This has been a long time waiting to come, the return to looking at Edens Zero by Hiro Mashima.
The previous volume was a fun enough, and pretty self contained romp as the crew grew and learned more about Homura and search for her master, Valkyrie, the last connection to the old Demon King. Volume 7 picks up with Shiki and Homura being punished for using violence to stop a crime and are sent to a mine where they must harvest metal to send to the ruler of the planets Madame Kurenai. Meanwhile Rebecca must find them and save them from their fate.
This feels at once like filler to just throw in concepts, and also incredibly important but not focused on. The story focuses on Shiki and Rebecca adapting to the labor force, being kidnapped, fight off a giant creature made of diamond and then learn information, but it also has Rebecca doing shenanigans to find them like dress up as a magical girl, or find a guy who can steal anything within a certain range, all while Madame Kurenai is doing something shady. Manic is not quite the correct term, but it jumps around and does not feel consistent.
The eventual payoff for all this, and how it manages to be a back door into still focusing on Homura and her life is neat. It also adds an interesting snag in the overarching plan of finding the four androids the old Demon King had, and ends with a possibly cool intro to the next volume, but overall feels like it could be more streamlined.
Artistically it is consistent. There is still many simplified backgrounds, or just blank white voids that are passable. The black diamond creature they fight is quite impressive in just how alien it is. The closest comparison is the Demagorgon from Stranger Things, but worse. Also, the flashback with Valkyrie has some fun powers shown off, but not amazing fights.
The fact this arc is still going is surprising, but so is the big twist that is thrown in to shake it all up. There is no doubt that it will not be nearly as satisfying as it could be since every character over-uses words like “friendship,” but it could still manage to be enjoyable.
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