A not-so-happy ending after all? The start of a new arc brings about new troubles for Medaka and Zenkichi.
With the Jet Black Wedding Feast over, Medaka and Zenkichi face off against some new issues. To ease readers into the new arc, a simple gag and minor issue for the newly engaged leads pop up with Medaka’s desire to be utterly traditional until their wedding after they reach the age of 18. This poses a hilarious problem for Zenkichi as he misinterprets her actions—and who wouldn’t?—utter disappointment in his very abrupt and short marriage proposal. The laughs are there and they bring up the main focus of this upcoming arc, which is the sudden disappearance of Shiranui Hansode’s existence from everyone’s minds. From this point in the manga, we get the hint that a certain character has used his ability to erase her existence from everyone’s minds which leads to a bunch of fun cameos by characters we haven’t seen in a while. But for what reason her existence was erased remains to be seen.
This leads to an interesting point about her character by Anshin’an who obviously wouldn’t be affected by Kumagawa’s “All Fiction” ability. Here we get to understand the true nature of Shiranui and her character, her motivations and purpose in this story from the get go. Shiranui’s motivations have always been a mystery to me seeing as she always acted on a whim whether supporting or opposing Medaka and now we know why, in addition to the roles that the Shiranui family plays in contrast to the Kurokami family. This brings about plot unity in tying together many aspects of her character that at times felt random and serving only the purpose of progressing the story without reason, but now we have that reason. I can’t say if this is something Nishio Issin planned from the start for her character, but if it was planned out as such I’m rather impressed with the extent of how far the writing was planned ahead.
As a chapter kicking off a brand new arc, this was a great read that introduces a new issue for the two leads to tackle along with answering questions and providing details and information on aspects that I’ve been curious about for a while. The various cameos are all nice and I’m just excited to keep reading on because things aren’t over yet and there’s still things to resolve between the characters of Medaka, Zenkichi and Shiranui.
Chapter 160 sees the beginning of Medaka and company’s journey to the Shiranui village where Shiranui Hansode has fled to now that that she has completed her duty for Medaka. Once again, the cast has been limited down to just Medaka, Zenkichi, Anshin’an and Kumagawa, but it only makes sense since only these characters are able to remember her existence. All that means is that there will be more characters to introduce, including the re-introduction of some characters that didn’t get much fanfare during the last arc. Some of those characters include the doubles for the branch family candidates. This arc will more than likely feature more of them and it’ll be interesting to see how Medaka and Zenkichi deal with this clan of doubles because it’s certain that they don’t approve of the lifestyle they’ve chosen.
In the meantime, we get a glimpse of Shiranui living the village life, and though she seems to have changed slightly, since she didn’t eat as much, it’s apparent her time with Zenkichi and others have had a lasting impact on her. Although all but four of the others have forgotten about her existence at Hakoniwa Academy, she clearly hasn’t forgotten them as she defends Zenkichi’s character specifically when another one of her clan insults him. It’s hard to tell what’s going on in her mind, but through the artwork she does come off as slightly less than happy with her situation, that is until she receives new orders from Medaka’s father, Kajiki. Shiranui’s facial expression returns to what it was when she was around Zenkichi and Medaka, which is one of being mischievous. Something is up with the new orders from Kajiki and it’s definitely something Shiranui is looking forward to, which translates as something readers should be looking forward to as well.
The chapter ends off with a trial for Medaka and company to face off and it’s quite a funny gag. Guarding the path towards the village are four ninjas who turn out to be… none other than Medaka and company. In a village full of doubles, it only makes sense to have them be stalled by doubles of themselves. Medaka’s super human ability will no doubt handle the situation rather easily, but it’ll be interesting to see how these doubles put up a fight to stall and/or turn away the four intruders. Definitely something to look forward to next week.
GO Rating: 3.5/5
It’s always fun seeing Anshin’an unleash hell with her 10,000,000,000,000 skills