A strange man on the island who helped free Arashi and Natsu from some carnivorous plants gives them a clue as to why they find themselves in this predicament—it’s not a kidnapping, it’s “a government project.” The four castaways decide to climb a rocky outcrop from which they can survey their surroundings and get an idea of what is going on and where they are. But what will be waiting for them up there?
The story progresses nicely in this volume. Some answers are revealed regarding the government project, a few additional castaways are discovered, and the group decides to leave the dangerous island. The larger cast and the communal goal brought a Basara-like feel to the proceedings.
And just as the first group is launching out to sea, we meet another group of castaways in the same situation. One of them is Hana (who looks a great deal like Sarasa), the girlfriend of Arashi in the first group (who looks a great deal like Shuri). Natsu has a bit of a crush on Arashi, but Hana is far more worthy of him. It’s kind of interesting to not want the heroine to get the guy, though I guess Hana qualifies as co-heroine by this point.
I actually find this second group more interesting so far. Their circumstances are similar—more with the giant, predatory insects—but Hana’s smart and resourceful and also has to confront a lecherous guy who thinks he’s in charge, which makes for better reading than a timid girl freaking out about giant crocodiles.
One of the best things about the story is that now that the groups know about the project (though some don’t entirely believe it), they’re coming to wonder how many years have actually gone by since they were frozen and are driven to get away from the islands and find out what’s become of Japan and the world. I’m really looking forward to seeing how that plays out.