7SEEDS 4 (Japanese) by Yumi Tamura: A-

Book description:
It’s been confirmed that the desolate land is indeed Japan, though the teams still don’t know what happened or what year it is. Team Spring—having lost their guide, Yanagi—travels to Mt. Fuji to look for another of the stockpiles, only to find that the volcano has erupted and is no longer there. Just as their hope is flagging, Hana notices some manmade signs directing them to another mountain to the east. The members of Team Winter face their own hardships from the start—between equipment failures, man-eating tigers, and Hokkaido’s bitter cold, some of them will not survive.

The majority of the chapters in this volume featured Team Winter. I’m a little torn about the introduction of other teams into the story. On the one hand I want to see them and what they’re doing, and on the other, there are already tons of characters as it is. Right from the start, Team Winter’s story is a bit more grim than the others, however, as a few of their number do not survive the thawing process, and I got into it more than I thought I would.

More shocks and twists in the story follow, and since I’m not the kind to go around suspecting such things, I really enjoyed the various surprises. The main protagonist of this group is Taka, who believed himself to be weak until inspired by the example of boisterous Fubuki, another member of the group. It was good to see how Taka had progressed by the end of the story, though the appearance of a couple of precious puppies at a crucial point was a bit silly (but sniff-inducing nonetheless).

So, as it stands, each of the teams has now located a stockpile of goods and is camped out nearby. Arashi and Natsu have passed through where Hana’s team is and left a note, though Hana, of course, still has no idea that Arashi is alive. I’m eager for the teams to meet up, especially since I have no idea what to expect from the story after that happens. I have faith that it’ll be something really cool.

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