This is the final book in the two part series.Volumes 1 and 2 both have nice covers, but I like this cover a little more due to the beautiful blue hue and the fact that all three main characters make an appearance this time.

Summary


Having officially joined as Chicago’s rescue workers, Rei and Uozumi (as well as Shin) are sent on their next mission. They are told to rescue the hostages being held by a gunner. During the mission, Rei recalls her past as the snowy mountains always call forth a certain incident. Since Rei managed to arrive first, she also begins the mission first and unfortunately, due to the gunner’s shouts, finds herself buried under an avalanche. Fortunately, thanks to her quick thinking, the hostages managed to avoid the avalanche, but decide to head off on their own thinking Rei is dead. She is rescued by Shin and JJ’s dog, but continues on alone to rescue the hostages in order to prove to Shin that she isn’t incompetent. With some help from Uozumi, she manages to bring them all back safe and sound.

Later on, JJ informs them that Bay Distrinct D, the place of squad four’s demise, is scheduled to be blown down next week. Speaking among themselves, Rei and Uozumi decide to head there one last time to finally figure out what exactly went down there. They don’t invite Shin, but they do run into Billy at the sight. Exploring the building where they found the bullet ridden bodies, Uozumi and Rei discover a passage that was buried and make their way underground.

There they find a group of people and the mysterious man who was holding Billy captive and trying to kill them (back in volume 1). It turns out he is also connected to Rei’s past and is the final man she has been looking for in her quest of revenge. The man explains he helped rich men’s sons with their pet project in order to gain their support and that this group of people is an experimental colony that a private organization has organized in order to “fix” Japan from within. He also informs them that the bombing has been rescheduled to this morning. With that information, Uozumi tells Rei to forget about revenge for now and to focus on finding a way out. After a bit of exploring, Rei manages to find an exit and she and Uozumi lead the people out. Unfortunately for her, Billy, and Uozumi, who are the last to leave, the demolition explosions start early and the way out is blocked. Seemingly trapped with seawater pouring in at a rapid pace, Uozumi jokes that it would be a good time for Shin to show up. And to everyone’s surprise, he does! He brings them diving wear and they all manage to escape.

They take Billy to their hideout (the bar Chicago) and promise him he can come visit them any time. Unfortunately, the mysterious assassin comes to visit them that night as well and when Billy comes by the next day, all that is left of Chicago is a pile of rumble. According to the news, it was a gas leak and explosion, but Billy knows better. He is, however, glad to hear that no one was reported dead, but also sad that he can’t see Rei anymore. With that he turns around and decides this is a story he must write; the story that will begin his career as a journalist. With that Chicago comes to a close.

My Thoughts


It definitely ended too soon. Ms.Tamura did write in one of her corners that she may continue it again some day in some form, but that for now she felt this is where is should end. A shame because I quite liked the story and there is still so much left unresolved. We finally learn how the kidnapping, massacre of squad four, and Bay Distinct D are all connected, but there are still many questions left unanswered: Whose shadow is the assassin (he claims he has no name because he is someone’s shadow), Did Alto know about the whole plan with Billy (and if he did, why was he ok with it and if he didn’t when will his father think it best to tell his successor the dark part of his company’s dealings)? What happened that night at Chicago? And did Rei finally get her revenge? Why does the ending imply that Billy got to write his story? Would it not be strange that the group behind so many murders through which they tried to hush up their dealings, would overlook him? Was Billy’s connection to the Dojoji group just him being friends with Alto?

That last question. I had this suspicion he is connected with them deeper than just being Al’s friend. If he were an illegitimate child, a lot of things would make sense. Like why the group that kidnapped him didn’t kill him (a dead witness is the best witness after all), why Dojoji used him in their money exchange, and why he wasn’t silenced when he started writing his story.

Outside of unanswered plot questions, there was still a lot left to do with the characters. For one, Shin and Rei’s relationship sees no resolution. In fact, the ending only seems to strengthen the relationship between Uozumi and Rei as the two share 1 scuba gear and an indirect kiss. There is also that memory Rei has of when Uozumi returned. He was pretty concerned for her, even though she was just a stranger to him then. It definitely raised questions on just what he thinks of Rei. The series never makes it very clear. Yeah, he has a lover, but does he see Rei like a little sister, a friend, or maybe something that’s more a mix of conflicted feelings. He comes back to Japan after he lost his lover to a war and is frustrated that he “never gets to be with the people he loves when they die.” It almost suggests that he picked Mika as his lover because she is a non-combatant. And even if his feelings for Rei aren’t romantic, there is still a lot of potential for Uozumi as a character.

The same applies to Shin. At the end of Chicago we still know next to nothing about him. There is an odd exchange between him and Rei during his shooting practice where Rei notes that he only uses his left arm to shoot and to eat but that he is right handed. Shin says that his right hand is the one that kills and then JJ walks in and that’s all we see. Such a big tease about his past and it’s just left there hanging and not explored further. It’s just begging for the story to continue on. I really want to see how Shin got to where he’s at.

That said, I still enjoyed the story quite a bit. The side story on Dr. Sanders was interesting if a bit on the weird side. I did like it,but then I know I’m weird. xD I found Dr.Sanders attempts at joking funny, especially given how his patients all took it. Ms.Tamura’s “Tiny Tam-Tam Times” were also equally humours. It was funny how she related all her funny accidents. Like how she fell on her bum while walking down the stairs and some dude asked her if she was ok while chuckling. She seems like a really fun person to hang around. I’m also one to laugh at my stupid mess ups as well, so it seems we have a bit in common~

Now that I’ve finished with Chicago, I don’t have any more of her works in English to look forward to. :( I keep hoping someone licenses 7SEEDS and There Goes Tomoe. Both sound so good. I want to read them and have them in paperback sitting on my shelf. Speaking of There Goes Tomoe, no one seems interested in scanlating it. :( So not only can’t I own it in English, I can’t even read it as it stands. :( But enough of the depressing talk! I’m happy to be able to even own her works in English, especially Basara, which is now out of print. Maybe I’ll even start re-reading Basara in the near future…

–SW

Advertisements