It has been a "month of Sundays" I last did a manga review. I have volume 12 on hand and volume four through five of Princess Jellyfish and eight volumes of Kitchen Princess. Once Fruits Basket (2019) ends I will invest in Fruits Basket: Another.
NC has begun to reopen and by the time this is posted, I would have visited my local anime shop to buy more stickers, figures, and whatever else catches my eye.
Where I last left off I started off where the series ended. I leaked the trailer for season 2 on Instagram and Twitter (both @theprettyotaku) if you would like to see the visuals. At this point Chise and Elias start their new lives at the college for alchemists.
Stop here and read my preview summary of volume 10 here. You can also still watch the first 13-episodes on Crunchyroll in the English sub.
At this point Chise is adapting to her new college student lifestyle. She learns about the different groups and families of alchemy, as well as hidden taboos. But unfortunately, her becoming so well-rounded in her studies has drawn some attention to her and Elias.
This installment has introduced more information about alchemist which does worry me because I feel a series about Mages is about to become very congested with alchemy lore. There is also an introduction to demi-humans (which is apart of greek/roman mythology) which can also congest and confuse the reading audience who is not familiar with these anthologies.
Sidenote that is off-topic: who is excited for the newly announced return of the Percy Jackson series that will have the script written by the original author and produced by Disney+?
This volume does begin on a cliffhanger with Stella and Chise. Chise disappears within the fog. During her disappearance Stella runs into an old foe, Chise meets Elias' adoptive "mother figure," and we get more understanding about Simon, the local priest, and Elias' observer.
Chise ends up being summoned to a time-spotted world meeting Elias' mother-figure whom, he learned how to appear human. He modeled his behaviors and mannerisms from her: living in the countryside, drinking tea, being so proper, his speech, and eating certain foods. Unfortunately, until he met Chise all of those actions were scripted. He was still incapable of understanding emotions and facial expressions. She expresses to Chise that Elias lacks understanding of human relationships and bonds. This then concerns Chise to wonder what her relationship with really is; are they husband and wife or apprentice and teacher, or even father and daughter based on the many different ways that he treats her.
Lastly once she is leaving the fog it is made mention to never trust the Church (which honestly should be a given with any series that references a religious group as "The Church"). Which it can be assumed that later on during the series that the Church is probably antagonistic or has different motives for Chise and Elias.
I say this because the spy they sent to observe Simmon and Elias at the beginning of the novel is very strange and plays a key role later on since he was escalated to Simmon's supervisor who believes in "special cases" at the Church.
I would like to note that this volume was particularly dry and that may be because it was still setting the scene for more to come later on during this arc. But I have noticed that each volume is going to keep making mention of how Elias lacks human knowledge of emotions, reactions, and relationships and how they apply to himself. This is a true "Beauty and the Beast" archetypal pattern.
Towards the end of this volume, Zoe Ivey is reintroduced because he is fear of Chise. It took her new gang of friends illustrated in the cover art to educate her on the different "house" factions of alchemy. But it is later revealed that a demi-human attends the college as a favor for his human father, Zoe. He is the child of a human and Gordon. A Gordon is basically a snake-haired creature that is related or originated from a clan created by Medusa.
He reveals his secret to the new Scooby-Doo gang and they create a non-legal binding pact to not tell anyone because he can be at risk for being hunted. He mainly does not know how to interact with humans and has very sensitive senses so he is very insecure about himself. Due to his sensitivity he assumes Chise is a monster because he can smell her Dragon's curse. Once Chise clears this misunderstanding they bond over their secrets ending in the pact. While all of this is transpiring, someone is eavesdropping and Ruth, catches them and notifies Chise and that is where this volume pauses until volume 12 (which I will be posting very shortly).