I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
The members of the little Ursa Minor chat group are getting more keyed up - Rika (11) has done something she regrets, Mr. Money is forcing himself to be more open about the situation with his mother and what it's done to his state of mind, Polaris is going to be forced to take part in a swimming relay race and feels anxious just thinking about it, and Jangalian still doesn't know how to gracefully put a stop to his obsessed stalker and the rumors she keeps spreading. Things are coming to a head now that everyone's been pushed into a corner.
Mizushiro managed to wrap this up better than I expected. Even though I had some issues with the way things played out, everyone's motivations and actions seemed more solid and believable in this volume than they did in the first volume. That said, I still had issues with how things worked out.
Mizushiro's handling of Mr. Money and his family situation struck me as being overly simplistic.
All in all, this series got off to a shaky start but managed to find its footing by the end, even though I wasn't always comfortable with the way everything played out.
The last quarter of the volume was devoted to a short called "The Last Supper." Oh man, this story was dark, weird, and horrifying.
It's science fiction in which humans struggle to survive a plague that keeps cropping up every few years. The sky is now lit by an artificial sun, and the weather, too, is artificially controlled. Cows have long since died out and have been replaced by cow-human hybrids. Which we still raise for food, and eat. Lambda 26 is one such cow. After his father is slaughtered and eaten, Lambda tries to escape but ends up being found by Mitsuhiko, the rancher's son. Mitsuhiko insists on having Lambda as his playmate and servant, thereby protecting him from being killed and eaten. Lambda initially wants to be free but eventually begins to care for Mitsuhiko. (Major spoilers from this point on.)
That last story was definitely not my kind of thing, and I feel icky just thinking about it.
If I could rate X-Day's conclusion separately from "The Last Supper," I'd give the former 3 stars and the latter 1 star. "The Last Supper" only takes up a quarter of the volume and therefore maybe shouldn't have as much weight, but since it had a pretty significant negative emotional impact on me, I'm just going to average the two ratings and give this 2 stars.
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)