Friday, September 11, 2015

The Classic: Volume Five

Volume Five of Errant Story is, well, long.  In fact, I kept having to check back to see how far into the volume I was as there are no more volume covers, and there are a lot of chapters. It's not the most (Volume Seven is 9 chapters), but compared to Volume One and it's measly 5 it feels excessively large.  And there's a lot going on, a lot.  With every volume my notes get longer and longer.  Not just the number, but just the length of each entry.  There's so much to say, to touch on.

That said, there does seem to be a kind of theme running through this Volume.  I'm not sure if it was on purpose, I suspect not.  Still, it is there, and it has to do with family.

I use the term loosely when it comes to Sarine though.  She makes an off hand comment about one of her "relations" being in the audience of her attempt to bring this whole mess to light, only to comment about hoping to embarrass them.  That said, given the relatively few numbers of elves running around, the entire species could be considered her family, and she doesn't think much of it.  It's been on going since the beginning that she doesn't like other elves, and it's even more apparent here.  She avoids her own people as much as possible, hides as soon as she can, and then plans a raid to rescue Meji, right before they're surprised/captured just outside the elven city.  The fact that she finds better company with an assassin, his sister, and a flying/talking cat says a great deal about her.

Jon and Sara's relationship is more direct, of course, being brother and sister, but no less tumultuous, at least at the beginning.  I said last time that I wasn't sure if Sara intended to kill Jon or not, but that's probably not the right question.  The real question is was she going to do it because it was her task, or because she wanted to.  While she is clearly upset that Jon left her, she yells at him, the most animated she will be in the entire comic, the impression is she's angry because she wanted him to save her, not that she hated him for not doing so.  Jon's response is well reasoned, and apologetic.  His career did not offer him an easy way to care for his little sister, and by the time he found out his mother was dead and sister was orphanage, she had already been taken away by the monks.  Once they have their talk, though, they seem to find a mutual understanding, creating probably the most stable family unit of the main characters.

Meji certainly doesn't.  At least when it comes to her parents.  We won't learn outright until later, but her grandfather does care about her, which is why he's rather hard on her.  Her mother, on the other hand, is exactly as inattentive as she was initially presented.  She really doesn't care about her daughter, and only thinks about her in relation to getting back with Meji's father, something Sarine talks her out of because, well, her father is an elf.  Who are generally predisposed to killing half elves whenever they find them.  It's sheer luck that the whole thing with Ian happened, so instead he kidnaps his daughter and locks her in a cell in the elf city.  That wouldn't have happened, of course, if Meji didn't actually want to meet her father, despite knowing what he might try to do to her.

Then there's Ian, who's mother killed his sister by burning down their house.  You know, the sister he traveled the world and absorbed the powers of an elven god to simply heal.  Yeah he has issues.  Still, he knows he's kind of messed up, so when Anita offers to help him control his powers, if she helps him genocide the elves, he agrees to be her weapon without a thought.  As far as he's concerned, he should be dead already, and if it weren't for Meji, he would be.

And it's through Meji that a strange, new kind of family is formed.  Our heroes form a strange kind of family, which, despite the murderous rampages, assassinations, backstabbing and general dickery are probably more stable than any of the other groups.  Sarine and Jon have a rapidly developing relationship where they seem able to create "routines" between each other without any prior preparation, something that causes Sara to make a joke about it.  Meji is actually wants to help Sarine and Jon when Ian comes to her rescue (he is only concerned with Jon), and of course Ian did come to Meji's aid.  Sarine, despite knowing Ian's current rampage would likely target her as well, is more than willing to try to talk Ian down while Jon sees to Meji who was injured and Sara wants a weapon in case she needs to help protect them all.

Again, the theme is there, kind of.  It wasn't strictly intentional, as much as I can tell, and it isn't perfect, but at the same time, I prefer it that way.  Instead of trying to fit everything into a specific theme, the story just happens to involve it, while it moved along on it's own.  The reader gets a hint of it and has to dig down a bit to find it without it being thrust in their faces.  At the same time, they don't have to, the story doesn't NEED it to work.  I found myself enjoying this Volume far more than the earlier ones partially because of it.

Volume Five furthers the story, digs deeper into the characters and their various connections, and grows around a loose theme that manages to link everything together.  Also, Ian kills a god in this, but that's just a side note in the end.

Next time, Volume Six.  Until then kiddies.

No comments:

Post a Comment