(Big Comic Spirits 2007-2013)
Story/Art by Inio Asano
Summary: This is a story that tells the tale of young Punpun, a normal boy living a normal life, except with one small twist: he sees himself as an anthropomorphic bird, and he sees his family in the same way. So follow Punpun as he journeys through life complete with heartache, heartbreak, family issues and a rather peculiar connection to God. While everyone else seems normal, Punpun is rather unique.
Review: The end is near for our sweet dear Punpun and Aiko. And the longer it takes for the noose to tie around their necks, the more nervous I get for all parties involved. This volume focuses mostly on the darkness that is ever-engulfing Punpun. He and Aiko continue their lives on the run as they travel from Tokyo to Kagoshima. Along the way Punpun displays many acts of psychological violence towards Aiko, and at one point nearly beats a stranger to death for littering.
Why? Well, at this point I believe Punpun feels like he has nothing to lose. His whole life has been an ever devolving lie in which he grew up thinking the world was sunshine and rainbows until the truth began to reveal itself. And the crescendo was Punpun killing another human being. Punpun is finally truly done with the world, his only solace is taken in protecting Aiko, someone who he holds amazing resentment towards yet loves with all his heart.
There’s also a bit of Pegasus’ storyline in this as well. Finally that story is beginning to get good. It took long enough, and still I’m curious to see how Punpun and Pegasus’ stories finally intersect, as they haven’t yet. But finally the wheels are beginning to move and all those story lines I so badly wanted to begin colliding are doing just that.
As the chapters continue on though more and more revelations begin to seep through the cracks. As Punpun is about to kill Aiko and himself upon a beach, Aiko reveals that he wasn’t the one who ultimately ended her mother’s life. It was her; she stabbed her mother several times while he was out of the room after he strangled her. Seems his strangling wasn’t enough, so Aiko finished it off. This is going to get real interesting real fast as Punpun’s burden of ending a life has been taken away from him by the same girl who took away his happiness time after time more than anyone else in his life.
The cult of Pegasus also reaches a deadly point this volume as nearing the end the group attempts a mass suicide that fails when majority of the members finally start coming to their senses once faced with certain death. Wada, Pegasus’ accomplice in all of this has to keep his plans from being interrupted however and decides to torch his followers in a sudden mass homicide.
Whether or not any of them made it out alive is yet to be seen. Overall this volume caters to the calm before the storm. The long wait while I sweat bullets in wondering whether or not anyone’s going to get a happy ending in this series. We got one more volume to go guys, and I just… I really hope the ending makes me cry ugly tears. I’ve put too much emotional investment into Punpun and his spiraling hellhole of a life for Inio to drop the ball now.
However, I’m very confident that volume 13 is going to be a wonderful ending. This volume too was wonderful, and my dear, sweet Punpun… please come out of this alive…
Final Score: 4 Looming Dark Spots out of 5
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