What right does a clone have to choose its own destiny?
Author/Artist: Kumiko Suekane
Translation/Adaptation: Camellia Nieh
What They Say
JOAN OF ARC
A patriotic young French maiden. After beginning to hear voices at the age of 13, Joan led the French army in the liberation of Orleans in the Hundred Years' War against Britain. But not long afterward, she was convicted of heresy by a religious tribunal and burned to death at the stake.
After Mozart’s suicide attempt at the end of the last volume, plus the ongoing threat of assassination, the whole campus is on edge. Further occupying the student body’s time is the upcoming school festival. It’s a chance for the administrators to show off how their clones are coming along with their studies, and to raise some money. For the attendees, world leaders and politicians, it’s more of a window shopping exercise.
The “dolly” craze starts to sweep across campus, as rumors spread that the stuffed toys can bring luck or perhaps destruction. Some buy into the rumor, while others remain fascinated by the fad and its underlying semi-religious motif. As more students carry the charms around with them, the staff starts to notice. However, rather than clamping down on the strange superstition, Professor Kamiya allows it to continue. He has his own motives for wanting as many of those good luck charms around as possible.
Into the middle of a busy campus skydives Director Rockwells, causing a migraine-inducing distraction to students and professors alike. The egotistical playboy treats the students as pets and seems to not care at all for the plans the politicians might have. He brings along his adopted daughter to join him at the campus, and immediately recruits the only student not busy with studies to baby sit for her. Shiro has no say in the matter, and reluctantly obliges with his request and a request to keep tabs on an unstable Mozart.
The shadow group of assassins seems to be taking their time formulating a plan of attack on the rest of the students. It quickly becomes clear that the group is closer to the students than it first appeared. They know all about the goings on at the campus and even about the dolly fad. With so many groups rotating around, it’s impossible to tell who’s on whose side, and which characters have the clones best interests in mind.
One thing is certain, though, that Shiro’s father clearly isn’t being open with him and probably isn’t even his real father. By the end of the volume, even his destiny is in question when another person arrives who bears more than a passing resemblance to the protagonist.
The twists are turning for Shiro and the rest of the students. The mysteries are growing as sides are being drawn, but it’s still unclear exactly what those sides are. No one’s motivations seem clear at this point. The author tries to distract from the bleak conflicts by throwing in some wacky antics by the school director and some blatant fan service (two girls sharing a bathtub, really?). The strength of the story lies in its characters’ internal struggles. It’s a wait for volume three, or a trip to the Sigikki website, to see how Shiro deals with a surprise encounter with a familiar face.