Friday, December 07, 2007

Venus Versus Virus vol. 6

Venus... versus what..?
No... no, sorry doesn't ring a bell, really.

I'M KIDDING! As soon as I saw this volume finally come out, I ordered it faster than I could wipe the drool off my chin. I mean, it's been over half a year since the last one ffs. Not to mention the last volume left us with a bit of a cliff hanger at that.

So, was this volume worth the wait? Hmmm.... ( ´ε ` )

Read the rest!

Let's see, shall we?
Well, this probably goes without saying by now, but this volume starts right where the last left off. ...I mean really. Like, mid-conversation.

Lola continues on about just how she was able to know where Sumire was last volume by explaining her connection to Lyla (..if this stuff all seems so long ago to some people, I don't blame you. Feel free to skim over what happened here.)
Meanwhile however, Lucia isn't listening to a word of Lola's account, as she's still far too preoccupied with what she just said earlier: a man named Lucif -- Lucia's father -- took Lyla away. But how?


And as if the question Lucia asked was some sort of incantation, Nahashi appears! Back already, eh? Lucia promptly demands an explanation from him as to why the fact that her father is still alive was kept away from her, and before he can even unpack his things, Nahashi's bounding back into flashback mode.

Nahashi recalls when he first returns to Lucia's home country (the name.. still not given) and to his old Professor's estate, and thus back to when he met Lola, who knew all about him. But why? Oh, I'll tell ya why.
You see, although their adopted father (or grandfather, rather) has technically passed on already, his mind is still kicking, which is why he's currently being preserved in that ice.... thing. Lola goes on to explain that as she and her sister are both telepaths they are still able to communicate with him, frozen or not. It was through this that Lola was told who to expect, after getting Nahashi's letter that he was coming over.

But once Nahashi stands before his Professor, he all of a sudden decides to stay tight lipped (I can't stop thinking of puns.. (;´Д`) ), and refuses to answer the questions Nahashi has traveled so far in order to ask him. Instead, Nahashi tells Lola all of what has been happening in Japan; news which compels Lola to travel to the country in order to see why her sister has a hand in the mayhem. It isn't until later that Nahashi once again implores the Professor to answer his questions, which he finally does! a way.
Actually, a part of the ice that he was encased in sort of chipped off.. Nahashi took this as a sign that his Professor wanted to communicate with him through Lola, thus the reason why he has returned.

Thankfully, his assumption was correct (wouldn't it be something if it wasn't?). Once Lola grasps the ice, the Professor immediately begins to speak through the girl, about the chain of events that occurred when Lucia was an infant.

Well, much to her obvious dismay, Lilith, Lucia's mother, was beginning to have nightmares where she would actually kill Lucia. At the same time, the elemental markings and eye color were beginning to fade from Lucif and appear in Lucia. On the night of a meteor shower, Lilith wakes up from just such a dream. Lucif believes he sees the Magician we met last volume outside the window, and chases after him in beliefs that he's the source of these nightmares. Afraid for her husband's safety (and senses) Lilith eventually chases after him. Upon their reuniting, Lucif slays her. As the Professor and Nahashi only arrive at that scene, we're left to wonder why. As she dies, Lilith asks Nahashi to take care of her daughter, and keep her on the path of light.

A little later, Sumire dreams she's still at the Planetarium, but is being attacked by a Yoshiki-turned-virus. Lucia promptly appears to kill him, but Sumire thereupon goes berserk and returns the favor.
As she wakes up, Lucia is asleep at her bedside. Sumire notices that, but perhaps only accidentally, as she soon remembers that she left Yoshiki at the Planetarium and feels she must find out if he's all right. Thus, leaving (the apparent deep sleeper) Lucia, Sumire gets out of bed and dashes downtown, only to find that the once destroyed Planetarium is still in tact. What's going on..?


....And so ends an incredibly confusing and busy 1st chapter. It rather felt to me as if things were perhaps moving at light speed, but that might have just been because I was a little anxious, and was reading quickly. ..Or maybe a little of both. ...Wait, that's right, there's a whole book left..
(I swear, not as busy as that was).

Upon leaving the immaculate Planetarium, the main thing on Sumire's mind is where could Yoshiki-san be? Is he all right? Well we don't know. What we do know is that Sumire is acting pretty crazy and once found by Nahashi and Lola is coaxed to return home and get some rest. But not before being chewed out by Lucia for not letting her know she was awake (some thanks!).
..But Lucia can't stay mad for long. Once the two girls return to their room, she asks if she could come over to Sumire's bed (eh? (;゚д゚)) and explain to her what was found out earlier in the evening. Lucia discloses her new mission for the future -- of how to deal with her father, and to help Sumire protect those she cares about.

..What's that Lucia? You know all about Sumire's boyfriend?
And you're gonna help her find him, too? Wow, Lucia, you're such a good friend!! ミ☆
(....wait, what?!)

But thankfully...

( *・ω・)

..that's more like it.

So the next day, Lucia and Sumire search for clues for where Yoshiki could be; stopping by the usual park, visiting his school, asking his friends, etc. Along the way we also get a cute scene where after Sumire becomes quite depressed upon finding out that Yoshiki's been hiding a cellphone from her, Lucia dismisses love as a far too complicated and perhaps bothersome emotion.
However, Lucia reassures Sumire, saying that they'll definitely find this Yoshiki guy eventually, and that as long as they're together, it will be all right.

Little do they know, Yoshiki is actually in the custody of Ruka and Lyla. Aaaaand it's time for another flashback.

So that's what happened...

Remember when we last left Sonoka and Yoshiki, Sonoka unsheathing her sword, and then the spattering of blood? ..Well, there y'go.
The rest of the scene is narrated by Ruka, who tells us that the last things she remember before blacking out was watching that scene, hearing Yoshiki mumble a few words, and finally catching his gaze for a moment. We then find out Ruka is now against her will trapped inside her own body, currently inhabited by Sonoka's spirit. ..Oh, okay.

Oh yes, I almost forgot -- in order to counteract the stronger baddies, Lucia and Sumire themselves get upgraded a bit as well. Sumire getting a new bracelet that can now handle more than one vaccine application at once. But it's Lucia however who gets the lion's share of the improvements (much needed, at that). In addition to gaining a new, more portable gun, we learn of her mysterious (even to her) ability to control fire as inherited from her father. The details of it are a little muddy at first, and she hasn't been able to try out using it until now, as Nahashi gives her a lighter which can hold a flame for long periods of time. Which is something she'll need for this next part..

Later on, Lola meets up with Lyla after getting a telepathic signal on where they should meet. Consequently, Lyla wanted to hand over a letter to Lola. That's all. See ya later, sis.
Naturally unsatisfied with such a meaningless reunion, Lola decides to get serious.

Another 2-page spread. Just for the hell of it.

Lola demands that Lyla come back with her. Of course Lyla refuses, which only makes Lola that much more angrier. When she yells at her older sister not to leave her alone again, Lyla then invites Lola to join her with Ion. Lucia and Sumire step in in time to snap Lola out of her senses, and a short battle ensues. And Lucia's finally the one who sees most of the action again! Good for her~

But enough of that, while Lyla's still preoccupied, Lola performs a quick version of a mind meld with her sister, entering her psyche in an attempt to figure out why she's behaving so coldly to her own sister... but she only encounters Ion. Lyla gets up and blabbers on for a bit about that Key and Gate stuff we've heard before. It becomes clear that this was never Lyla to begin with, but rather Ion using the girl as a vessel to do his bidding.

Back at Venus Vangard, the gang eventually reads the letter (that had to be deciphered by Lucia's eye). It basically restates the same thing Ion told them through Lyla, but this time, as Lola is cognitive, she is able to channel her grandfather through the ice chunk once more to shine a light onto the whole cryptic Gate/Key message.

In a rather lengthy speech, he reveals everything we learned about Ion's plan to rewrite the world last volume, and also lets Lucia and Sumire know that the Gate and Key actually refer to them. On top of that we learn that Lilith's essence as a former Key is within Sumire. We learn more about Lucia's abilities. We learn why Sumire's abilities only began to appear after pricking her finger on Lucia's brooch. We learn all these things and more during the Professor's speech, which is unfortunately cut short when Yoshiki-turned-Ion apparently destroys the Professor's ice chunk with mind bullets. Upon doing so, Lola is no longer able to hear her grandfather's voice, nor is she able to sense Lyla's presence.
This sends her into quite a panic and she dashes upstairs, Lucia chasing after her. Sumire thus has her own peculiar scene where she begins to yell at the letter. But before we get a chance to laugh at her, the scene turns serious once more as she recognizes the familiar, sweet aroma about the paper -- it's the same one from the park -- the same one from whenever she was with Yoshiki-san.

dun dun DUUuuahh, whatever.

Aah AAH! Before I forget!

At the end of the volume, we get a pretty funny short of a not so average day in Venus Vangard, where Lucia and Sumire decide (or rather for Lucia, it's decided) to play dress up. Hilarity ensues.


Impressions (for real, this time):
I think the first thing I noticed about this volume was how bloody thick it was -- it's really probably the longest one since the first. I usually read through a volume in one go, but this time I actually had to take a break or two to fall asleep (not out of boredom. I was genuinely quite tired. ...Okay, maybe a little out of boredom).

I'm certainly glad that Lucia's becoming useful again, especially since Sumire's starting to get on my nerves a little! ( ´∀`)ノ
Besides that, it was certainly a very eventful volume on the information side. ..For the characters anyway. Most of this stuff we've already guessed... or we watched the anime, whichever. Ah, but really this volume is starting to really show how much the manga is diverging from the anime, isn't it? "Thank Heavens" only begins to describe my relief.

On the yuri side of things, well.. I guess it's getting pretty obvious by now that Lucia's feelings for Sumire are reaching something much closer to love. Sumire however is still quite occupied with a male love interest (where have I seen this scenario before..?). But will their relationship change now that they know how they're connected? C'mooon, incest ain't so bad.
Just look at Candy Boy.

Ah, speaking of which (no, not Candy Boy..), with so much divulged in this volume, it really makes you wonder how many more are left. As long as no new villians with a new agenda and such are introduced, I don't really see VVV going on longer than maybe 4 or so more volumes. Which I guess may be a good thing. I really hate it when series overstay their welcome.
Though on the other hand, I've been getting a very strange feeling that at this rate, the story may in fact end rather bleakly. Or rather, bittersweet at best. Especially on Lucia's side. I hope I'm wrong though..

Thankfully, unlike the last vol, we're let in when the next volume will be out -- spring next year~