I'd like to congratulate Lawrence, Eros Vp, and phio_chan. You guys called that Frankenstein would discover the identities of the Agency's target recruits before Rael would show up and before the agency would figure out that they aren't the only super-humans around. So good call.
Now onto the review!
My manboobs! My only weakness....how did he know?!
Things kick off this week with Tao getting everybody up to speed on what he's discovered about the Na Yontsu and An Sangeen. He explains that they are agents of something called the KSA. A sort of black ops and intelligence service in Korea focused on dealing with "special circumstances". They quickly figure out, based on the fact that the agents are neither interested in the school nor the nobles, that the agents must be recruiting.
Then Tao says something that fills the room with unease. Turns out that most of the recruits go missing after recruitment. He also has found the two most likely candidates that they would be interested in are Shin Woo and Ikkan. As you might expect, nobody was particularly happy about that information but it's agreed that by itself it's not enough to kick the agents out without causing big trouble; so Frankenstein asks Tao to continue investigating.
The scene changes to Frankenstein serving Raizel tea while he worries about the effect all this will have on his master's current situation. But Raizel speaks up and instructs Frankenstein not to allow himself to make wrong decisions because of such concerns. Which I take to mean "Do right by Shin Woo and Ikkan regardless of the consequences to us."
The scene changes again, this time to Na Yontsu and An Sangeen, who are setting up a test for Shin Woo by sending some trainees to pick a fight with his friends. Four trainees intercept the schoolmates on the way home from school while the agents watch from a nearby parked car. They knock the girls down and commence general douchebaggery. Until Shin Woo steps up and sends the largest of them flying like he was nothing. Then everyone just stares on in a state of shock as Shin Woo calmly picks up his schoolbag and feigns innocence with a somewhat-evil smirk on his face.
Arrgh! My face my only other weakness!
The cat is out of the bag, so to speak. The KSA and Shin Woo both got discovered this week and things are going to get pretty interesting from here on.
Thanks to Tao's briefing we learned a lot about the KSA. The information about most of the recruits going missing hits at about 8.0 on my personal "Evil O' Meter". Now they are not just an annoyance but a possible threat to Raizel's young friends. I think this represents a big change in how the nobles will regard and respond to them. Though she shows no outward signs of it, I think I can actually feel Seira's proverbial grip tightening on her smiting hammer.
I continue to think there is something odd about Shin Woo physically. He beat-down that trainee like he was nothing. Dispatching a skilled opponent with such ease is the type of thing I would expect from enhanced humans, like M-21, but Shin Woo is a vanilla mortal... or is he?
Na Yontsu's surprise at the "trainees" general attitude and appearance strikes me as something else that may be significant. She seems to very much view her role in the KSA as enforcer of justice, and her reaction to seeing KSA people looking like thugs makes me believe even more strongly that if the agency as a whole was up to no good she would likely choose her own sense of justice over patriotic loyalty.
A really well put together chapter across the board. The first 3/4ths was devoted to setting the stage with background and information and the last 1/4th was pure Shin Woo badassery; which, in my opinion, is winning a combination.
The art was solid during the first 3/4ths and stellar in the last 1/4th. The whole trainee vs Shin Woo scene looked great. Especially the kick panel. I usually don't like exaggerated afterimage shots but that one looked awesome.
Information punctuated with action. That's how I would describe this chapter. This is the kind of chapter that's great to read and leaves me itching to read the next installment. The only thing that I think holds this chapter back in the smallest of ways is that the transitions between scenes aren't as crisp as they could have been.
So I give this chapter a 4 out of 5
My Predictions (Current Record 6-2)
- The trainees that disappeared are dead or worse.
- Those trainees fighting Shin Woo are going to lose their cool after being embarrassed by him and break out whatever human modifications they have.
My Previous Predictions
Character Spotlight: Han Shin Woo
Oga Tatsumi would be proud of that evil expression
Han Shin Woo is the man. He's the second character to be introduced in Noblesse and the first friend Raizel made in the series. He's brave, strong, and lighthearted. Often embodying the very best of human nature.
His bold friendly personality has helped Raizel gain more friends and even turned Frankenstein's home into what is practically a community hangout. In a way he is the keystone of Raizel's social world and, oddly enough, seems to be a person that Raizel obeys. In most circumstances Raizel leads and others follow but somehow when Shin Woo is in the room it seems like Raizel is the one following.
And, though he doesn't often show it off, he is a talented fighter who is incredibly fast and strong. So strong, in fact, that it's caused me to suspect there is more to Shin Woo than meets the eye. Which is just one of the many reasons Shin Woo is such a fun character see continue to develop. What he is now is great but what he could become is amazing.
Thread Question of the Week
What happened to those trainees that vanished?