Friday, October 16, 2015

Area 51, vol. 8 review

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Area 51, vol. 8, by Masato Hisa. Grade: A

(Just trying to find a quiet place to get away from the crowds.)

H30) Nobody is Falling Anymore.
Hebi repeats that he hates the humans that God created, and everything about them, as McCoy starts fusing with Pike and blasts large chunks of Hebi's body to pieces. He adds that while his corporal form can be destroyed, she can't touch his thoughts. Meanwhile, Zeus has jammed his lightning bolt weapon into Odin's mechanical eye to finish things off, but Odin uses little mechanical arms to grab the blade and then signals Valhalla to fall to kill both of them. Zeus smiles, and flips the weapon open, revealing that it has been folded in two all this time. Lightning bolts rip both up and down, putting holes down in Odin's head and up all the way through Valhalla. With his last breath, Odin admits that he's been defeated, and that this is Ragnarok after all. In the tower, Hebi is starting to panic. Right now, he's just a semi-humanoid shadow of hate and pure thought. McCoy breaks off a piece of the Kusanagi sword and places it in Pike. She shoots the matter-controlling piece and encases shadow-Hebi inside a broken section of pillar. Zeus' blast rockets the pillar upwards, and additionally destroys what remains of the tower. Some blocks away down at city level, Kishirou is standing on a water tower, watching the carnage. He's holding the withered hand of his friend Kirimaru, and asks for his help as he uses his kappa powers to launch the water in the reservoir up and out in an arc. Kishirou rides the water and catches McCoy as she falls. He greets his old boss with "Just like always, crazy things happen with you around." She answers back, "I've told you before, in Area 51 there's no such thing as 'crazy'." They land on the roof of another building and Kishirou gives McCoy his jacket. She lies on the roof and starts singing in Charming's voice. The kappa realizes that Charming isn't coming back. Finally, Hebi discovers that the pillar was thrown out quite a way, but it doesn't really matter. He'll just wait for the next human to come along, and trick him or her into pulling out the sword piece and then possess them to get a body again. It takes him a while to figure out that there aren't all that many people wandering around out on the moon. Again, he asks why God never wanted to talk to him.

H31) By The Way, Did I Thank You.
Kishirou is standing in the street watching a giant pair of heads floating through the sky. Behind them, one of the buildings has a very large semi-circle carved out of it. The kappa reminisces over the events that followed after the god war. Shiva had used a mind blast against one gigantic snake god, and that blast is what took out part of the building. The remaining snake creatures and Valkyries were prepared to fight to the death, but Amaterasu had one of her minions hold up a magic mirror showing in real-time that Fenrir was never killed by Hebi. Since Fenrir is still bound up in its prison Ragnarok hasn't started yet. And, with their help, Amaterasu could suggest a way to prevent it from ever happening. One of the Valkyries was in a berzerker rage and stabbed Amaterasu in the stomach with her spear, but she calmed down and asked what the plan is. After that, the U.S. Army cleaned up the mess and bits of bodies lying around, while the injured demigods were tended to. Son Gokuu lost his right leg, but was otherwise ok.

Kishirou had carried the unconscious McCoy to her office and was about to leave when she woke up. She said that it was time for her to tell him about her past. McCoy had been a detective chasing after a criminal. She refused to give up, which brought about the deaths of her friends and partners, as well as her lover (who had committed suicide with Pike before the gun had turned into a Tsukumogami). She herself had been cut in two by something (severing her left arm and upper torso). The explanation is unclear but it looks like the blood in her own body materialized into a creature that stole the fetus that had been growing within her (yes, she had been pregnant). The blood creature ate the baby, started taking on McCoy's facial features, and then waved as it walked away. McCoy refused to die right away and yelled at the monster to come back, startling some guy in a fancy coat and top hat that happened to be approaching at the same time. The guy, who looked like Mandrake the Magician, commented that the screaming from the dismembered body startled him. He knelt down and pulled out a broken sword, saying that he had something that could save her if she wanted to use it, but it was going to hurt a lot. It wouldn't heal her, just hold her pieces together. McCoy got a really evil look on her face and demanded the guy give her the sword already. She then told Kishirou that she came to Area 51 to find and kill her enemy. But, her plans have changed because she has proof that the baby is still alive and looks to be at least 6 months old (based on Hebi's memories). At that point, a client came to the office and McCoy told him to give the particulars of the job to her partner, adding that the kappa could return to work for her if he wanted. As she's putting on clothes, she says that she'll thank Kishirou properly for saving her at some unspecified time in the future. Kishirou finishes his flashback, reaches into the truck to get his hat with the bullet hole in it, and leans against the side of the vehicle. He asks why, since the job was to return a stolen item, she's picked up a massive griffin. McCoy yells back that that part's not important and to just drive them out of there with the truck.


H32) That's a Nice Surprise.
In a remote prison, the Valkyries and remaining dead generals look on as the broken remains of Odin are fed to Fenrir. The Valkyries especially are showing a real blood lust here. Amaterasu explains her plan, which is to use the time-manipulating powers of the immortal goddess Princess Iwanaga to freeze Fenrir in a stasis field. Odin's army pledges their allegiance to Amaterasu, which makes her happy. Amaterasu repeats all this to her younger brother, Susano, over the phone. He's currently living in Tokyo, and at the end of the conversation, he asks what's going to happen if McCoy ever figures out that they've been using her. Turns out that Susano was the Mandrake the Magician look-alike that gave Kusanagi to McCoy. Amaterasu says that he better not let that happen, and her flames whip out from his phone. At that moment, a big griffon dashes past her window, and McCoy and Kishirou burst into the room to chase after it. McCoy shoots out the window, and promises to have it repaired later, as she jumps down to the street several stories below. Amaterasu is relieved because her pawn is looking really happy right now.

(Keiron, the centaur doctor from the Four-Legged Clinic, and Sonya, one of the street walkers.)

Short Story 6) Mawari no Ato (After walking around.)
This is just a little 8-page section to wrap up a few loose ends. First, Zeus is told that with Hades gone, someone has to take care of Cerberus. Zeus claims to hate the idea of caring for a puppy as he quickly says "ok". Elsewhere, Son Goku tells his friend, Hakkai, that he wants to get out of the god business. Since he has such a massive collection of wines and liquors, the two of them are going to open up their own bar. Hakkai, an anthro wild boar, isn't really enthused with this plan. Finally, Sonya, the streetwalker spider woman, is talking to Dr. Keiron at the Four-Legged clinic. She's fallen in love with Prince Charming, and is resigned to her fate, because how could a Prince love someone like her? She just wishes that he would come back again.

(Some of the students at the local Area 51 elementary school.)

H33) Yes, But My Feeling Is Not "Like".
It's just another day in Area 51. The U.S. Army is out, and the neighborhood around an elementary school has been cordoned off for a hostage situation. Snipers are set up and are radioing in to Felix that they have kill shots on the bad guy. In the school, Kishirou is holding a gun on a small girl. McCoy arrives and tries to get the story leading up to this current stage of events. She and the kappa had been requested by the school principal to eliminate a ghost in one of the lavatories that had been terrorizing her pupils. McCoy noticed that the students are all monsters, and the principle went into a rant about how children are children, and that no one else is trying to help these kids but her. McCoy took the job, and shot what turned out to be a turd creature. She then had to get washed off from a hose out on the school grounds. As they were getting ready to leave at the end of the day, Kishirou noticed one very sad child (the hostage) staring out a window. He told McCoy he'd join her in the office later and went into the school to talk to her. The child is heart-broken because she loves humans, and there's one boy she likes, but she's going to have to stay away from him for the rest of her life. It took a while, but Kishirou eventually discovered that she's the 7-headed dragon (the "Beast") described in the Book of Revelations that will bring about the End Times. She's still at the young stage so the eyes of the other 6 heads haven't opened yet. But, when they do she's going to cause the end of the world. And she'd really rather not do that. She asked Kishirou to kill her, which was what triggered the current siege of the school outside. The principal approaches Felix and gets on her hands and knees to beg the Army to protect the child. As this is happening, a big Harpy woman flies up and demands to know what's going on. She's hated this school and has always been opposed to her child coming here. Now, there's all these soldiers and stuff going on and she blames the principal for it all. McCoy loses her cool and punches the Harpy into a search light. Kishirou points to this and tells the girl that humans are stronger than she gives them credit for. She should come forward to the boy she likes, explain what's happening, and let things take their course. The girl agrees and runs outside into the arms of the principal. The Army takes Kishirou down, and he's about to learn just why you don't want McCoy to be miffed with you.

(Son Goku decides to retire as a demi-god and open up a bar with his friend, Hakkai. The first week is kind of rough.)

H34) This Job Doesn't Pay.
This is a great story, told from the perspective of a reporter or policeman. It has kind of a reality TV feel as people look at the reader and answer questions. It all starts with a shinagami (a death god) trying to make quota before the end of the day. He goes to a bar with the intent of scaring the victim's soul out of their body and then he would sever it with his sickle. The bar in question, "Frowers and Fruits," is brand new and the owners, Son Gokuu and Hakkai, are desperate to get customers. They're over-joyed that the Shinagama has arrived, and give him free drinks as "service". McCoy, on the other hand, had been tasked to bring a root to the bar, but there was no one around to accept delivery. As Gokuu and Shinagami get more drunk, Hakkai goes into the basement and starts drinking the inventory until he passes out. McCoy finds Hakkai and puts the root on his chest then leaves. Gokuu accidentally uses the word "expand" in conversation, and his expanding staff does it's job, causing the bar to be lifted up about 100 feet into the air. This shows up on radar and the Area 51 Air Force is scrambled. They shoot at the bar, starting a fire inside. When Gokuu sees one of his most expensive liquors going up in flames, his soul leaves his body. This is what Shinagami was waiting for and he pounces. At this time, Hakkai wakes up, eats the root lying on his chest, and spits out a ball of fiber that burns up in the flames and turns into smoke. McCoy explains that the root was a medicine used for causing souls to return to their bodies. So, because of the smoke from the ball, every soul that Shinagami had collected this month suddenly jumps out of his jacket. He goes into a panic, and Gokuu uses the phrase that makes the staff shrink again so the Air Force quits shooting at them and returns to base, as around Area 51 a bunch of previously dead people mysteriously become alive again. Shinagami tries rushing after the souls, but this is the one thing that a bar owner hates - when someone tries to run out on their bill. Gokuu goes into a rage and demands payment. At the end, no one is happy. Shinagami didn't make quota, McCoy wasn't paid for the delivery because Gokuu and Hakkai claim they never got the root, and Gokuu lost his bar in the fire. But, Gokuu is resilient and he talks Hakkai into helping him run a new place, a cafe this time. And they've just received their first customer, a guy named Mokian, who is holding a sickle behind his back.

(On the front cover, from right to left, are Kishirou and McCoy. On the back we have part of Zeus, Amaterasu, Son Goku and Cerberus the dog.)

Summary: Oh come on, just read the series, ok? It's great stuff.

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