Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, Vols. 9-10

By Satoshi Mizukami. Released in Japan by Shonen Gahosha, serialized in the magazine Young King Ours. Released in North America by Seven Seas.

This final volume has a lot of fighting and backstory in it – in fact, a good 4/5 of the book could be described as fighting and backstory, even the epilogue with Akane. But it’s a credit to the author that the backstory always feels natural and not like an infodump, and the fights never wear out their welcome, even when they’re supposed to. We get the villain’s main motivation (delusions of godhood), the relationship between him and Anima, and why Samidare is so desperate to smash the world. And, spoiler, the world is not smashed, which means that we also find out what happens afterwards – we hear in an afterword that Mizukammi always wanted to find out what happened to characters after the final battle ends, and that’s what we see here. It’s heartwarming as heck.


With the exception of Nagumo, our cast have for the most part been from middle-school to early college age, and their mindset and problems have stemmed from that – immaturity, frustration, pent-up emotions, and budding sexuality. We now see that Animus and Anima’s battle has remained what it is again due to a very childish reason – Animus has psychic powers, as does his sister, and when a doctor calls him a god, Animus gets one of the most creepy ‘insane grin’ faces I’ve seen in manga, and proceeds to prove his godhood by destroying first the space station they’re on, then the Earth. Anima, who was trying to convince him that powers or no he’s still a human, is desperate to stop him.

If this sounds vaguely familiar it’s because it’s mirrored in the relationship between Samidare and Yuuhi, who as I predicted is not really going to let her smash the world with her giant projected fist after all. That said, he does pretend he is for some time, which leads to a number of battles where he shows off how much he’s been holding back until now, and basically curbstomps all the other knights bar Mikazuki, who’s still down from the battle against Animus. Samidare goes on like a lovestruck girl (which she is) about how cool Yuuhi has become, and it’s true – his emotional growth in this series has been nothing short of stunning. And now with Samidare, who has discovered that she has something to live for after all, the emotional growth is a catharsis.

The 10 years in the future epilogue is a bit Harry Potter-esque, particularly the part where we find out that Shimaki and Yayoi got married despite very little interaction in the main series at all – Anima’s “Hmm?’ and blank stare reminds me of my own when I heard Luna was marrying some offscreen guy I’d never heard of. But as Yuuhi points out, that’s how life works, and is the nature of ‘where are they now?’ epilogues. More importantly, Samidare is healthy again, and everyone has been moving forward. Even Akane, in many respects the most emotionally broken of the group, gets a separate section to show off how much he’s changed – though the Hawaiian shirt is perhaps a bit much. (He also gets the best “love confession”.) The fighting is dine, our heroes are content, and so am I. This was a great ending to a terrific series, one of the more realistic takes on superhero battles out there. Get someone all of it for Christmas.

Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, Vols. 7-8

By Satoshi Mizukami. Released in Japan by Shonen Gahosha, serialized in the magazine Young King Ours. Released in North America by Seven Seas.

Akane is the one Beast Knight we’ve never really focused on, so it makes sense that he gets a lot to do in this new omnibus. As we expected, he’s introverted, sullen, and insular due to a poor home life. As is perhaps less expected, he’s also siding with the enemy, though as the book goes on it becomes clear that this isn’t really due to anything but misplaced anger, and that when genuine heroism and compassion are shown to him, he can’t find it in himself to keep up the facade. Like all the other characters in the series, time is taken to explore him in depth, and it’s worth it. Though we still remain puzzled as to what Animus and Anima are doing – are they enemies, rivals, relatives? Is Animus even trying to win? Is Anima even trying to fight? Or does she just love food?


Despite one of the most obvious couples in the series being torpedoed in the last omnibus by virtue of death, these are still mostly teenagers and young adults, so love still drives a lot of the plot. I’ll leave Yuuhi aside for now, but there’s also Yuki and Subaru, who are the two nicest, most innocent characters in the series, so get the most selfless wishes in exchange for becoming knights. Yes, OK, it’s not going in a romantic direction (Subaru’s crush on Mikazuki is so obvious it can be seen from space), but their friendship is amazing when you’re in a series that’s playing with cynicism like this one does.

That brings me to Yuuji. He’s the main character, and thus gets the bulk of the character progression. We see his desire to grow stronger in order to fight by Samidare’s side. But we also see how he uses that strength to grow emotionally as well. The death of his grandfather, after all that he did in order to prevent it at the start, is a shocker, though honestly its the lizard that shows all the outrage that Yuuhi won’t. Anima, though, allows him to achieve closure, both with his grandfather (who let’s remember abused him horribly as a child, something I think might be a bit glossed over here), and with Hangetsu, whose death Yuuhi also needs to move past.

So now that we’ve seen all this, the question remains: are he and Samidare still going to destroy the world? I think the other knights would have something to say about that, particularly Yayoi. And honestly, Samidare needs a bit more development before I can say whether or not she will. But with the final omnibus coming soon, I don’t think Yuuhi is going to be helping her anymore – though that may come as a surprise to him. We’ll see how it wraps up, but I want to say again how much I’ve enjoyed this poor-selling series, and I wish it did better.

Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, Vols. 5-6

By Satoshi Mizukami. Released in Japan by Shonen Gahosha, serialized in the magazine Young King Ours. Released in North America by Seven Seas.

Well, I can’t say I didn’t warn myself in my last review, where I described everything coming to a halt so that the author could do plot setup. And now that it’s set up, the guns are fired, with lots of cool action scenes, character development, and the introduction of Animus’ sibling Anima, who doesn’t talk much and seems to be able to grant even more superpowers. The series also continues to show off the connection between having cool superpowers and teenage angst and grief, which as fans of old school superhero comics know if the classic way to go about things. I have to say, however, that perhaps the most ridiculous yet tragic thing about my last review is when I was discussing Hanako’s oddness and suggested that she might not survive the series. Wow, in hindsight that is the worst thing ever.


This is not a series afraid to kill off its main characters, and to be fair I should have realized what was coming. Taro was one of the most ‘normal’ of the cast, and we weren’t sure what his wish was. The one thing we were sure of was that he was totally in love with Hanako and hadn’t told her yet. And, despite what her familiar tells her, he dies in a heroic, amazing way. Yes, he made his wish to resurrect her if she was killed and then tried to stop her getting killed anyway. But that’s love for you, and I thought it was fantastic. I also liked how Taro’s impact was felt on other characters through his food – his other main personality trait besides ‘likes Hanako’. I’m not sure how much I like the observation that his death is Hanako’s punishment for what her wish was, though – I think that’s placing too much of a burden on her.

I’d mentioned above that Anima has started to give powerups to the various Knights, and we see Yuuhi fight to ensure that he gets one… and lose. Yuuhi has always been at the low end of the totem pole when it comes to kicking ass, and I don’t see that changing as I think it’s perhaps the only thing keeping him likeable. We do see his growth here, though, as he encourages Samidare to talk with her estranged mother (who can’t seem to balance work and family well at all) even as he’s still estranged from his own grandfather. I’m still of the opinion that the Earth is not going to be destroyed, and I suspect it will be because he stops being such a nihilist. Leave that to the resident Nihilist Knight… I mean Owl Knight.

In the end, the scene that sticks with me most is the final one of the volume, where Hanako uses her ice powers to take out one of the golems in a fit of suppressed grief and rage, showing the emotions on her face that we haven’t seen since we met her. It extends to the others as well, as the death of Taro’s killer and Hanako’s sobbing allows all the other knights to show their own grief… even Yuuhi. It’s a good sign for the future. I eagerly await the next omnibus.