Flash Review – Suspension (Zaregoto Vol. 3)

It’s another peaceful day for Mr. No Name, and a great one for curling up with a good book, and then Jun Aikawa kidnaps him. When he wakes up from being tazed, she sends him into an all-girls’ school on a search-and-retrieve mission for one Ichihime Yukariki. Easy-peasy, if Sumiyuri Academy were a normal high school, which it’s not, so not only does he have to get in and get out with Ichihime, he has to do so without getting his boy bits blown off.

Hang ‘Em High School:

Sumiyuri Academy is the governmentally recognized name of the high school, but what the government isn’t privy to is its colloquial name, Hang ‘Em High, or the fact that the school is a bootcamp for turning sweet teenage girls into murderous psychopaths, and if they already are murderous psychopaths, giving them the training to murder like a pro. It’s an interesting setting, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a curious thing to figure out how the faculty sweep all the sharp weapons under the rug when the board of education swings by to inspect the place.

Ichihime Yukariki:

She’s the cute girl mascot this rodeo, but don’t break open that Danbooru tab. She’s got the body of a twelve-year-old and speaks likes a kid and has the whole school hunting her down. Once you get past her lolita characteristics, there’s a surprising amount of depth to her, and she plays the part of something of a mirror to Mr. No Name’s not-girlfriend, so we see some development of his character as well. Most of that development, however, is shrouded in a fog which eerily howls, “To be continued…”

The Mystery:

Strangely enough, the weakest part of this volume was its own murder mystery. It’s not so much that the mystery isn’t hanging over the characters’ heads as it is a setting where you could be the next murder mystery at any second strong-arming the spotlight for itself. So when a second head goes rolling, it feels more like business as usual.

The Tiny Length:

This volume is about a third smaller than the previous two volumes, which I normally wouldn’t care for, but when you wait over a year and a half for the translation, it’s disheartening to tear open that package and see something you can burn through at your next doctor’s visit.

The Verdict:

It’s the third volume in the series, and third at the moment is where it sits in terms of quality, but being third in Zaregoto is basically being thirtieth in an All-time Best Light Novels List.

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