Book Review: Bloody Monday Volume 10

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As I stated in my reviews of Negima! Volume 37 and Detective Conan (Case Closed) movie 6, everything has to end at some point.

Out of the four books I recently got from Barnes & Noble, another one of the four series I am actively following is drawing to close.

Unlike my coverage of Negima!, however, I have been covering this series from the first volume onwards, until only two volumes remain. Today, I will be reviewing the penultimate book in that series, which is called Bloody Monday Volume 10 by Ryou Ryumon.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.

With the death of Shimon Kamijima, Fujimaru's friends seem to think that they can finally relax.

However, the peace that they all think they have now might not be as it seems, since the new cult leader, K, may be amongst them as a spy and Fujimaru has his first encounter with an infamous black hat hacker, otherwise known as a cracker, who has no qualms with killing innocent people.

I really enjoyed this volume. Although there was not really much action, I certainly felt the excitement. It was quite surprising, although this is my second through the first season of Bloody Monday, that the video that Fujimaru and the gang saw was not of a virus. Of course, it really was not that obvious at the beginning that it was not a virus. Apparently, it was the work of a neutron bomb. I know, the term neutron bomb may not be as familiar as an atomic bomb, which the US used against Japan in World War II, or a hydrogen bomb, which supposedly harness the power of nuclear fusion. After all, I first heard of such a bomb when I read through the chapters contained the first around. According to a book by Samuel T. Cohen, the creator of the bomb, a neutron bomb does not necessarily destroy things like the other two bombs do. Instead, its main function is to kill via radiation, which is even stated by Kirishima in this very book. All this time, I thought that a neutron bomb only existed in fiction, but for a book by the bomb's very creator to say the same thing, really changes that thinking. I also liked how Fujimaru was not above suspecting his own friends of being spies. With as much that has happen to Fujimaru gang, I do not really think that spies would only be affiliated with Third-I. Then again, that much was obvious, considering how people that were encountered so far. In this kind of situation, I would doubt my friends too, because they would be very likely know my weakness. Speaking of terrorists, since K was finally revealed in this volume, I was chuckling a bit through this entire book because Fujimaru does not know that he is in close proximity to two terrorist leaders, though only one is affiliated with the terrorist group that Fujimaru is currently going after. Outside of that, I cannot really think of anything else that I particularly liked. The fact that Fujimaru suspects one of his friends may be a spy and that video was of a neutron bomb attack instead of a virus, as well as the fact that K is finally revealed, has certainly made this volume quite interesting.

Although I did like the volume, there are certainly some issues. First, when he cracks into FSB systems, he claims that he found an agent somewhere and installed a Trojan horse onto the machine. Am I really supposed to believe that he was able to do this? Yes, I know that Fujimaru is supposed to be some genius hacker, but he just seems too lucky here. I might not know everything there is about computer security, but people that crack the way Fujimaru did can only succeed based on luck. For an attack succeed, crackers have do a bit of research, such as the ports that are open on the network, software applications, and even the operating system, in order to find holes. However, Fujimaru does it fly. I wonder if everyone in the world, at least in this manga, uses the same operating system. After all, in real life, we have people and government agencies that use various different operating systems, such as Linux (e.g. Debian, Arch, Fedora, Red Hat, and their derivatives), FreeBSD, Windows, etc. With variations like that, luck just is not something to depend on, especially in the kind of situation Fujimaru is in right now. This is kind of annoying because it has this just as planned feel to it. Yes, many of the events in each of the three seasons, the first of which will be ending next volume, hence the reason I called this the penultimate volume, even though I did say that there was a grand total of about 23-24 volumes in my review of volume 5, but it seems to be more apparent here to me because so much seems to depend more on coincidence than anything. The other issue I had was that I was not really surprised by K's identity. True, as I have read the first season before, I may not have enough credibility to make such a claim, since I did remember K's identity, but I think that even if I did not remember, it would not be so surprising. When I look at this series now, I do not see how I could have been surprised by the revelation, when I first read these chapters. After all, it is not unheard of for the newest employee, or even an established employee, at a bank to be involved in a robbery that happens to be taking place at that very bank. Here, it has been revealed that K has been with Fujimaru's group since the beginning. Another thing that does not make this any better is that pretty much any reader should be suspicious of everyone, with the amount spies that have been encounter. While things do have a just as planned feel, the fact that K's identity was not as surprising as I thought it was does cause me to be disappointed.

Despite the good present, the negatives outweigh the positives enough that this should only be read to finish off the first season. I will only recommend this particular volume to fans of Bloody Monday.

What are your thoughts on Bloody Monday Volume 10? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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