Book Review: Cage of Eden Volume 3

December 27, 2011


Well, I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. I certainly did. Among my presents, I got two books, an Apple TV, gift cards, and few other things. Today, I am going to write up a review of one of the books I got, called Cage of Eden Volume 3 by Yoshinobu Yamada.

As I wrote a summary of the series in my review of the previous volume, I will skip that part. In this volume, Akira and company meet up with Yarai, another troublemaker at Akira's school, and his group. However, things do not go so well. Both Akira's group and Yarai's group succumb to poison from the berries found on a plant that belongs to the aconitum genus, according to the translation notes at the end. To survive, they need to find a cure. Later, Akira and Ohmori come across a camp full of adults with a 10-year old, Miina Isurugi, as their leader.

As it has been a while since I read those chapters, it is still pretty interesting to me. I was certainly surprised at how good Yarai is at fighting. These days, people show a huge interest in guns and other firearms, yet Yarai seems well-balanced in melee and long-range fighting, due to how well he flicked a coin at his opponents and used a pair of keys like bladed weapons. Akira was kind of useless, but he did find out the cause and a possible solution way before Yarai arrived at the location of the plants to check out his own guess. Yarai seems to also have a bit of medical knowledge, as he tried to isolate his group from Akira's and even came up with a guess that one or more of the members of his group died from something internal. Akira seemed a bit useless but showed that he was quick to notice things, whereas Yarai is a good fighter and, like Akira, notices things quickly.

As for what I did not like, I cannot say anything about the chapters, but there is something that kind of surprised or annoyed me. First, there was a character profile between chapters and one at the end. I do not usually put character profiles into my books, but if I were to do so, there are only two places where they belong, which is at the beginning, before the very first chapter, and at the end of the last chapter. The one that was in between chapters kind of interrupted the flow of the book, which is not a good thing for any book. The one at the end did not interrupt the flow though. Second, I noticed that Kodansha Comics, American counterpart of Kodansha in Japan, left out something that Del Rey, who was translating Kodansha's titles before Kodansha Comics took over, used to do and Kodansha did in earlier works, which was a page that described suffix terms for newcomers. Now, they did include at least one of them in a translation note, but they used to have almost every suffix and terms like chan and san were not identified in this volume, like they were in the old suffix definitions, so this volume definitely not for a newcomer of manga or even this series. This does not degrade the content, but does degrade the book's quality.

Despite the fact that there was inconsistency in placement of character profiles, which threw off the flow of things, and the lack of suffix definitions present in prior releases, I still enjoyed the volume. I would recommend this to people familiar with Cage of Eden and manga in general. For newcomers of manga, I would say avoid this, until you become familiar with Japanese honorifics, as I doubt Kodansha Comics will bring back the suffix definition list.

What is your opinion on this book? Do you agree or disagree with me? Feel free to comment.

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