I enjoyed this series. (I rated it at 5 stars.) I was glad that the series had a satisfying mid-series climax (Gai's sacrifice and "stopping" Mana). I thought that Shuu, Gai, Hare, and Yahiro were very well-developed characters with good depth. Another point that I particularly enjoyed is the interesting pattern of mirroring/foreshadowing that occurs with the two principal male protagonists (Shuu and Gai) throughout the series.
- Shuu as a child is strong, decisive, and brave.
- Gai (inspired by his childhood friend Shuu) works to make himself a strong, decisive leader and becomes the leader of Funeral Parlor.
- Shuu becomes the "Void Prince" (the tyrant of the students stuck in Loop 7); a seemingly distilled version of what Shuu thought Gai to be.
- Gai (post-resurrection) becomes Mana's designated "King" and an extremely ruthless and tyrannical leader.
Each transition between the two results in an increased emphasis on traits decisiveness and ruthlessness. (The pattern reminded me of a minor theme in MacBeth where the Thane of Cawdor turns traitor against King Duncan then faces his death bravely. This happens twice with the "original" Thane of Cawdor and then after MacBeth is granted the title by King Duncan.)
Below are some of the plot points that I found somewhat troubling:
- I don't understand why was Inori was a "pop idol." It seems unnecessary.
- Segai's death scene was disappointing. He spends much of the series successfully playing the role of a master tactician. However, he seems to just throw himself at a clearly much stronger Shuu in his last scene. There is some allusion to finding Shuu "perfect" in some way, which may be an attempt to rationalize his actions. Segai ultimately seems to be more of a plot device then a developed character.
- The tragedy of Mana's life is never really addressed. I was particularly disappointed that Shuu never really responds to having to kill/destroy his own sister.
- Gai's resurrection is not well explained. It just sort of happens.
- It seemed pretty obvious that Hare would die during the series. Shuu had an obviously designated "love interest" and her love of Shuu was unrequited. (As an aside, I really did enjoy the Hare's reaction to Shuu when (after temporarily leaving Funeral Parlor) he tries to "make a move" on Hare.)
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