Bring on the murderation.
In volume two of Murcielago, the Murder Party story picks up where it left off, revealing more potentially gruesome traps for our, um, heroine to overcome, and that the maid seen attending our bloodthirsty old man hails from the age old tradition of the combat maid. Blood and gore galore before the whole thing resolves in someone getting hit by a boat. But, of course, there’s no downtime to be had, and we are soon launched into the next arc via a persistent panty thief at Hinako’s school. Elsewhere, a young girl elsewhere comes across evidence that makes her believe her father may be a serial killer; perhaps luckily for her, she is swiftly kidnapped by Kuroko, although as for why, it remains to be seen. Hinako’s determination to track down the panty thief appears to have been pushed to the wings for now, although the culprit doesn’t seem all that mysterious.
I’ll be honest – this isn’t a great volume, and a big part of that is that the pacing feels pretty off. Maybe it worked in serialization, but the amount of material compiled per volume is such that for this one we get what ends up feeling like the odds and ends of two stories with not a hell of a lot of satisfaction. It’s true that Murder Party closes out here, but the momentum seems to have deserted it completely after the months between its start and its end.
On the other hand, the new arc, Domestic Killer, so far simply doesn’t offer much thus far, and that it appears to have let lolicon elements into the story is fairly dismaying. Kuroko was a pretty terrible person in the first volume, but her dive into lolicon land makes her actively distasteful in a way that her cold killing and clear lack of morals hadn’t. I’m hoping fervently that this arc isn’t a lengthy one. The volume isn’t a total loss – did I mention the gatling guns on a wheelchair? – but it’s absolutely a step down.
I read the digital release of this which can be purchased on Kobo – something I note as, from previous experience, the quality of digital releases can vary by retailer (don’t get me started on how poor a job Barnes & Noble did with Twin Spica). If viewed in vertical view (my laptop’s screen swivels, so it can be used like a tablet) it looked perfectly fine, but I’ll note that if viewed in horizontal mode it looked a bit rough – pixellation issues cropped up.
Anyway, while it didn’t thrill me the way volume one did, I am nevertheless planning to keep on with this series, as this may have been a hiccup volume. I wouldn’t advise skipping it entirely if you plan to keep reading the series, given that Murder Party ends in it, but you may prefer to skim the material for the new arc instead of devoting your full attention to it. But, hey, your mileage will probably vary based on how lolicon makes you feel.