Book Review: Cage of Eden Volume 4

February 29, 2012


As I mentioned in my last post, I received my Barnes & Noble order quite quickly. In that package there were three books. Today, I will review the second of these books, is called Cage of Eden Volume 4 by Yoshinobu Yamada.

Since I gave a synopsis of the series in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.

In this volume, Akira and Oomori are taken to see the leader of the guys who had captured them. Surprisingly, it appears to be child. The child introduces herself as Mina Isurugi, though I already mentioned in the last volume's review, and does weird things. Eventually, Ohmori finds out what had happened to the person she is looking for in the jungle, but not before Akira finds the corpse. Later, A classmate of Akira's is found floating down a river and claims that something has happened to Arita, another friend of Akira's.

As with the other chapters, it has been a while since I read these chapters, I did still enjoy the volume though. It was interesting know what Arita was up to, since he was last seen being confronted by Hades, who told him that he knew Arita killed the captain. Of course, until this point, he was not really important, as we follow Akira's journey and nobody else at this point. Arita is now like all other killers a demon that thirsts for blood. He is not targeting those who know his secret anymore, since the survivors of his group, except for Yuki, whom is the classmate I mentioned earlier, know that Arita is a murderer. It was also nice that Akira showed that he cared for his friends and the members of his group on different occasions here. That is to be expected though, as most manga does not have some evil person being the main character. It was nice seeing what happened to Akira's other friend and how loyal Akira is to his friends.

Initially, I did have some issues, but most of it was due to the fact that I think I unintentionally skipped some pages, or I may not have. Many problems from the last volume were not present, except for two. The first was a lack of suffix definitions. In Japan, unlike the US and much of Europe, has many honorifics used from people in positions of power and/or wealth to the common man. However, the US only has a few titles for the common man and none for the wealthy and/or positions of power, unless they are either a government official, law enforcement employee/official, member of the military, or member of an intelligence agency. Because of this people would not understand exactly what each honorific implies, unless they have been watching anime subbed for the longest time or actually understands Japanese. The second problem, which ties in with the first, so it is not really its own entity, is the fact that the only suffix that is defined is senpai, which is mentioned in the translation notes. If one honorific is defined, they all should be, just like Del Rey did before Kodansha Comics took over. After all things like mademoiselle and monsieur are more common in English literature, even in English translations of foreign works, than the suffixes used in Japanese, which I have heard, but cannot confirm, is being used less often outside Japanese animation and comics. The lack of definition for all honorifics, except one, really makes this book not suitable for newcomers to manga and anime.

Despite the problems, which seem to only affect newcomers, I enjoyed this volume. I would recommend this to current fans of Cage of Eden and manga in general. For newcomers to manga, I still recommend avoiding the series until you become familiar with Japanese honorifics, since Kodansha did not seem to put a suffix definition list in this book and the previous volume, but it was present in the book I last reviewed.

What is your opinion of Cage of Eden Volume 4? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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