Friday, February 17, 2017

Area 51, vol. 14 review

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Area 51, vol. 14, by Masato Hisa. Grade: A
Whoo boy. I finally get this volume in my hands, and it takes maybe two hours to finish it. But now, it pretty much looks like the series is going to end in volume 15 this Summer. Sigh. I was afraid of that.

(Amaterasu the Nue arrives to stop the fighting.)

H58) Go to Stop That War
McCoy has exhausted her strength, and as she leans against a tree, she bids the giant super chimera, Amaterasu, to go finish the war. At the moment, the full Japanese and Egyptian armies are arrayed in the middle of Area 51, facing each other, waiting for the order to fight. Anubis is overjoyed with how his plan is working out, while Zeus and the other gods stand and watch, ready to punish the first side to take action. Meanwhile, Son Gokuu is being harassed at his bar by some guards, when Amaterasu arrives and scoops him up. She asks him to do something about the fires raging across the city, and he happily obliges, jumping down to the street and first rescuing Kishirou and the monster children the kappa is protecting. Kishirou the kappa runs over to a fire hydrant and opens it, magically directing the water up into the air, where Gokuu catches it in his teapot head (the replacement he's been using since his original head was used to create the chimera). He punches holes in the teapot and sprays the city with the water, quenching the flames.

Amaterasu arrives at the battle field, and is unhappy at being told that her general, Tsukuyomi, had almost gotten the Japanese gods and monsters banished from Area 51. She flattens him into the street, then cajoles Anubis into taking off his protective space suit. The jackal still bears the burn scars from when he was swallowed while unsuccessfully trying to save his beloved goddess from the First Snake. He also has a message burned into his left shoulder where Ra had touched him before dying in their last encounter. Amaterasu and Ra are both sun gods, and all sun gods are familiar with each other's techniques. She shoots a beam of light at Anubis, and his shadow hits the wall behind him, with a burning message in Egyptian visible within the darkness. Sekhmet reads the handwriting - "The one who killed me is Anubis."

(The death of Anubis.)

H59) Draw the "Iwato"
Anubis admits to the murder, turns into a giant, and attacks Amaterasu anyway, saying that he is doing this for Egypt. Sekhmet refuses to have anything to do with the Jackal anymore and orders her troops to retreat without another word to Amaterasu or the 10 gods. Anubis attempts to pummel his hated enemy in the face, but she replies that this is nothing compared to how hard McCoy hit her. Eventually, Anubis is no longer able to maintain his huge form, and his body becomes brittle and breaks apart. Ultimately, he dies. Amaterasu tells Tsukuyomi that the same thing is going to happen to her, and she wants him to take over from her in caring for the Japanese monsters. She gets Zeus to not hold anyone on the Japanese side responsible for the death and destruction so far, and apologizes for the suffering people have had to go through because of her decisions (i.e. - McCoy being killed by the doppelganger and turned into a sheath for Kusanagi.) She apologizes to Gokuu, too, but he's happy with his new head, because he can now make tea with it. Then, before she can fall over and damage more buildings, she turns herself to stone with her medusa tail, and one of the other Japanese gods blows her body to harmless little bits.

In the end, Zeus visits McCoy in her office, and warns her that because she contains Kusanagi, and the sword is capable of destroying the 10 gods, and Area 51 with them, her movements are probably going to be restricted until they can decide what to do with her. There are more than a few people that want her banished or imprisoned. She changes the topic and comments that she's heard that Zeus has had to play "politician" and asks him if he feels lonely (i.e. - without his brother, Hades, by his side). He replies that he does now, then leaves.

(Baba rescues Keiron from the assassin.)

H60) Reward will be given after their "Winning Run" - Honeymoon
This is a short side story. Keiron, McCoy's centaur doctor, has fallen in love with an old crone named Turbo Baba (baba = old woman). Turbo had been struck by the chimera's medusa beam and her leg was turned to stone. Keiron is treating her, and he has succeeded in healing her leg, but the old woman has lost the will to run anymore. He asks McCoy for help. Soon after, Keiron starts receiving phone calls where a spooky voice on the other end says that it's getting closer and closer to him. McCoy had told Turbo about an assassin that had been sent after the doctor, and when the next call comes in saying that the creature is just outside the office, Turbo panics, grabs Keiron and runs out to the streets. Turns out that Baba's problem was that she'd fallen in love with Keiron, and hadn't known how to tell him.

(The creature from the meteor destroys the TV news helicopter before turning its attention on the rest of Earth.)

H61) I can be a Superman!
Another side story. Kishirou is feeling useless. He really wants to be able to help McCoy with her personal problems, but he lacks the strength. He'd rescued a genie (Lamp no Mashin) back in volume 11, and he wants to use his second wish to become stronger. Lamp is able to grant this wish, but he warns the kappa that this kind of wish would come back to haunt him. Later, Kishirou finishes his errand (locating a lost pet lion ant - an ant the size of a small dog with a lion head - and returning it to its owner) and he comes back to the office to sleep on the couch. Then, an alien comes to the office and asks McCoy to help him. The night before, a meteor smashed into the ocean nearby, and the American Navy has been trying to find it. The alien claims that the meteor is really a monster that has destroyed his, and a couple other planets, and he wants McCoy to buy a large water pearl from him for $38,000 as payment for defeating the thing before it destroys Earth (McCoy tells him to go away). While, in the next room, Kishirou's dream is interrupted by a ghost that gives him a magic rod that will turn him into a giant that can defeat the threat. Kishirou wakes up, holding the rod in his hand. He races out to the docks, only to discover that the ghost was a victim of the monster, now holding a grudge, and that the rod doesn't do anything. The alien ends up defeating the monster, and is revealed to be another ghost, which dissipates after completing his mission. The story wraps up with Kishirou using his second wish to get the money to buy the water pearl as a gift for McCoy.

(McCoy doesn't like doppelgangers. Shizune is unable to argue with her.)

H62) I also Liked You, Major
McCoy is at the Four Legged Clinic, getting her routine treatments from Keiron to help keep her body together. The centaur says that the latest surgery is the last one he can do for her, and that she's probably going to fall apart soon. She replies that until she destroys the doppelganger that killed her and stole her baby, she can't afford to die. She leaves the clinic, and is stalked by Shizune, the kappa that had tried to kill Prince Charming before. Shizune manages to stab McCoy with a kappa death needle, but loses the papers she's holding before running away. One of McCoy's friends (the spider woman, Sonya) finds her in an alley and gets her back to the clinic. McCoy recovers enough to grab Pike and have him shoot her with a yokai bullet that rips the needle out. Kishirou arrives at the clinic, and identifies the needle as having belonged to his friend, Kirimaru, and that the attacker was Kirimaru's younger sister. McCoy recovers, and looks at the papers she'd grabbed from Shizune. They are the notes Kirimaru had compiled when he was trying to get closer to her. In with the papers is a second needle, the needle of life. McCoy gets Kishirou to track down Shizune. When the female kappa is brought to the clinic, she's infuriated that her brother's killer is still alive, then horrified at seeing all the bullet and sword scars all over McCoy's body. Shizune collapses into a chair and meekly answers McCoy's questions. Apparently, while Kirimaru was following her, he'd encountered someone "that looks exactly like McCoy, but isn't". Additionally, the notes place this "McCoy" somewhere that the real one had never been to before. McCoy takes Shizune out to the edge of the city, while telling Kishirou to stay in the office to wait for her to get back.

McCoy drives to the Nikola no Ori (Prison of Nikola), and tells Shizune that in fact, Area 51 is the prison and this tower here is where all the guards live, along with the original god that created this place. The "guards" are angels, and the tower is off-limits to all other residents of the Area. Which is why it's kind of hard to believe that the doppelganger would be inside. Everyone else knows about this place, except that Kirimaru had been a newcomer and was unaware of the rules when he saw "McCoy" there. Eventually, Major Felix drives up and orders McCoy to back off NOW. Even though Pike is a possessed object (having become sentient after being owned for 99 years), McCoy doesn't think that he could hurt an angel, but Felix doesn't want to take the chance. However, she asks him why a doppelganger would be allowed in the tower, and he says that some years ago, there had been a zombie invasion that killed off 20% of the population (that's when he'd lost an eye). The angels used the doppelganger's ability to control its blood to develop a weapon to use against the zombies. The invasion was repulsed, but just in case there was a second attempt, the angels decided to keep the doppelganger there as "thanks" for its assistance.

McCoy asks if Felix had been in the tower at some point, and he says yes, once. He'd been a regular grunt in the army, but he was killed in battle. He was saved by the angels, and he's now one of them, as a half-breed. She then asks if anyone else, angel or otherwise, knows that the doppelganger has her face right now. He says "no," and McCoy kills him with a bullet from Pike. She then tells Shizune that the reason she's there is to spread the word that McCoy has murdered an angel, with the intent of forcing the doppelganger out of Nikola's Cage. Shizune is shocked that McCoy would risk her life like this.

Summary: Great art, great art, great art. Love the story, love everything about Area 51. Highly, highly recommended.

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