The guy who caused Ayanakoji’s class so much trouble in the first volume returns to cause even more trouble. But instead of failing a test, he beats up some punks and claims innocence. Kinda hard to play public defender to some guy admitting to having bare-knuckled a bunch of dudes, but Ayanakoji takes up the challenge regardless.
Last time, I talked about perspective in the opinionated sense and not the second- or fourth-person sense, but this time I am talking perspective in the ninth- or twelfth-person sense. Whereas the entirety of the first volume took place in Ayanakoji’s eyeballs, this one from time to time trades over to one of two other girls with no indication of having done so. I don’t mind perspective hopping, but at least let me know right away so that I’m not confused when Ayanakoji complains about how much his giant breasts hurt his back.
Our defendant, though, being honest, I wish we had someone else brought in. Generally speaking, I’m a strong advocate for authors getting as much mileage from a character or plot device as they can, but I don’t find Sudou that interesting of a person to be the pivotal character for the second time in a row. I didn’t mind in the first volume, since his stupidity was only an issue in the last 30 or so pages, but here, it feels like the series is trying to play him up as a headliner, despite shoving him aside for most of the book to focus on the socially anxious girl in class. It treats him like a low-level Bidoof whose purpose is to sac itself in battle so that the actually important party members can get healed up and resume ass-whipping.
Here’s something which always feels like a skipping stone wedged into a lawyer’s mouth: when characters refer to unknown agents in a story not as him or her or it, but as him or her or it. I understand that subtly is its own art form, but will an in-story character really take the extra second to emphasize a pronoun because it’ll be more dramatic for the reader? It’s like when superhero comics bold random words, so instead of Batman telling Alfred he’s going out for groceries, it’s him going out to buy some milk and eggs.
For all the complaining I’ve been doing, I didn’t dislike this book, believe it or not. It’s still got what made the first volume great, but it lacks the same polish due to its minor experimentation. It does push Ayanakoji’s personal narrative forward in a tiny but fascinating way, and it teases at who’ll be standing in the rodeo next, so it redeems itself for some of its shortcomings.