This was the title that convinced me that it was useless to expect anything in particular from Tanaka. The only thing you can guarantee about her work is that something will give you pause. There is no such thing as a simple mystery, a typical day at school, an ordinary love, or your friendly neighborhood anything when you pick up one of her titles. There’s also no such thing as a happy ending, well, I’m sure somewhere in that world someone’s happy, but they’re rarely amongst the main cast.
This title, with its blood-stained hands, fisticuffs, defenders of justice, deranged youth, and aliens leaves you with more questions than you had when it came to you. Both est em and Yamashita Tomoko are really good at making you question all the things not said. Yamashita’s particularly good at setting you adrift in the ocean of possibilities at the end of her storys. But Tanaka, she sets the stage in such a way that you don’t have time to even think about asking questions because the story is off and running two seconds before the gun goes off and all you can do is wait until it turns a corner so you can get a better view of whats going on, but even then you’re still not running apace with it, you’re bringing up the rear, eyes and all trained on it.
And when you cross the finish line, something big happens and a question or two is answered, and while it’s what you wanted to know, something you may have taken for granted comes to the fore donning a big question mark and, occasionally, a nice fist for your gut, because there are times when you’ll be exhausted or winded, lying on the ground gasping and wheezing as the story ends and you’re still asking “why?”