Not wanting to put the story on hold just because I am missing one volume, I decided to go ahead and read the scans for the 13th volume. I didn’t want to make an impression because I don’t own the actual book and it feels a little weird to do one for something I don’t own, but I didn’t want to just gloss over this volume either. So I decided to just make a post with my thoughts on the volume in terms of the overarching story.
It’s an important volume so it definitely hurts that it’s out of print for the overall story. The biggest thing that happens in this volume is Mrs. Kobayashi’s “break down”. She walks in on Mikuro and Rin talking and starts panicking and yells at Rin that he isn’t her son, just someone inside his body, and to give her back Rin. Then the two of them “disappear”. We later learn that Rin teleported because of those words and doesn’t want to return home anymore. We can also infer that Mikuro must have teleported after Rin left as well. Staying would have caused too many questions for him that he couldn’t answer. This volume also explains why Rin is now living with a “retired” doctor and homeless person and why they call him “Gin”. I skimmed through the 14th volume before starting to read the scans of the 13th, and I was confused why he suddenly was no longer at the hospital or with his parents, so missing out on the 13th volume isn’t possible if you want to follow the story.
On a similar note, Alice starts to feel really terrible about what Rin’s mother is going through and finally tells her the whole story. While Alice isn’t sure whether she believes her, Mrs.Kobayashi later tells Alice that she is going to try and believe in her story and to love this other person, Shukaido, too. This nicely finishes one of the biggest pent-up problems reoccurring in the past few volumes. And, which again, I think is rather an important development in the overall storyline, since it resolves one of the biggest conflicts possible, Rin’s alienation from his family.
The other key moment, although not as important is Alice, Issei, and Jinpachi starting to realize that Rin’s story doesn’t add up. Alice tells them she is sure Rin mentioned being the last one on the Moon, whereas the others are certain it was Shion who was the last on the Moon. Alice also starts worrying about the significant of the 9 year gap between Rin and the others. This is information that we know is significant from earlier parts in the manga. Likewise the other Moon Dreams (sans Alice, Haru, and Rin) start to doubt whether knowing the past is all that great and show more regret this volume about knowing what happened on the Moon. They even consider hypnosis for Rin, who they believe has had his childhood/life ruined by remembering the past too soon. While this isn’t integral to the plot, it’s integral to the theme of the manga and is one of the more sombre notes about remembering another life, making it really stand out as one of the most important scenes in the manga to date. So again, it’s rather sad that so many important things happen in such a rare volume.
I have already decided to keep my eyes open for deals involving this volume as I do want to own it, but I’m also rather saddened to see such an important volume so under-printed that a good portion of collectors/readers will be unable to get their hands on it. Sure there are scans in this case, but if someone is buying the volumes, then they probably aren’t relying on scans. Ultimately reading this volume just reminds me of how frustrating it is trying to get rare missing volumes that contain integral bits of the story and how unfair these sort of situations are. If only supply and demand could be ideally maintained…