Title: Queen’s Quality Vol. 4
Author: Kyousuke Motomi
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
In Queen’s Quality volume four, Ataru has failed his mission so Hitoe, another bug handler, decides to use him as bait to try and draw the Black Queen out of Fumi. Ataru is captured by Kyutaro for questioning; however, Hitoe approaches Fumi in her sleep and warns her to beware of the silver sea snake and that Ataru must be saved. This smelled like an obvious trap to them but despite that, they made the decision to enter Ataru’s mind vault in order to, not only save him but to also extract information from him.
In order to do this, they first head to Nirvana, a massage parlor where Fumi is given a full-body massage while Kyustaro gets some shock reflex treatment in his foot to a hilarious degree. No matter the method, it helps both of them relax, especially Kyutaro who has been preoccupied with thoughts of Fumi and the Black Queen as of late.
With both of them rested, they enter Ataru’s mind vault. Immediately, they are ambushed by a girl and a guy in a goat-like skeletal mask. The girl reveals herself as Hitoe, the creator of the bug handlers. The masked man traps Kyutaro in a cage made from Ataru’s very own soul. They attempt to awaken the Black Queen from within Fumi but Kyutaro breaks through the cage and ends up wounding Hitoe. Realizing that with Kyutaro free that it’s dangerous for the two of them to linger, they retreat; however, the issue of saving Ataru remains at large.
The volume ends when they reach Ataru’s nucleus where he attempts to awaken the Black Queen. Despite resisting, Fumi realizes that she does, indeed, need to become the Black Queen once again in order to end this threat.
A really strong edition of Queen’s Quality this time around! Things are starting to fall in place more and more and we’re seeing some nice character change within Kyutaro as a result. The spotlight of the story falls on Ataru this time around as he states that he has some interesting information that he wants to share about Fumi’s past. We don’t really get to hear any of it in this volume; however, with the way it’s been built up, it kind of makes this battle really predictable to a fault. It’s painfully obvious that they are going to save Ataru somehow and he’s going to talk and fill us all in on the details of Fumi’s past. Then again, they could fail, Ataru could die, and we won’t get any of the information at all. I’m actually hoping for the latter as that would give the readers a serious hook to keep reading with interest!
A good portion of this volume of Queen’s Quality was spent developing Ataru and Kyutaro as characters.
First up with Kyutaro… many are noticing a change in his behavior. He’s thinking about Fumi more and more and even though he doesn’t say anything to her, he finally comes to realize that he truly is in love with her. This is a notable point because up until now, he’s been trying to come to an understanding with his love for Fuyu, the girl be believed Fumi was in the past. It seems that he has moved past that point and realized that he loves her no matter what form or personality that she has taken. I wonder if this realization will allow him to confess his love to her. After all, Fumi herself doesn’t know that she was Fuyu so what does it matter if Kyutaro just simply states his love for her without a detailed explanation? From Fumi’s perspective, it wouldn’t really make a difference. I don’t think we’ll see a confession anytime soon though as the information we’re being set up to receive in Volume 5 could easily throw a monkey wrench into his confession plans.
Ataru’s development has to do with the fact that he seemingly knows Fumi from the past. I’m assuming that he knows about her when she was Fuyu. He claims to know how the Black Queen manifested inside of her and even states that he needs the Black Queen so he can take his revenge on the world that took everything away from him. He even claims that he kissed Fumi when Kyutaro wasn’t noticing, which is kind of an odd thing to say. There’s an obvious connection now between Ataru and Fumi which leads me to believe that he will be saved in the next volume and we’ll get our information dump as the main focal point of that next volume. While we did get a taste about Ataru’s backstory, we’re still filled with a ton of different questions… especially when Hitoe mentioned that he’s the fourth of her “children” (a.k.a. the bug handlers that she created). It makes you wonder who the other three are and, more exactly, where they are.
Fumi received a little development but it’s not really anything significant. She is becoming more confident as a sweeper; however, that growth is still rather shallow. She did accept the fact that she needs to become the Black Queen but instead of facing that decision with despair, she’s grown confident that she will emerge from this transformation with his mind still intact. It’s a small step for her but an important one!
This was another great volume of Queen’s Quality. We received some nice details but not enough to expose the whole picture. It gave us enough to nibble on to keep us asking for more. The buildup to Ataru’s mind vault was really well-done and the teases between Kyutaro and Fumi’s relationship becoming official were pretty hilarious and satisfying. The slow burn-style build is working beautifully in this series as the pacing doesn’t seem too fast or too slow. Kyousuke Motomi knows when to pull back on the reigns and when to speed up. His control over the pacing of this manga makes it a highly enjoyable read!
Next volume looks to slow things down but we may finally get some the answers to the bigger questions but I wouldn’t expect those answers to fully come into light straight away. I would expect more tidbits and nibbles to keep us wanting more but I think Kyutaro will, at the very least, get the answer he has been seeking about Fumi and her past. That sets up the question of how he will react to that news and what will all of that mean for Fumi?
Needless to say, I can’t wait for Volume 5 of Queen’s Quality to find out!
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media