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AR∀GO 42

November 7, 2010 2 comments
[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.