Title:Boy’s Abyss Vol. 3 Author: Ryo Minenami Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 200 Genre: Slice-of-Life, Drama Publication Date: October 17, 2023
Things sort of slowed down a bit in Boy’s Abyss Vol. 3; however, we got an interesting development between Reiji and Chako (Sakuka) out of it!
First, we open with Sakuka being invited into Esemori’s house… or rather, his mother’s place. Sakuka says that she printed out all of the nice things she’s said about him online so he could read it but it becomes very apparent, very quickly that Esemori is just looking to have a bit of intimacy with her. Sakuka picks up on it and rather than giving in, she runs out of there!
She goes to Reiji’s place where he tells her that she shouldn’t go back and see him ever again. At that time, they reaffirmed their goals to leave that backwater town behind. Since Reiji didn’t really have a destination, Sakuka asked him if he wanted to move to Tokyo with her. He agrees. They seem to have everything mapped out (well, as loosely as one could map anything out), but a monkey wrench gets thrown in when Sakuka’s mother informs her that her grandfather doesn’t want her to move to Tokyo because ONE of the schools she applied to had an incident (yes, a whole whopping 1 out of ALL of her choices). She told Sakuka that her dad made the decision and she was delivering the news.
In tears, she goes to see Reiji. Afterward, Reiji goes to see Nagi to try and talk to her about Esemori. The whole situation with the suicide pact gets brought up. After they work through some things and take a bit of a trip together. The next stop for Reiji is Esemori’s house where he tells him to stay away from Sakuka. Sakuka just happened to be nearby and never expected to hear Reiji stand up for her. She also never expected to hear what Esemori said back to him!
Reiji and Sakuka (or Chako if you prefer) took center stage in this volume. There was a lot of nice development between the two of them; however, despite Reiji getting the hint on several occasions, you could tell from the way his face was drawn that he had some regrets over having sex with Nagi and Ms. Shiba. In fact, this is later reflected upon when he meets up with Nagi and almost does it again but he shows some great restraint… probably because of Sakuka. With the way the volume ended, it’ll be interesting to see how things play out from here.
Esemori had a small part but a major one at the same time. Even though the bulk of his involvement was early on, his name was mentioned throughout the volume. It was already established that he was a bit of a scumbag and while he was in this volume which Sakuka, he was… um… how should I say? A laid-back scumbag? Like, he made suggestions but never forced himself. He didn’t chase Sakuka when she ran. He simply sat there and was like “Welp…” Does that really make him a scumbag or more desperate than anything else? Maybe both? Still, his reputation filtered into everyone’s stories in this volume and that’s pretty impressive.
Ms. Shiba also had a bit of a part to play and my my… that bank account. It comes into play later and through that, you really get the sense that she’s overly desperate and more than off her rocker… but in a controlled way if that makes any sense. I think the perfect term for her is sugar mama… without the commitment. Definitely weird vibes here but I don’t think her offer is genuine. It’s one of those “too good to be true” moments. There has to be something more to her.
We get reintroduced to Nagi here but despite the reunion, she doesn’t really do much. Sure, they talk about their suicide pact and even do a scoping-out trip but for what reason? Reiji already explained the situation to her and said that they would have to put their pact on hold so what was the point of it? It felt a bit like a plot device to set up the ending with Sakuka, to be honest. Like, there was no other way to connect the dots for the ending. Maybe there will be some bigger meaning to it later.
Gen had the best development in this volume in the fact that he wasn’t even in it. Progress!
The brakes were definitely pumped here a bit but nothing ever came to a complete halt. The story took the time to build up Sakuka and Reiji while reaffirming their goals of getting out of that town. This is the part that gets messy because Reiji is just all over the place. He went from vowing to leave the town, to making a suicide pact with a pop star (and almost pulled it off), to shacking up with his teacher, going back to his vows to leave the town, to making plans to do so with Sakuka. Reiji almost seems directionless… or rather… impulsive. He doesn’t seem to know what he truly wants and he just gravitates to whatever solution pops up in front of him.
Meanwhile, you have all of these characters around him that have their own agendas and Reiji is fitting into every one of them. Between suicide pacts, sex and money, moving to Tokyo, to joining Gen’s company, Reiji is sure wanted by a lot of people to fulfill their own selfish desires.
Because of that, I’m beginning to wonder if, in the end, Reiji ends up doing the whole suicide thing by himself. The vibe is that Reiji wants to live his life on his terms but, so far, he’s living his life by everyone else’s… including his mother’s. The best measure of revenge would be to remove the one commonality between everyone and that’s himself. It wouldn’t be a happy ending but, for some reason, this series isn’t exactly known for happiness so it wouldn’t surprise me if things ended up this way. It’s like the old adage… you either die the hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
We’ll see but I’m more than excited for volume 4. This series truly is addicting!
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