Last week I took a different approach to writing these blook club reviews. Instead of writing as I go through the manga, I waited until I read the entire volume before starting. And I honestly prefered that method, so for the time being that’s how these will be written. Both last week’s volume and this volume were very good so let’s not waste too much time and get started, shall we?
Chise has gone with Josef/Cartaphilus to his laboratory. He wants to basically trade arms so their curses can counteract each other. It seems like an okay theory but nothing ever goes as planned. To test their compatibility they first exchange eyes. This is a rather brutal scene, with Josef ripping out his own eye effortlessly and then doing the same to Chise. I can’t imagine the amount of pain something like that would cause, but Chise goes through with it. I’m assuming some form of magic is helping out since wounds like that shouldn’t just heal immediately. Perhaps their respective curses make it so it heals immediately? This isn’t made clear but it seems like a logical enough conclusion that I’m not about to question it. After the treatment is done, Josef sends Chise into a dream as his way of being a dick. He really isn’t a nice person, but we will soon learn how he got to this point.
We get a glimpse into Chise’s past as she dreams of a time when her parents were still together. At this point in the story I’ve just accepted that I don’t remember as much from the anime as I thought because everytime we get to a new story I think back to it and I feel like I’ve seen it already. But it feels almost like I’m getting to experience it all over again, which is definitely not a bad thing. Chise and her mother were both Sleigh Beggy. Chise had always assumed it came from her father, but she was wrong. Her father has been protecting them but he’s reaching a boiling point. Eventually he takes Chise’s younger brother and leaves. Chise’s mother does her best to protect her, but with their curses this proves near impossible. Eventually her mother gets so fed up that she almost hurts Chise. Horrified by the thought of the possibility, she ends up taking her own life instead. Besides obviously a sad backstory, this also leaves the interesting possibility that Chise’s brother and father will eventually show up later in this story.
To get back at Josef, Chise ends up peeking into his history as well and forcing him to relive it as well. We learn about a happy gravedigger named Josef, who starts taking care of a strange person going by Cartaphilus. By all measures this person looks like they’re far past dead already but they don’t die. Josef tries to find a way to help this stranger, but ends up slowly driving himself insane while doing so until he comes to the conclusion that they should just merge bodies. This turns them into the Josef/Cartaphilus we see today. We also learn that Cartaphilus became this cursed because he threw a stone at Jesus. This doesn’t shine a great light on Christianity, but then again, neither do most bible stories.
Moving on, Elias has been extremely upset that he messed up so badly. Not so much that he regrets his methods, because from his perspective he did the right thing. What he regrets is the outcome. As a human, Chise has very different standards and reasoning from fae creatures. Luckily for Elias, he’s made some powerful friends and even Titania shows up to help him out. Elias and some others are sent to Chise’s side to help her out and they end up successfully helping her against Josef. The latter runs away, but with the help of Marielle, the witch, and Ruth she confronts him. He severely wounds her, but she manages to deal with it, and puts him to sleep. This chapter of the story ends with Josef wanting to stay asleep for a while and Chise taking care of him.
I have to admit that the cover this time around seemed a lot more neutral, so to speak. I couldn’t really find a theme, but maybe I missed something. If there’s a theme that you found that I didn’t, do let me know. Not everything has a deeper meaning, but it’s fun to speculate.
The upcoming chapter now starts and we see Chise and Elias getting ready to go to college. I guess it’s time for hogwarts? All jokes aside (and I don’t even like Harry Potter that much), When you’re dealing with magic, a school setting is great to introduce a diverse cast of interesting people without having to really reach far. Teachers, students and other people on the grounds leave limitless possibilities. I think that’s why Harry Potter got so successful and why we see so many manga and anime take place in school. I am definitely looking forward to the upcoming arc. The magic in this universe is fascinating and I feel like the characters are very well written. Most, if not all of them are very flawed, but in a believable way. It makes you root for them and also relate to them. But what did you think of this volume, and this arc as a whole? Did you like it? Are you excited for the next one? Please leave a comment and I hope to see you all here again next week!