Rave Master Chap. 13: It MUST be a Glass Ceiling

This is it. We’ve finally come to the last chapter of the second volume of Rave Master, lucky number 13. It moves fast, and there’s not a lot of plot to talk about here. The chapter begins with Musica #2 facing off against Lance.

Lance’s sword is able to create illusions of beasts when he swings it. He uses the illusions to distract Musica, and then go in to attack. After his first attack, things get a little stupid.

First, Lance stops the battle because Elie’s time is up. That is, the deadline for Haru to arrive with Rave is past. Wounded Musica doesn’t try to stop him, other than yelling at him. Elie, doesn’t move, even though she was cut loose and her legs function absolutely fine.

Seriously. She doesn’t even attempt to escape. She doesn’t get up, doesn’t run, just sits there and screams Haru’s name. I know that she’s scared, and that Haru was supposed to save her, but I don’t think my last word would be my rescuer’s name, especially when that rescuer doesn’t show up in time. My last words are much more likely to be “Fuck you!” or “This is a cool way to die!”

Fortunately, Haru comes bursting onto the scene…through the ceiling.

This is something I thought was awesome as a kid, and ridiculous as an adult. It just leaves me with so many questions:

  • How did Haru get up to the roof in the first place?
  • Musica already cleared the yard of guards, why didn’t he just go through the front door?
  • Lance essentially invited Haru to come and bring him Rave, so shouldn’t the goons be expecting him and just let him through?
  • How many floors does this place have?
  • How thick is that roof, that a sixteen-year-old kid can break through?
  • Shouldn’t Haru have some kind of injury from falling through the ceiling?
  • Why the ceiling?
  • Should I give up trying to apply logic to this universe?

Musica warns Haru about Lance’s tactic, but Haru already knows. Musica the Blacksmith taught him secret of Lance’s sword: that it can only make illusions when it does a full swing. By blocking his attack, Haru is able to prevent him from creating any distracting illusions. Just when it looks like Haru has the advantage, Lance creates another illusion, this time without swinging his sword…

And that’s it. That’s the end of volume 2.

Re-reading this, I remember why I loved the series when I was younger, but I also understand why my slightly older sister said that it was dumb. The Rave Master universe is a weird, goofy place, but it’s also filled with villains that don’t fit the light-heartedness in the background. One chapter is about saving dogs, another chapter is about a man’s family getting massacred. I think the biggest problem I have is that the darker problems get solved too easily, like Musica the Blacksmith suddenly giving up alcohol after meeting Haru. This time around, I thought Haru was dumb, rather than heroic, but I think that idealism is a big part of his character. The villains weren’t very interesting, and Georco was more annoying than threatening.

Even so, it was fun to read through again.

Final Verdict: For Sale

Even though I bought it more than ten years ago, the book itself is in pretty good shape. Rave Master is an entertaining series, and I’m sure some other young otaku will enjoy it.

Next, I’ll be reviewing a high school favorite of mine: The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer. Stick around!

Rave Master Chap. 12: Your Basic D.I.D

Chapter 12 begins with Musica reforging the sword that once was broken, the Ten Power’s sword. Here’s where I start to get really incredulous. Haru has, at this point, less than two hours to save Elie; therefore, he needs his sword finished in time. Musica even tells him that in his prime, it took a day for him to make a sword. Now, I don’t know much about metalwork, but I’m pretty sure it would be pretty damn hard, if not  impossible, to repair a sword in under two hours. Add on the fact that Musica’s been drunk for the past 15 years, it seems to me this would be well out of the realm of possibility. But story trumps logic, and Musica is able to fix the sword in no time flat. Haru promises to destroy Lance’s sword, and is off to save the girl.

Meanwhile, Elie is chained in Lance’s place, and reminds me why I like her so much. Even though she’s a damsel in distress and waiting for the guys to save her, she’s still a fun and upbeat character. She’s not panicking or crying or just saying Haru’s name, like that will bring him faster. Maybe it’s a bit ridiculous that she’s doing this even when she’s threatened with a sword, I appreciate that she brings some levity to her situation.

Musica the Gangster is waiting for Haru outside Lance’s mansion, but decides to go in by himself as the clock winds down. He wastes no time in beating up the guards outside getting in. His next exchange will Elie represent a huge difference between the thirteen-year-old reading this manga and me, as an adult reading this manga.

Cute, young girl gets captured by a strong, powerful man with no morals, who has her chained up and could do anything he wanted to to her. If this were Game of Thrones, or a crime novel, maybe a TV drama with adults as a target audience, you know exactly where this is going to go.Maybe it’s because I’ve finally read the first book of Game of Thrones, maybe it’s because I’m more aware of sexual assault and rape now than I was, maybe it’s just because I’m an adult and have learned that the world is dangerous, even moreso if you’re a woman…I always get on edge when I hear about situations – fictional or not – like these.

If this is how Game of Thrones treated sexual abuse, I might actually watch it.

But it doesn’t. There’s nothing sexual about this scene. Elie claims that Lance was trying to look down her shirt, but she says that it was a joke. I’m so glad that this scene didn’t go anywhere near that. I remember that Rave Master gets dark in some places. There’s death, suicide, and some reasonably adult themes in the series. But it never goes into sexual assault. There’s a lot of reasons why this might be the case. It’s an action manga, rather than a drama; the target audience is teenagers; it’s too dark.

Whatever reasons Mashima decided not to use it, I’m glad.

I’m also glad that when I was reading this as a young adolescent, the idea that Elie might be raped never even crossed my mind.  It’s a small piece of innocence, but innocence nonetheless. Sometimes I wonder if it would be better if I could still think like that.

Musica fights Lance’s bodyguard, Bis, and there are more puns. When it becomes apparent that Musica is going to win,  Lance cuts down Bis, to prove just how evil he is. Evil, but not interesting. As Musica steps up to fight Lance, Musica the Blacksmith has just finished repairing Haru’s sword. Haru learns that Musica the Blacksmith’s family was murdered by Lance, and Haru vows to destroy Lance’s sword, ending chapter 12.

Right now the story seems pretty generic. Girl gets kidnapped by bad guy, hero goes to save girl, bad guy has no real motivation to be so bad. It really bugs me that Lance is just evil for the sake of being evil. The best villains are the ones that do wrong for reasons they think are right. A good villain believes in something. Lance? He believes in hurting people, mainly for shits ‘n’ giggles. I don’t know about you, but that’s not a cause I can get behind.