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AR∀GO 42

[scanlation by Trinity BAKumA]

Joe’s fury is palpable. Arai’s art style may be alternative, and could well be an acquired taste, but it conveys character emotion excellently.

If looks could kill (then Joe would be more relevant)

Coco was bright enough to detach the ‘D’ and ‘R’ keys from her laptop keyboard, which surely is intended to be a hint that “Dr.” Cloteaux is the perpetrator. Sadly, while such a clue is blatantly obvious to the audience, we have to wait for such a realization to strike the characters. I appreciate Coco’s intelligence and quick actions being discreetly praised, but it’s unfortunate that Arago isn’t quite sharp enough to catch on right away.

Poor Colo. Violence towards animals, especially towards animals that have been established as “good,” is an easy (if slightly cheap) way of establishing the antagonist responsible as malevolent.

Cloteaux is playing this entire scenario by the book. Disguise as a friendly, win trust, learn about the hero, kidnap the girl, lie in wait with a sinister plan. Not only is this entirely too straightforward, but Cloteaux is also showing his hand far too soon. I was ready for a year’s worth of chapters with Cloteaux deeply embedded as a friendly, establishing bonds of trust with the main cast and slowly manipulating his surroundings in his favor. Instead, he acts now, barely after having been introduced, and much too early for the main cast to feel any sense of betrayal. I’m immensely disappointed at such missed opportunities.

Arago not realizing Coco’s message is bad enough, but Joe doesn’t see the obvious clue either?


Joe does ultimately hit upon the correct answer, even if by whimsical chance. I really had higher expectations for his powers of deduction.

Arago being saddled with Joe at his side may prevent him from using Brionac, but it does allow for more dynamic character interaction. Of  course, there is always the possibility (or perhaps eventuality) that Joe will discover Arago’s ability.

Cloteaux’s newest golem is a particularly horrifying creation, and one that surely must require the use of Brionac for Arago and Joe even to stay alive. If that ends up being the case, I think this will be too soon, as well. Unless Arai is being pressured into certain plot choices from his publisher, I find this pacing rushed and these developments unfortunate.

Of the possible options stemming from a kidnapping storyline, Coco being fused with a golem might be the best available one, but that still doesn’t redeem this arc. Coco hasn’t had nearly enough time as an independent character to make this scene carry a strong impact. Instead, any potential character development is thus far being eschewed in favor of the cheap thrill of a damsel-in-distress plot.

Cloteaux: So evil, he implanted a Simon Says game into her

Final Flash: A saddening display of authorial mediocrity. Arai, you’re better than this.

  1. damonashu
    November 7, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I too, am disappointed by the events that transpired in this chapter but I also think I can understand why they happened. With the exception of what happened to Coco, Arai didn’t really have a choice of what he could do with Cloteaux as he was presented as the antagonist of this arc. While I would have like to have seen a more imposing betrayal, it’d be egregious if such an obvious problem went a long time without resolution. The only other possible choice would have been to introduce another villain to coax their suspension away, at least, that’s how I would have done it.

    As for Coco, I can’t overlook what happened. I understand not wanting too many super powers combating each other, and not wanting to develop her too fast, but there’s no reason she should be downgraded to the damsel in distress role, especially considering her apparently overwhelming aura has the potential to make her a more active heroine than Rio.

  2. Horn
    November 13, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Haha, “implanted a Simon Says game”.

    Well, I can do nothing but agree with what you’ve said here already. I was hoping Arai would show some better originality in this coming arc, but sadly not, it seems…and it becomes even more apparent in the following chapter.

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