Stealth Symphony 4-5

Chapters 4 and 5 continue what has been an exciting and entertaining introduction to the world of this new series, with plenty of pithy humor and colorful characters. Chapter 4 gives a glimpse into the daily life of V & V Total Security Protection, as Jig continues to seek employment. The relationship between the various employees is enjoyable, with an abundance of witty banter. The employees themselves feature an impressive variety of species and creatures, demonstrating great creativity from the author. In particular, an unexpected invasion of monsters into the V & V offices gives intriguing peeks at the abilities of many characters that have not yet been formally introduced. Scenes featuring creatures resembling Frankenstein’s monster or a jack-o-lantern tease readers into wanting to know more about these characters, which gives the sense that this series has merely scratched the surface of its vibrant world.

There is no shortage of interesting characters or creative designs

There is no shortage of interesting characters or creative designs

The lighthearted tone and energetic pace work well for this series, which is surprising given that the primary conflict seems to be between this city’s various security organizations of dubious legitimacy. Despite this seedy backdrop, Stealth Symphony has avoided entirely the dark and gritty content seen in Illegal Rare, and also manages to be humorous without relying on exploitative fan service or lazy toilet humor.

As Jig continues his job search in chapter 5, an interesting fact about this city is revealed: no one seems to hire cyborgs. This prejudice is interesting but somewhat arbitrary. Why no one will hire cyborgs in a city filled with goblins, skeletons, and harpies is puzzling, but perhaps this will be expounded on in the near future. Consequently, Jig is recruited by one of the few organizations that does hire cyborgs, the rather descriptively named Cyborg Soldier School. The female cyborg who recruits Jig, Raika, is already a nice addition to this series. While she is an obvious potential love interest for Jig, the author takes the time, within the limits of a single chapter, to establish her as a full character rather than a token female character.

This series fortunately relies on dialogue and banter for humor, rather than exploitation

This series fortunately relies on dialogue and banter for humor, rather than exploitation

Jig receives some quality development in this chapter, as well. As he is jokingly offered a job as a human shield, Jig realizes that this is exactly what his powers are best suited for, and accepts. To this point, Jig has primarily been a mere outlet for the audience to experience the wild and wacky world of Stealth Symphony, but this moment helps assert him as a more proactive protagonist. Chapter 5 concludes with the revelation that the human-trafficking vehicle Jig has been hired to abduct will be guarded by none other than his friends at V & V Total Security Protection. This upcoming opportunity to witness Jig’s abilities in action against some of the more powerful members of V & V builds tangible anticipation for what will hopefully be another action-packed chapter.

Jig makes his first steps to becoming a true shonen protagonist

Jig makes his first steps to becoming a true shonen protagonist

Stealth Symphony continues to be a highly enjoyable and exciting read. The sense of lighthearted fun present in these chapters is sorely missing from many of today’s more popular shonen series, and helps this series to differentiate itself from the rest of Shonen Jump’s offerings. Overall, these first five chapters of Stealth Symphony have been some of the most engrossing and entertaining of any new series since Assassination Classroom. For a magazine desperate for a new big hit, Shonen Jump may have found exactly what they need.

Final Flash: Two more excellent world-building chapters of a rising star of a series.

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