Friday, March 9, 2018

Nobunagan, vol. 5

(All rights belong to their owners. Image from Amazon for review purposes only.)

Nobunaga, vol. 5, Masato Hisa. Grade: A-
After having her helmet knocked off, Shio has to undergo quarantine procedures. When she's released, Adam (Ripper) tries to talk sense into her, but she's so consumed with rage that she threatens anyone that gets between her and her killing every last one of the EIOs - the spirit of Nobunaga burns in the shadows behind her. Meanwhile, the dinosaur-like EIOs have conquered San Francisco, and moved down into San Jose. Team 3 (with Dai Zong, Rasputin and Hackenschmidt) attempt to keep them contained in the Valley, but it's rough going. Dai Zong has the mecha legs, and Hackenschmidt has mecha arms, so they team up to make one tall mecha guy and beat up monsters that way, trying to protect the line of tanks backing them up, but they're not really slowing the EIOs much. Nobuna-gun swoops down on the city in a wing suit, and her magazine, which is now 30-40 feet long, lays down a new line that she challenges the monsters to try to cross. They do, and the magazine sprouts spikes that impale them. As Shio kills stuff, Rasputin recoils in horror at just how much self-inflicted damage the girl is receiving.

Rasputin tries to heal Nobuna-gun, but Shio refuses to let her get close. We get a flashback to when Shio learned that a 5-eyed Salamander had struck the neighborhood that Asao had been in, and then Shio runs off to find more stuff to kill. She suddenly finds herself face to face with 5-eyes, and it self-destructs. Shio realizes that she's about to die, and that terrifies her. However, Ripper catches up to her and cuts a hole in the ground so they can fall into a subway tunnel, safe from the blast. At the same time, Gandhi and Newton had seen 5-eyes approaching San Jose, and Gandhi told Newton to warn the tank operators about the threat, while he would fly a bit farther forward to throw up a protective barrier (Newton tells him to stop ordering her around). Newton gets to the tanks and tells them to drop back, but Rasputin draws her attention to the fact that an aerial group of winged dinosaur-types have ambushed Gandhi in the air. It's starting to look like the monsters have specifically targeted Gandhi to prevent him from using his barrier when 5-eyes detonates. Newton gets Dai Zong/Hackenschmidt to side-kick the base of a nearby building, and she uses her boots in Zero-G mode to lift the building and throw it down in the path of the blast. 5-eyes blows up, and the building won't hold, so Rasputin uses her powers to repair the structure about as fast as it gets destroyed. When everything is over, 5-eyes and a bunch of smaller EIOs are gone, as is most of the building. But, Newton, Rasputin, Dai Zong, Hackenschmidt, the tanks, and the soldiers are ok.

In the subway tunnel, Shio is suffering from a breakdown, and now with Asao gone, she decides that she doesn't want to live, either. Ripper tries to get through to her, but a strange E-gene that doesn't look like Nobunaga (anymore) decides that if she doesn't want her body, then he'll take it over. We get a flashback to 1783 London, with Godoo encountering the original John Hunter. They discuss genetics, with Dogoo trying to find a way to keep all his blood samples from going bad. They talk about using people to pass the E-genes from generation to generation, but there's the danger of the genes going haywire at some point. Dogoo mentions having a  "stopper" in case something goes wrong with someone's E-gene, and Hunter asks what happens if the "stopper" fails. Dogoo doesn't have an answer for that.

Back in the present, Team One, with Suuho, Geronimo and Gaudi, are pinned down in the ruins 2 km outside of San Jose. As Geronimo radios in to Iyo regarding their current status, monsters start flying through the air, eventually followed by a really messed-up Shio. The Nobuna-gun has gone haywire, fusing with Shio's body to make a kind of Eiffel Tower monster - part human, mostly twisted metal and E-gene gun magazine. The gun forms into a super massive cannon, which blows away a wall of the EIOs. Ripper is close behind, and he tries to stop Nobuna-gun, but it's clear that the E-gene is out of control, and tearing Shio apart with every blast. Iyo orders the D.O.G.O.O. control room operators to remotely shut down the E-ball, but that fails. The EIOs begin falling back, so Nobuna-gun tries to shoot after them, but he's starting to backfire as Shio slowly dies. Gaudi uses his earth-shaping skills to contain Nobuna-gun, but only manages to rip up part of the gun's barrel, further hurting Shio. Nobuna-gun takes aim at Gaudi, and Suuho has to rush in on her bike to save the boy. Nobuna-gun aims at Geronimo instead, and Ripper races forward to block the blast with Nightingale, taking a lot of damage himself. Ripper keeps hoping that all of this will stop, but Nightingale's analytic skill pinpoints a "target" in Shio's chest, marking her for death. He asks why he's seeing the target now, and Nightingale tells him that he knows what he needs to do. Nobuna-gun accidentally rips Shio's arm off, then glues it back on again. Ripper leaps forward and stabs Shio through the heart with his blade.

Summary: Yeah, things got dark fast in volume 4, and went downhill from there. It's pretty hard to see how Hisa is going to wrap up all of this cleanly in volume 6. Speaking of which, none of the bookstores in Kagoshima have the last book in the series, so now I have to see if I can find it on Amazon. As things stand, there's nothing stopping the EIOs from taking over the planet. The remaining E-gene Holders aren't strong enough to win on their own, and D.O.G.O.O. is useless without them. With Shio down, they also lose their best tactician. I do want to get vol. 6 at some point, but I'm still thinking that Area 51 is still Hisa's best title to date. Recommended if you can find it.

E-gene Holder updates
Grigorii Efimovich Rasputin (operator: unknown, v5, medic type): If you don't know about Rasputin, check out the wiki article. The E-gene takes the shape of a kind of phallic backward-facing skull extension, and is capable of repairing damage to the other E-gene holders. His operator is a very timid, pretty woman.

Georg Karl Julius Hackenschmidt (operator: unknown, v5, offensive type): Hackenschmidt (1887-1968) was a Baltic German strongman credited as professional wrestling's first heavy-weight champion. The E-gene manifests as a pair of large, overbuilt arms. The operator is a young man. Hackeschmidt is the leader of Team 3, which includes Rasputin and Dai Zong (from vol. 2).

Note: On the cover are Newton and Gandhi.

1 comment:

Pineapple Pocky said...

Thanks for the summary! I was very confused about the conversation with Dogoo and John Hunter. Thank you for clarifying that part. I really, really, really hope you get your hands on the last volume too :D