Gestalt 4 by Yun Kouga: B-

gestalt4From the back cover:
Olivier continues his slow and roundabout trek to G, accompanied by Suzu and Sakata. Along the way they meet an old man who offers to aid Olivier in exchange for tutoring his granddaughter, Roxanne. The girl turns out to be much more than she seems, with hidden powers and a history with Ouri as well. With all the various plots starting to come together, Olivier and his friends head back to Salsaroa for some answers—but the real game is just beginning!

Wouldn’t you know it? A review copy of volume four arrived at my doorstep the very day I posted my review of volumes one through three.

When last we left off, Ouri had left the group, blaming herself for the drastic measures she had to take to stop the progress of a corrosive poison Father Olivier’s dark persona had spilled on his arms. Now, she’s on her way back. Shazan and a couple of her siblings are out looking for her and meanwhile, Olivier and his two “trackers” have been invited to stay at a ritzy manor by an old guy who seems a little too enraptured by Olivier’s pretty face.

Things proceed pretty predictably from there. Ouri meets up with Shazan first, shows some increased powers when battling her siblings, then turns up just in time to rescue Olivier from his creepy host’s intentions. Although the main plot is not very exciting, along the way we learn more about the purpose of the game Ouri and her siblings are playing and are introduced to a new foe, a sorceress who somehow curses Ouri with an infant. Too, the group has a new goal, as the consciousness within Ouri informs her of a way that Olivier’s arms might be restored.

In terms of the overall merits and flaws of the series, I haven’t much to add at this point that would differ from what I wrote in my earlier review. I’m pleased to note, however, that the interstitial comedy episodes are missing from this volume, which greatly improves the flow of the story. While many mysteries remain, the new nugget of information about the siblings’ game continues the well-paced dissemination of clues that makes even a rather episodic volume like this one feel like it has a part to play in the grander scheme of the story.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

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