By Dustin Cabeal
I was pretty much done with 7th Garden after volume 2, but Viz sent me this volume for review, so I gave it one last go. One. Last. Go. Not only does this volume not redeem the series, but it also finds itself in a battle to decide what it is at its core.
Is it a story about religion? Is it a story about revenge? Both? Likely that is the answer, but it gets constantly lost in its premise by mixing world history, changing the character’s powers, revamping the origin of the story and worst of all, mixing gods. I get it. Everyone likes the name Loki, but you can’t have Loki without fully acknowledging Norse mythology because he’s a gear in the middle. He’s not some outskirt idea that you can pluck away and add to whatever. He only has relevancy when his mythology is included, not excluded.
The battle in the last volume, it just kind of ends. It’s very anticlimactic. From there it’s all a lesson for Vyrde to learn, that she should give up on vengeance and blah, blah, blah. If she stops seeking vengeance, the story stops. Why Mitsu Izumi would introduce this notice so early in the story is beyond me, but it ends up being just a bunch of fucking filler.
The “angels” meet, and Vyrde crashes the party. Instead of declaring war, she just tells them all to leave her house alone… which is dumb right? They didn’t know where she was and as we later learn, this house has been prepared for Vyrde’s arrive for 100 years, but she just goes ahead and gives up the ghost on her base of operations? Yeah… you’re the worst demon ever.
I still have a hard time acknowledging the fact that she’s a “demon” since she doesn’t do anything demony. She’s actually more angelic than the angels, so it’s all just labels as far as I’m concerned. Actions speak louder than words which is the biggest fundamental flaw in the setup for 7th Garden. Demons and angels sound interesting, but it’s a lot like Loki if you don’t use the rest of their mythology, there’s no point in using it.
The art continues to be good in that house style. It’s not breathtaking, it’s better than I could ever do, but it’s not real visual storytelling either. Every panel needs narration to explain its actions. Izumi never lets the art tell the story and really, I wonder if they can.
The biggest problem with 7th Garden is that it continues to add things from history and other mythologies onto it’s already convoluted story. But it has to. Because the original premise is so weak and borrows from everything that came before it, it doesn’t have the strength to stand on its own. Maybe if the characters were stronger, it would be worth the trip, but they’re not and so here’s my exit.
7th Garden vol. 3
Creator: Mitsu Izumi
Publisher: Viz Media