Review by: dancingonrain.
Thanks to Mayura’s henchmen, the volume begins with Kyo’s aunt and uncle consumed by mara. They attack him. Kyo is forced to face parts of his childhood that still present a wound for him. Then Mayura, up to her usual antics, uses the darkness in Kyo’s best friend’s inner heart to manipulate him into attacking Kyo later.
After a series of events, Alice realizes that her real sister is somewhere buried deep within her mara-consumed inner heart. With that in mind, Alice is even more motivated to bring her sister back now that she knows the chances of saving her are higher. With the help of two more Lotus Neo-Masters from the Chinese and U.S. Branch, Alice, Kyo, Frey (Frei) and Chris set plan for a final attack. Either way, Alice is done sitting around waiting for Mayura to attack them again.
Alice is finally on the offensive.
And Mayura has finally lost it. She may even realize it herself now that she doesn’t really love Kyo, but she still wants revenge. She’s spent the past few volumes attacking everyone close to Alice, but this volume, although she still did keep assaulting her sister, she spent more time attacking and using people who were close to Kyo against him. She’s done with both of them. But when Alice tells Mayura that even after all she’s done, she still loves her, Darva’s hold on Mayura waivers for a second and then she retreats.
This shows that no one is truly evil and if they’re behaving out of character, there’s generally a reason. A motivation. Alice, who has always been timid, now chooses to fight back of her own accord. Darva and Mayura have been using Alice’s meekness against her, but now that she’s confronting them with more determination and motivation to save her sister than before. That makes the enemy anxious. The fact that Alice chooses to strike first at the end of the volume is huge character development for her so much so that her enemy is being forced to rethink their plans and strategy. This shows that anyone can be strong and a threat once they believe in themselves and have a motivation strong enough to overcome their initial doubts.
This series has always done well with the characterization and the characters’ motivation. Alice motivation? Darva is feeding off the darkness in Mayura’s heart. Eating her. If Alice doesn’t save her, Mayura will die and then Darva will find another host to leech off of and so on and so on. Alice has already promised their parents she’ll bring Mayura home, but it’s also bigger than just her family now. The entire world is in danger of being consumed by Darva’s sway. Alice refuses to let that happen. As the enemy scrambles for a final showdown, Alice and company reunite stronger than ever. At one point, Kyo wants Alice to stay behind. I think if Alice were still the same as she were in the first couple of volumes, she would have listened to Kyo, but not now. She refuses to stay behind and let others do her fighting for her. It’s her fault that Mayura was taken in the first place. She is going with the others and no one is going to change her mind. She has come so far from the timid, meek girl in the beginning, and yet she’s still her good-natured, lovable self. She has changed, but at the same time, she hasn’t lost herself in order to become strong. That’s a strength the mara will never know. I can’t wait to see what the last two volumes entail.