Writer/Artist: Hitoshi Iawaaki
Translated by: Andrew Cunningham
Adapted by: Andrew Cunningham
What They Say
Aliens parasites have invaded Earth and taken over the minds of ordinary people. Shin has been infected with a parasite, but he still can think and act for himself. Now he's been approached by two mysterious victims of the invasion: Tamiya, a beautiful schoolteacher, and Shimada, another student. What do the aliens want with humanity . . . and with Shin?
Shin is still coming to terms with the fact that his fusion with Migi has changed more than just his physical body - he's changed in other ways as well, and the people around him are noticing. Murano seems to be having the most trouble dealing with this new Shin. His newfound physical toughness and emotional hardness make him almost a stranger to her, and he keeps driving her away without even trying. Even Shin's father has noticed the change in him.
His own changes aren't the only thing Shin has to deal with right now. There's a new student in school, and Shimada's a parasite too. He claims that he's trying to learn to live without eating humans, but something about him doesn't seem right to Shin and Migi, who vow to keep a close eye on him. As they learn more a confrontation seems to be more and more inevitable, but Shimada is learning things about Shin as well - things that Shin doesn't necessarily realize that he's revealed.
Meanwhile, more and more people are becoming aware of the real truth behind all the recent bloody murders and disappearances. It's not public knowledge yet, but there are forces in the government and elsewhere working to uncover the secrets of the parasites, to protect their people from them...and for other reasons as well. When one of Shin's classmates is a little too observant and stumbles on the truth about Shimada, a confrontation ensues that drags the entire school down in bloody chaos, and promises to reveal the truth to the public at large.
This volume really drove home the huge changes that have taken place in Shin since the beginning of the series. He seems to be losing his basic empathy bit by bit, without even realizing it - it's a chilling transformation, and one that seems fated to end badly. The true horror of this series is how things can seem so normal one moment, and then turn into a nightmare mere seconds later, with little or no warning. But there are some fantastic moments here that just work so very well - even with close to three hundred pages here, it seemed like I was finished with the book almost as soon as I started, because I was just that engrossed. It feels like things are starting to move on to a new phase, and I'm dying to see what happens next.