Sabikui Bisco, Vol. 2

By Shinji Cobkubo and K Akagishi. Released in Japan by Dengeki Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Jake Humphrey.

Last time I had asked myself how the first volume, which was excellent but felt very much complete in one volume, would become a long-running series. The answer, at least judging from this second volume, is to do more of the same. More mushrooms, more relationships that end up in betrayal and then reverse betrayal, more of Bisco and Milo being as gay as possible, and more love interests who could also function as family who are there to reassure the macho Dengeki Bunko reader that it doesn’t have to be TOO gay if they don’t want. Fortunately for all concerned, there’s one other thing which is the same as last volume: it’s just as good. This is a rollicking action piece, with lots of violence, some death, and a lot of fun dialogue. Plus it gets a move on faster than the first volume. Of course, there’s also the problem that Bisco and Milo accidentally release the man who will become the book’s main villain, but let’s face it, he was gonna get out of there soon anyway.

Now that Bisco is both a wanted criminal and very famous, he not only has to watch out as he and Mlo travel the land, but he also has to deal with a score of two-bit hoodlums pretending to be him in order to shake down others. While dealing with one of these idiots, they end up headed towards the Six Towers of Izumo, where they hope to find an answer to Bisco’s immortality. What they do end up finding is the old man who they rescued from the earlier two-bit hoods has literally cut out Bisco’s stomach, because liver and lights turns out to be a lot more religious and magical in this particular city. Teaming up with Raskeni, a grim but determined doctor, as well as her apprentice, teenage Amli, they try to figure out how to stop Kelshinka, get Bisco’s stomach back, and also perhaps stop the entire city from turning into a tower of death and destruction.

The best part of the book is probably Amli, who is a bundle of sunshine and joy, but who also has a bit of a tragic core that comes out more and more as we get further into the book. She also fills the role that Pawoo played in the first book, which is to say she gets a massive crush on Bisco, though she’s not sure if she wants him as a big brother or as a romantic partner. That said, she has a ways to go to get to the level of Milo, whose love for Bisco, and vice versa, is becoming a literal religious experience. If you told me that this author read Reborn, Gintama, Kuroko’s Basketball, and no other Jump manga, I would not be the least bit surprised. Oh yes, and there are an awful lot of fights, mostly involving mushrooms, and an awful lot of death and gore, also mostly involving mushrooms. It can get very dark. But fear not, it’s Shonen Jump. Sort of.

If you wanted exactly what the first book did, only more of it, great news. This series does not disappoint.

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