Considering the incredible odds Soukai faces as Tenrou invades, it’s no surprise this volume of Hinowa ga CRUSH! brings closes the curtain on this invasion arc.
But I wasn’t expecting the end of the battle to also be the end of a much bigger arc.
The cover shows Akame and Nahashu, but their meeting is but a blip among all the other story developments. The manga continues to be a bloodfest and full of nudity (complete with non-consensual intercourse), but unlike a lot of other volumes in the Akame ga KILL! universe, those moments aren’t just inserted as gratuitous fanservice or to be edgy. Despite Hinowa and friends’ talent and optimism, they are simply overwhelmed by Tenrou, and the king, Zuou, and his underlings delight in flexing their strength and claiming trophies in sickening ways.
TAKAHIRO mentions the chapter where Akame goes all-out was popular, which isn’t surprising. I don’t think any fan of the previous manga could not get swept away when Akame declared her catchphrase.
However, I liked how this didn’t overshadow the rest of volume 6. Hinowa reminds readers why she’s the heroine. Sure, she may not be at Akame’s level, but her natural charm inspires others to follow her. Her wanting to end the warring states period in the land is incredibly ambitious if not outright naïve, but that light inside Hinowa keeps her from sinking into despair.
And speaking of despair…Rinzu. As the stereotypical kind, caring princess, of course she’s devastated as her kingdom falls. And because she isn’t some kind of super soldier, she’s probably the one readers will empathize with most: powerless, and longing for a miracle. I won’t spoil what happens to her, but suffice to say, Rinzu is not someone I would have thought would have much of a role in the story beyond being Hisame’s object of his affections, but I was wrong.
Volume 6 also doesn’t suffer from the over-narration problems plaguing previous volumes in the series (and Akame universe as a whole). The battle for Soukai is on full display, although it doesn’t take up the full volume. Instead, the story prepares for a rather significant shake-up for its cast. Obviously, there’s the fallout from the ending of volume 6, but a few truth bombs are dropped as the heroes plan their next move against Zuou and Tenrou.
The creators don’t seem to be planning on ending the manga any time soon, and if they can keep Hinowa ga CRUSH! around volume 6’s level, the series’ lackluster start will be but a blip on readers’ memories.