The third volume is just as uninteresting as the first two--unless, that is, you bought it for the cosplaying loli. If you did, then prepare to be as bored as the rest of us, because she’s been shuffled off in the background somewhere.
Writer/Artist: Takeuchi Kirishima
Translated by: Christine Schilling
Adapted by: Brynne Chandler
What They Say
Kagura's journey to uncover the mysteries behind Kanna becomes much more perilous as minions of the Black God grow more determined. The discovery of a shrine maiden sent to help them is a momentary breath of fresh air, but things soon take a turn for the worst when she transports them into the Other World - right into the middle of a war!
Kanna and Kagura, having temporarily evaded the clutches of the Black God, are able to enjoy only a temporary respite before they find themselves thrown back into the middle of the action. The translation of ancient texts by their friendly cosplay boutique owner reveals that there is more to Kanna than meets the eye; indeed, she may be a weapon that was created from a long term cross-breeding experiment. Troubles continue to be added when Mao, reverted to her original form, is picked up by Takeuchi. When the unlikely pair returns to the city, they find it in chaos, and decide, like so many others, to leave for a safer place.
Kanna, Kagura, and Yaoki do a bit of traveling themselves, although they instead cross dimensions. Spurred on by Yaoki’s certainty that something has happened to the other version of Kagura, they are able to transport thanks to Kanna’s special abilities. The trio’s arrival in Sumera does not go unnoticed, and they find themselves face-to-face with the alternate version of Takeuchi--a very sober, somewhat dull military commander. The soldiers he commands are trying and failing to hold their fort against the Black Army, and Kagura thus pretends to be the alternate version of himself in order to boost their morale. It doesn’t take long for Kagura to find himself slipping into the role, and offers military innovations that are common in his world, but unknown in the less advanced one. He even goes so far as to help head up a naval attack, but stormy weather causes the bridge to break while he and other soldiers are standing on it. When he wakes up, Kagura is in an abandoned cave-laboratory, and is horrified to discover a familiar face is one of the experiments.
Kanna is a series that continues to frustrate me, because its basic set-up offered some potentially interesting concepts that were never fully explored. Every once in a while, there is a glimmer of hope from the “fate versus free will” debate, but even those are sucked into the black hole of mediocrity that is this series. The fanservice has been heavily upped in this volume with the introduction of shape-shifting soldiers, which are invariably attractive women who strip down before they assume their animal shapes. However, the titular character is sidelined during the second half of this volume. Kagura is given the most focus after he and his daughter transport to the Other World, but it’s hard to say whether this is an improvement or not. Kagura is as dull of a lead as you can have, and Takeuchi doesn’t add much to the pot
In the very least, this change of focus shows just how huge the suspension of disbelief required to read this series is. Kagura’s sudden burst of confidence could have been much more intriguing, but it instead feels fake and pasted in. His military brilliance is, of course, staggering, and he is thus able to help the non-evil Other World army rally against the minions of the Black God. His acquisition of the Other World’s Kagura’s powers is too easy, and makes all that training back in the second volume look as though it was for nothing. This third volume does at least accomplish things, which the aforementioned second did not, but it’s so dull and visually unappealing that it only makes a small difference. The best thing that can be said about this series is that it’s only got one volume left to go.