Title: Pumpkin Scissors Vol 2
Author: Ryotaro Iwanaga
Publisher: Del Rey
May Contain Spoilers
I just love characters with mysterious pasts, and Corporal Oland is no exception. The big, burly soldier is at odds with his size, endearingly shy and clumsy at the same time. Well, that’s only until he’s confronted with a deadly situation, and then he becomes a programmed killer. While I think his ability to stare unflinching into the face of death is nothing short of awesome, some of his new comrades aren’t so charmed by his fearlessness. Heck, no, they’re terrified of him and think he’s a monster. Hey, kid, he just saved your life! Show a little gratitude!
This volume delves into Oland’s past, as Warrant Officer Machs, suspicious and distrustful of Imperial Army State Section III’s newest member, sets out to discover the secret behind the 901-ATT tank fighting unit. He learns that the troop was also referred to as the Invisible Nine, and that they were steeped in secrecy. Warned that his research may put his life in danger, his fear of Oland pushes him on. If Oland is the monster he believes him to be, he wants to expose him and have him thrown out of his unit.
Machs comes across as very young and very timid, and I wonder how he functions in the army at all. In a combat situation, he freezes, and Oland risks his life to save him. Instead of feeling grateful, he’s now terrified of the other man. His reaction was disappointing; isn’t part of being a team the willingness to put everything on the line to help your teammates? If their roles had been reversed, would Machs have leapt, unhesitating, to Oland’s aid? Granted, Oland has been programmed to react a certain way in combat situations and he really can’t help himself from jumping into the “Kill Zone,” but I’d like to think that he’d try to protect his teammates regardless of that. He just seems like that kind of guy.
In addition to exploring some team dynamics, the troop gets involved in a drug conspiracy. With higher ups involved, they’re treading on dangerous ground. And with a psycho flamethrower, another former member of the 901-ATT, toasting people like they’re marshmallows, they have their hands full. Plenty of action keeps the pages turning, and it was hard to put this volume down. Pumpkin Scissors has been a surprisingly good read and I’m looking forward to future installments.
Rated for Older Teen
Review copy provided by Del Rey