Cage of Eden, Vol. 3
written by Yoshinobu Yamada
If wounds Rion Amagami suffered at the hands (or, in this case, jaws) of a vicious sea predator was all Akira had to worry about, then that wouldn’t be such a huge problem. However, it isn’t.
First, who should stumble upon his makeshift encampment but Koichi Yarai, the scariest and most dangerous student in school, and his own team (gang) of tagalongs, bringing instant friction to the camp? However, as things turn out, prior-made assumptions about Yarai are a little…exaggerated. Not only is he not as dangerous as he is made out to be, but he turns out to be very knowledgeable and a good man at heart, while not being direct or open about his intent before he does something that others would jump to retaliate over, such as ripping off Rion’s school uniform before explaining that they need to keep her wounded arm securely immobilized in order to avoid lingering impairment of that arm. Wow. Not something you’d expect a ruffian to know.
Even with things settling since the addition of Yarai’s group, affairs are once more getting worse. Tragedy strikes in the form of food poisoning, which causes the members of the group to become afflicted with a deadly toxin, and it is once again up to a sick Akira and Yarai to find the antidote before everyone dies from brain hemorrhages.
Elsewhere on the island, Akira’s best friend, Kouhei Arita, is suffering emotionally from the fact that he knows he impulsively, although accidentally, killed the plane’s pilot. He is able to put on a reassuringly brave face, but underneath, his sanity is holding on by a thread. What would happen if our old friend, Hades, Lord of the Underworld, shows up with a startling revelation? Will he be able to keep his cool in the face of another person who witnessed his earlier act and is not afraid of making it public?
The quality of the art Yamada uses is supported by the quality of his storytelling ability. The creatures Akira and Yarai tangle with are all vivid images that possess an imposing presence when they explode onto the scene. The style in which the story is told, as well as the characters’ realistic dialogue and facial expressions seem to impose a feeling of unease in the reader.