Rayearth is one of those interesting series broken up into parts. While this is volume four if this series, it's labeled as "Part Two: Book One." In the 25th Anniversary Edition, Part Two is in a different boxed set than Part One.
Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu are still reeling from their major battle that closed out Part One. The three try to adjust back to normal life, but the weight of what happened in Cefiro weighs heavy on them. The three meet up in Tokyo Tower again to try to come to terms with what has happened when suddenly, they are transported again! This time, the world they enter is in shambles. The ocean is gone, the sky is black, and the only thing they can see is a castle standing tall above a jagged, rocky island. The three are taken to the castle, where they reunite with what’s left of the old cast, and they are told what grim fate has befallen Cefiro. They also discover that there are several invading forces from other worlds desperately clawing at Cefiro’s borders, all vying for the chance to install themselves as a new ruler. Our Magic Knights pick up the mantle once again in defense of this once-beautiful world.
Hot off of her successful acquisition of her first Stella, the Folger family is on the way to get a dog for Anya. They have no success at a pet store (completely stocked with agency dogs and run by the agency), so Yor and Anya try a pet expo while Loid gets feigns a bathroom emergency in order to slip away to his handler. Loid finds out that a foreign minister is in the country for peace talks, and there is a terrorist plot to blow up the meeting using highly trained — what else? — dogs! Anya, with her telepathic ability, accidentally discovers one of the terrorists’ lairs, but one of the highly trained dogs comes to her rescue. Anya sees brief glimpses inside the dog’s mind, and she realizes that this dog has a special ability! In their own separate ways, Yor, Loid with the agency, and Anya with the dog work against them terrorists in the name of World Peace.
Vol 2: Murder on the Rockport Limited! by Clint, Griffin, Justin, and Travis McElroy, illustrated by Carey Pietsch
Your adventure zone friends are back with an Agatha Christie vibe. The three are officially part of the Bureau of Balance as "Reclaimers" - tasked with finding ridiculously powerful magical items and bringing them back to the Bureau to be destroyed. Their next assignment is to figure out where another reclaimer went wrong in obtaining one of the powerful magical objects. This lands them on the Rockport Limited, an express train with heightened security and relatively few passengers. They get assistance from Angus, the World’s Greatest Detective, and a fourth grader. Together, they must solve the murder mystery aboard the train, obtain the overpowered magical item, and have a hilarious time doing it.
Yor’s brother Yuri comes to visit after he heard through the grape vine that she’s been married for a year. It turns out, Yuri is part of the secret police, and his number one target is the super spy, Twilight! Loid is back to training Anya to win stella awards through academics, but Anya hates studying. He tries to get her into a community service project at a recovery hospital because that’s another way to earn stellas, but Anya proves to be horrible at that as well. On their way out, she hears a little boy drowning in the physical therapy pool, and saving his life earns her her first Stella! The bonus chapter has Yor trying to hide a gunshot wound in her butt, a souvenir from her latest assassin job, but her pain comes across to Loid as her being unsatisfied with him. He tries to win her over by taking her on a wonderful date, all the while Yor deals with her pain.
This series is impossible to summarize and review without spoiling, so if you don't mind, feel free to read on.
Satoru succeeds in saving Hinazuki from disappearing on what he calls X day, but she instead disappears the day after. He discovers she is missing when his mom, a news reporter, is asked to keep the disappearance secret again, just like when he was twelve the first time. Before he can do anything about all of this, his revival is over, and he is pulled back to when he is twenty-nine. The police are searching for him as the main suspect in the murder he was trying to stop in volume one. Airi, his coworker, gives him a place to stay for the night, but this pulls her in to the real murderer's crosshairs. Just as Satoru is backed into a corner, Revival happens again, and he is taken back to two days before X-day. This time, he's come up with a very different plan to save Hinazuki.
Coming off the interruption of the Second Test for Agott and Richeh, the apprentices and Master Olruggio travel to the Hall of Witches where they can get medical attention for the badly injured Master Qifrey, and where they have to answer the questions of Lord Beldaruit, wise of teaching, about what happened during the test. The apprentices show Coco around the Hall, and she continues to be amazed by the magic employed by witches. The apprentices are also given a make-up test opportunity: they must surprise Lord Beldaruit, wise of teaching, who seems to be not easily impressed, with some form of magic that will rekindle his awe for magic. But, instead of the rest being just for Agott and Richeh, Beldaruit gives all of Quifrey’s apprentices the opportunity to take and pass the Second Test, including Coco.
This is a mega-sized volume with the conclusion of the Death Busters arc, and inclusion of two side stories. Mistress 9 tries to use Chibi Usa's hostia and the stolen Mythical Silver Crystal to provide enough power to Master Pharaoh 90 to merge with Earth and make it their new home planet, However, Mistress 9 wasn't counting on her host's body being so difficult to control. And, after Mistress 9 awakened, no one thought the final Sailor Scout would awaken. The conclusion is sweet and wrapped up pretty tidy, but the final pages, of course, hint that the peace they just achieved is threatened again. There are also two side stories in this volume, contributing to its girth. Chibi Usa's second Picture Diary, "Beware of Tanabata," is a side-adventure where an enemy uses popular Sailor Moon watches to manipulate the emotions of young girls. The second side story is "The Love of Princess Kaguya." This beautiful story focuses almost entirely on Luna, and her falling in love with Kakeru, a human astro-physicist who saves her from being run over by a car. Kakeru and his childhood friend, Himē, both pledged to become astronauts and travel to the moon to see if the Princess Kaguya from legend really lives there. A new enemy manipulates Kakeru and puts his life in danger, while Himē is chosen for a NASA mission to save the Earth from a comet barreling towards it.
After an initial wait-list scare, The Forger family finds out that Anya did indeed make it into the prestigious Eden Academy! Loid is briefed by his handler that Desmond, his target, only socializes with elite scholars who receive 8 Stella awards. Loid is unsure Anya will be up to that academically, so he puts in place "Plan B," ensure Anya and Desmond's younger son, Damien, end up in the same class and become fast friends. That would have worked if Damian wasn't a little brat and a bully to whom Anya stands up for herself and her new friend. Punching someone in the face is probably not a great way to become friends! What's worse, tutoring Anya is proving to be extremely difficult and taxing for Loid, so even Plan A is falling apart. Top all of this with Yor's brother coming over for dinner, and it's no wonder Loid has lots of mission anxiety! A delightful bonus story is also included, where the Forger family goes to the aquarium, and Loid can't seem to stop taking missions during a staffing shortage at the Agency. This threatens to undermine his appearance as a dedicated family man.
Thirteen-year-old Tiến reads fairy tales to his mother, Helen, to help her practice her English as she works as a seamstress. Woven through the fairy tales are memories Helen has of immigrating with her husband. The fairy tales are variations on the story of Cinderella. The first is about a maiden named Alera who is promised to the Old Man in the Sea to repay her father’s debts. She demands three impossibly beautiful dresses as payment, then escapes his clutches after receiving them. She wakes up on a distant shore and finds a new family in the kitchens of a palace. The kind prince has a ball for his birthday, and Alera wears one of her beautiful dresses. Of course, she catches the eye of the prince.
In between reading stories Tiến attends school and tries to navigate his crush on one of his best friends, Julian. His other best friend, Claire, encourages Tiến to tell Julian and his family that he is gay, but Tiến can’t find the words to express it in Vietnamese in order to tell his parents. Outside pressures make Tiến feel ashamed of his feelings, so will he ever find the courage to tell his mother?
In the latter part of volume ten, Ed asked Lieutenant Hawkeye to tell him the truth about the Ishvalan Civil War, and she finishes her story in this volume. Part of the many horrors that was the Civil War were some of the human weapons the military created, namely the State Alchemists they emboldened with power to destroy any Ishvalan they saw. One such weapon was Solf J. Kimblee, the Crimson Lotus Alchemist, a ruthless man who made it his personal mission to wipe out every last Ishvalan. In this volume, Kimblee is freed from his jail cell to go after one last Isvhalan - Scar. Edward and Alphonse decide to figure out why Alkahestry is so different than Amestrian Alchemy, but May and her little "cat" have eluded them. They follow her trail into the North to Fort Briggs, the military's outpost on the frozen border between Amestris and Drachma, where the motto is "Survival of the Fittest".
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