Title: Queen’s Quality Vol. 16 Author: Kyousuke Motomi Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 168 Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance Publication Date: January 3, 2023
Volume 16 of Queen’s Quality can go to hell!
No, really… it literally went to hell… or Jigoku as they called it. Everyone arrives back at Seirei after learning that only those who have known the White Queen can enter Jigoku. Kyutaro, Fumi, Takaya, Akiyama, and Ataru all end up going in which Kyutaro’s sister remains connected to him through his mind vault. When they arrive, all but Fumi and Ataru hide and they are met by masked fairies who refer to the place and themselves as Sselhtrow. In fact, according to them, everything is Sselhtrow. Get used to that word because they love to spam it endlessly.
Ataru and Fumi get split and the Sselhtrow wants to know what Fumi’s wish is. He uses the power of the White Queen to command them to leave her alone. Even though the Sselhtrow does leave, it doesn’t look as if they obeyed the order because they were compelled to but rather that they realized just who Fumi was. Meanwhile, Kyutaro… as the snake… goes and rescues Ataru. While doing so, he challenges the Sselhtrow to make their attack. This was his plan as Fumi and the Snake will fight the Sselhtrow while the others go rescue Sarara.
The other three arrive at a vast ocean; however, they realize that this world has the ability to be manipulated by pure thoughts… such as… if I enter the water, I will not drown. This allows them to find Sarara; however, when they reach her, things get a bit… complicated.
The major development in this volume was with the Snake. Even though his personality hadn’t really changed, Fumi has a bit of a revelation and realizes just what the snake’s true identity is. When she discovers that, she doesn’t really feel any hatred toward the snake anymore. Even though the snake and Fumi have an understanding, there is still the matter of Kyutaro using everyone as his sacrifices. Even though the true nature of the snake has come to light, I doubt that it’s going to change much of anything… or maybe it will?
Outside of this. Ataru got some minor development. Because he was trapped by the Sselhtrow, he was being tried, mentally. The Sselhtrow’s goal was to try and break him and turn him into one of them. With everything that has happened with Ataru since the beginning of the series, it was easy for him to give in and accept what the Sselhtrow was saying; however, after a bit of self-reflection, he was able to resist them. This self-reflection, albeit minor, marks a turning point in his character where he seems to be becoming more confident in himself. We’ll have to see how all of this plays out later but it’s a start.
Also, Akiyama is now Umbrella. HA!
This was a pretty good edition of Queen’s Quality. Jigoku wasn’t exactly how I pictured it either but some interesting things happened. The Sselhtrow were pretty annoying but one can clearly see why once you understand what they wish to accomplish. Jigoku being depicted in such a way was quite fitting. If you were to ask anyone what hell is, you could get many different answers. What hell is to one person may be different from another. One of the devil’s greatest skills is deception and that was prominent in the depiction of Jigoku. Perception is the other half of the story here as it is in direct opposition to deception and throughout this volume, perception plays a big role.
The underlying points were subtle but still pretty brilliant. To take a simple concept and twist it into what we received was a job well-done by Kyousuke Motomi. Given where we left off, it seems that the Sarara situation isn’t fully over. I suspect it will wrap up in the next volume and everyone can focus on escaping Jigoku; however, I have a feeling that the Sselhtrow won’t make that easy. Plus, the snake still has his own personal ambitions to see to as well. In any event, the next volume is already shaping up to be just as interesting as this one!
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