Askelaad and his forces, including Thorfinn, have become entwined with the Danish forces laying siege to England in the early 1000s. They first try to invade London, but a turncoat Viking is helping fortify London’s channel. Askelaad sends Thorfinn to bring back the head of this traitor, Thorkell, but Thorfinn only succeeds in cutting off a few fingers. Askelaad’s forces then save the Danish prince from being captured by Thorkell, and all they can think about is the reward from the king for saving his son. Askelaad leads his men into Wales where he has some allies, and we learn more about his lineage, which is impressive and surprising. Thorfinn is assigned to guard the prince, but Thorfinn can’t get over how weak and feminine this prince is.
A fishing boat off the coast capsizes as a result of an encounter with the Monster, so it’s go time for Asa and Kasuga! That is, when Agent A-Kura can get back to his car after it was towed for illegal parking. Yone wants to bring Asa along for her talent agency audition for moral support, but Asa has to find Kasuga and get the plane up in the air as soon as possible. Kasuga's gone missing - he's off chasing a no-good reporter who has taken roles of photos of Asa, their plane, and their supply of munitions. Then, Asa’s little brother comes down with a sickness and A-Kura offers to take him to the doctor. Nakaido is frantically searching through the notes of Professor Yodogawa for anything that might be helpful, and when he thinks he might be close to the creature’s weakness, he goes up in the plane with Asa in Kasuga’s place.
Hanako's love for her favorite author moves her to travel from Japan to England in the early 1900s, in search of more information and potentially studying under him. To her disappointment, the author is extremely secretive, and the publisher won't release any details. Alice Douglas, a noblewoman, takes pity on Hanako's plight and offers her a job as her personal maid. They both share a love for this hermit of an author, so Alice offers Hanako a place to stay and employment while she waits for the author to make contact. Alice is also betrothed to a kind English gentlemen, but that doesn't stop the rumors from flying. Many warn Alices' fiancé to intervene between Alice and Hanako before there becomes a repeat situation - Alice becoming too close and too friendly with her maidservant.
Nanako and Mao continue to battle some evil deeds that are coming out of a local shrine. The priestess is able to predict the deaths of villagers, with amazing accuracy. However, there is some Tom-foolery at play, and the curses are not what they seem. Mao is able to release the demonic spirit that has been harnessed to carry out the curses, and the spirit rebounds upon the caster. On her way to jail, the priestess predicts the end of the world: fireballs engulfing the town while a huge earthquake rips open the streets. Nanako goes back to her time to research what this event could be, and finds it coincides with a terrible earthquake that does much of what the priestess said. She goes back to Mao’s time to try and prevent or at least save some of the townsfolk, but like everything in Mao’s time, the historical record of what happens isn’t as accurate as the truth, especially when more evil spirits — and possibly Byouki — are involved.
The young warrior Thorfinn is shackled to the ship of a Viking Raider, Askelaad. Askelaad's fleet of three ships successfully raids a settlement as mercenaries and recovers all the treasure for themselves before headed back to their village for the winter. Thorfinn has become a powerful and fast warrior, but treasure and ransacking towns doesn't interest him. He wants revenge on Askelaad for killing his father and stealing their ship. Thorfinn's childhood started in a peaceful fishing village full of proud Vikings. They were often visited by the explorer Lief Erickson, who would regale the children with stories of the beautiful country of Vinland, a place where winters are mild and the ground is fertile. After getting his revenge, Thorfinn would love to find the legendary country of Vinland.
Asa runs into a young man at a museum who has a photograph of the monster she saw when the typhoon took her family. He refuses to talk to a “nobody” like her and scuttled off with a ton of research on the monster. Asa and Mr. Kasuga are then conscripted to help identify the creature should it make an appearance during the opening ceremony of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Asa makes the acquaintance of The Blue Impulse - some of the best aerial maneuver pilots in the country - as they practice making the Olympic Rings for the Opening Ceremony. The Government is using this display as an important symbol of peace, and, because of this, the Defense Forced won’t be allowed to intercede during the Opening Ceremony should the monster return.
Amir and Karluk, along with their family and village, must fend off another attempt by Amir’s father to seize her and bring her back to become someone else’s bride. Amir is to be given to a clan of men who treat their women horribly, and their reputation is known far and wide. Amir and Karluk, along with another new friend, show Mr. Smith, an explorer, some of the sights, including a shrine that women would visit if they are wishing to become pregnant. Amir's family interrupts the outing in another attempt to take her back. Mr. Smith records much of the daily life of Karluck’s family, and investigates further after the tradition of “cloth preparations” is discussed.
Asa and Kasuga continue to fly and deliver rice balls and water, but the strange thing they found at the end of volume one is right where Asa’s house should be. They find two of her younger siblings and the doctor holding the newborn baby, and something else monstrous and strange. Kinuyo, the lady who owns the restaurant, notices Kasuga’s bloody arm from being shot, and worries he might lose consciousness. Kasuga starts to lose feeling in his arm, so he tells Asa how to fly and land the plane. Asa falls in love with flying. With her endless fiery spirit, Asa goes to make a deal with the owner of the plane, who was using it to do illegal things, and tries to get him to give her his plane.
On a morning in 1959 of a terrible typhoon, Asa runs to fetch the doctor for the deliver of her mother's twelfth child. On the way back home, Asa finds a burglar escaping a house with his loot and confronts him, so he kidnaps her, thinking she's the daughter of the wealthy doctor. Her kidnapper has just recently turned to a life of crime in a moment of desperation. He was a hero in WWII, a successful pilot who always brought his team home, but now can't afford a pilot's license. The two seek shelter from the terrible typhoon in a metal shipping container, and when they emerge, everything along the harbor has been destroyed. The pilot and Asa try to find their way back to her family's home, but Asa, ever compassionate, suggests they find a way to deliver food to those stranded on rooftops while they look for her family. The pilot steals a plane, Asa convinces a restaurant owner to make lots of rice balls, and the two drop the care packages from the plane using balloons tied to plastic bags. As they near where Asa's house should be, they make a startling discovery that means more than the typhoon was at work wrecking havoc on the town.
Amir has been sent to a neighboring clan to be married off to one of the sons there. Karluk, her husband, is twelve, and she’s twenty, Amir tries to be helpful with the family, offering to help cook, and she even hunts some rabbit to make a special stew. She has many talents and even makes her young husband a coat out of some cloth and the rabbit skin. She’s adjusting to her new life fine when, unbeknownst to her, her family decides that they would better benefit from her being married off to a different clan. Meanwhile, Amir and Karluk go on a trip to find Karluk’s nomadic uncle to deliver a special dagger sheath. After their trip, Karluk gets very sick with a cold, and Amir worries endlessly over his health.
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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