Friday, July 24, 2015

The Classic: Volume Three

The first thing that stuck out for me with Volume Three of Errant Story is how awful the volume cover looks.  I don't know why, but Meji looks really, REALLY off model.  Flat, rough, and terrible.  I'm reasonably sure that most of the cover art, either for the volumes or chapters, are all sketches of one for or another, which is probably why Meji looks so bad, it's an early, quick version.  It's a jarring image, but it's only temporary.

Anyway, the reason Volume 3 had to be separated out is because this is when the story actually gets going.  One and Two are basically set up and backstory, both for the world and the characters, and while there is some more here, it's more about moving the story forward rather than stopping and talking way too damn much.

But it starts with Anita being a bitch.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention her in Volume Two where she's actually introduced, but that's more because there's really little about her there.  She's the leader of the Ensigerum Order, the time ninjas that Sara belongs to, and in Volume Two, as in Volume One, we really don't get much about her there.  It's in Volume Three that Anita starts playing a more major role, and one of being probably the main antagonist of the whole story.  Yes, even though Ian is the "villain" (for relative levels of villainy), Anita is the one that eventually pushes the whole thing over the top.  She is not a nice person, like at all, but backs it up by being a really good at what she does.

The most memorable moment for me, for some reason, is when Sarine and Jon have sex.  Yeah, okay, maybe it's the titillation factor, but it's actually a great character moment for both characters.  The setup is simple, Sarine crying over the thought of having to kill Meji, who is a stable half-elf (one with self esteem issues and a spoiled attitude, which is very prevalent throughout this volume).  Then Jon pulls his gun out with the idea of defending the girl.  There's more to it, of course (go read it already), but in the end, the act is one that is not really out of character for both.  The fact that Sarine tries to erase the event from Jon's mind the next morning is also in character (he noticed).  Then the Paedagogusi arrive.

The Paedagogusi are basically the Elven version of angels, but they're fairies that are, um, unconventional to say the least.  To say the most, they're right out of Exploitation Now!  See, I told you it was part of the root of the comic.  Meji and Ellis's sniping dies down a bit in time for them to arrive and introduce a whole new level of, um, annoyance.  To the characters, they're not that annoying to the readers.  They're basically a kind of comic relief that actually has a point to them, and in the end a pretty powerful role in the story.  Here, two of the five of them are guarding Anilis', um, resting place.  It's unclear what Anilis is or why she's there, dead, sleeping, lazy?  Doesn't matter, but Meji follows through on her plan to gain ultimate power to pass her class. . .

And finds out Ian beat her too hit.  We get a flashback sequence for him, starting from the decision to begin his journey, his fight with the Elves, and eventually his "accidental" absorption of Anilis.  It does appear to be an accident by the way, I don't think he meant to basically eat her, but after a bit, he adjusts.  When he officially reappears, he, um, opens the roof of the inn Meji and the others are staying at, and whisks Meji away.  With this, Volume Three ends.

After two volumes of sheer exposition with one fight and some flirting, this is the meat of Errant Story as a story, and it's only the beginning.  I really did think it would take longer to get to this point, but I guess that just means the last volume is just lots of action and violence, which it probably is.

Next time, Volume Four.  See you then kiddies.  And sorry again for the lateness, my job hours are mean and cruel in so many ways.

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