Title: Hoshin Engi Vol 2
Author: Ryo Fujisaki
May Contain Spoilers
Taikobo learns that he’s not strong enough to face Dakki alone. Having failed in his direct assault against her, he decides that his best plan of attack will be to gather strong allies to assist him. He soon encounters the human paope, Nataku, and he wants to enlist him in the Hoshin Project. Nataku, however, is much too busy trying to kill his father and won’t spare the time of day. Will Taikobo be able to mend the father-son relationship and convince Nataku to join him in his fight against Dakki?
Taikobo’s no-nonsense approach to dealing with Dakki quickly backfires, and he finds himself helpless before her evil power. Planning some particularly nasty tortures for him, she ruthlessly slaughters the villagers he rescued in the last volume. Saved by Buseio, Taikobo blames himself for the brutal massacre of the Quangs and he falls into a brooding despair, which Buseio quickly snaps him out of. Though realizing that Dakki is a monster, Buseio is powerless to confront her himself. Sensing the strength within Taikobo, he’s hoping that he’ll save the world from Dakki.
With a renewed sense of purpose, Taikobo and Supu head out to find allies for their cause. What they find is Nataku, a human paope intent on killing his father, the cowardly Sei Li. Nataku, an artificial human created by the paope reiju, is incredibly powerful, and was born wearing three extremely destructive paope. After an incident with the water reiju king, he dies, only to be resurrected by the sennin Taiitsu with the aid of a lotus plant. Nataku is emotionless except for his strong feelings for his mother and he questions his own existence. Taikobo exploits this weakness and successfully intervenes between father and son, earning an ally in the process.
I like Taikobo’s approach to problem solving. He comes across as a total slacker, yet using his unorthodox methods, he manages to reach a satisfactory conclusion for his current dilemma. Except for his dealings with Dakki; after all, if he succeeded, the series wouldn’t continue for another 21 volumes.
There were a lot of character introductions as Dakki schemed and murdered her way to the end of the book. Shinkohyo is still one of the more interesting personalities; his motivations and loyalties are unclear, though perhaps after living over a thousand years, life has become so boring that any distraction is welcome. Watching Dakki as she slowly destroys the kingdom and murders the citizens of Yin must get so tedious after a time. With Taikobo, he has the possibility of being entertained, and so he helps the doshi to prolong his diversion.
The quirky character designs, with their overly large hands and feet, are visually interesting, though it makes me wonder how Taikobo can walk without tripping over his own feet.
Hoshin Engi Vol 2 will be available in August
Rated for Teen
Review copy provided by Viz