In our last installment, Geobaldi and company agreed to join forces with Tetsuya and Kahm to fight the Santovasku Empire. If you could work your way around those mouthfuls, then we’ll move on to volume 5.
Title: Outlanders Vol. 5
Written and Illustrated by Johji Manabe
Translated by Dana Lewis and Toren Smith
Lettering and Touch-Up by Wayne Truman
Originally Serialized by Hakushensha’s ComiComi Magazine.
Currently out-of-print, but originally published in the US by Dark Horse Comics.
Upon remembering that that the Earth military had some secret weapon that wiped out several major warships earlier in the series (that would be the Sorceress Jihilir), Tetsuya suggests that they form an alliance with the United Earth Military. This would, hopefully, give them the edge they need to overcome the forces of the Empire, and save the Earth. Meanwhile, political machinations are proceeding within the Earth Military against Great Leader Neo.
The High Points
The machinations among the factions on Earth are interesting to read, and the stuff with Tetsuya, Kahm, and company in space is interesting as well.
The Low Points
As soon as everyone gets back on earth for the peace conference and they bring back the female character who was introduced in Germany, the series rapidly shifts back to Tenchi Muyo-esque harem comedy territory, which is at odds with the series tone for the past few volumes.
Originality: The sort of semi-peace conference we see here is similar to most other semi-peace conferences I’ve seen elsewhere in anime, but it’s got some nice twists to the formula. 4 out of 6.
Artwork: Still great. 5 out of 6.
Story: I’m not totally enthused with the series going into romantic comedy territory at this point, mainly because of where the story is at the moment – it feels like an unnecessary distraction. 3 out of 6.
Characterization: Tetsuya continues to show a great deal of character growth – he’s not the same person he was in volume one, and the character is definitely aware of that. 5 out of 6.
Emotional Response: The love triangle stuff has actually started to annoy me here. If this was something like Tenchi Muyo, I wouldn’t mind as much, but the stakes are so much higher here than in Tenchi, so consequently the characters who are perpetuating the Love Triangle bickering make me feel like like their priorities are totally in the wrong order. 4 out of 6.
Flow: 6 out of 6.
Overall: This volume is actually a step down from the last volume, but I have hopes that it will get better as we get closer to the end of the series. 4 out of 6.
In Total, Volume 5 of Outlanders gets 31 out of 42.