We begin with the conclusion of Iku's parents visiting, in which Iku finds an advocate in an unlikely place. Next, we are introduced to Marie, a young woman who has a condition that is destroying her hearing. She is friends and neighbors with Instructor Komaki, and he always finds the right book to recommend to her. In her latest visit, Komaki recommends a book with a heroine suffering from the same condition. Bystanders at Marie's school report Komaki because they think he is cruel for giving her a book that focuses on her deafness, and officials forcibly remove Komaki for questioning and investigating into the alleged "abuse" of a disabled person. Of course, Iku can't wait for the rest of the squad to come up with the plan to save Komaki, so she puts things in motion for herself. In the Bonus manga of this volume, there is a story of a Publisher Party where the Library forces are providing security. Iku ruins her clothes, so she has to borrow a dress and get all dolled up, and she doesn't understand why all the men are hitting on her!
Iku is definitely a hot head, but after seeing her interaction with her parents, I think we can understand why she is defensive and is quick to act. I like the storyline with Marie, but I think some readers will be a little concerned for the age gap - she's in high school, and he's post college. In Japan, 16 is the age of consent in most prefectures, and it isn't that unusual to see large age gaps in relationships. In the U.S., this would be ghastly, so readers just need to keep in mind the difference in cultures between the U.S. and Japan.
Overall, I might be biased towards this series coming from a library background, but I think this series has a decent blend of action and romance to keep many readers happy.
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: vol 1, vol 2, vol 3, vol 4
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Dystopian, War
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