right and wrong. We had demons trying to take over the world, but not to destroy it, but to protect it from the angels who wanted to “prune” the world of things they felt were unnecessary. The angels used things such as God and religion to carry out these heinous acts of murder. Stuck in the middle was Awyn, a peaceful gardener who just wanted to protect everything.
It made for a compelling story. I was really enjoying the story as-is and now we’ve turned it into Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare… except instead of following the stories of soldiers trying to do good, we’re following a squad of vicious criminals who… want to do good? I don’t even know if what they are doing is considered good or not.
I just can’t wrap my head around this plot twist. Everything was going fine… a holy war between angels and demons was a compelling story that looked to possibly add its name to the resurgence of the fantasy genre… a genre that is slowly making a comeback to, hopefully, stamp out this whole isekai fad that has placed the anime and manga world in a vice grip over the past few years. Now all of that is gone with the revelation that everything was a computer simulation, which actually turns this into another isekai story. The programmers are dictating the history of the garden world, that everything is just one big fabrication.
If this had been established from the very beginning, it would have been much more forgiving, but to string readers along for six and a half volumes and then take this major left turn… after you’ve invested so much time in these characters… I just don’t get it. I used to look forward to this series each time a new volume came out. Now, I just sigh and shake my head because a great story was just flushed down the toilet in favor for completely different, yet unneeded, direction.
You can also check out other The Outerhaven reviews on your favorite social media networks:
This item was provided for review by Viz Media