ES: Eternal Sabbath Vol. 6-7 (Del Rey)

es67-header.jpgBoasting an alarming number of landmine topics, including suicide, child abuse, murder, love, abandonment, abortion, and punishment from God, it’s a wonder that Fuyumi Soryo finds time to return Eternal Sabbath back to its original purpose: the ongoing battle between superpowered twins Isaac and Shuro.

 

 

The cover to ES vol. 6. Click for a larger image.240 pgs B&W; $10.95

(W / A: Fuyumi Soryo)

 

Drama llama, baggage train, whatever you want to call, it’s pulled into town in Fuyumi Soryo’s latest volumes of Eternal Sabbath. Boasting an alarming number of landmine topics, including suicide, child abuse, murder, love, abandonment, abortion, and punishment from God, it’s a wonder that Soryo finds time to return the story back to its original purpose: the ongoing battle between superpowered twins Isaac and Shuro.

Thankfully, volume seven steers readers away from the chaotic train wreck of the previous volume. With the focus returned to the book’s central story, Isaac discovers a devastating truth about the nature of his condition, and Shuro and scientist Dr. Mine Kujyou gain an unexpected advantage. What disappoints some readers in these recent volumes may also please others, as Soryo takes a firm hand with this direction of the story.

Soryo is not an artist who is satisfied with the simple idea of good versus evil, that much is clear from the topics she incorporates and explores through Isaac and Shuro. Where many artists these days are just lucky if their stuff sells in one-shot form, Soryo has the advantage of a lengthy, ongoing series for her in-depth explorations. What a writer can’t do in eight pages, Soryo can spread out over eight volumes.

The cover to ES vol. 7. Click for a larger image.Which brings me to the larger problems of Soryo’s work. While a stellar artist and an accomplished creative, Soryo, for all her efforts, cannot seem to sustain her longer storyline without damaging the smaller ones that serve to drive interest. There are beautiful beginnings to love stories, painful and touching looks at child abuse and neglect, and secondary characters who struggle alongside the primary over abandonment issues and failure. Yet none of these truly come together. There’s something in the connective tissue that just isn’t there. For all the topics that are touched upon lightly and then dropped, there is a moment of missed opportunity, which reflects in the greater scheme of Isaac’s inevitable destruction.

So, you’ve lost a reader, Soryo—not in the sense of me giving up on your series, because I certainly don’t intend to, but because I’m lost as to how you will satisfactorily tie up these threads in just one more volume. The fact of the matter is, I want to be surprised. I want to be shocked by your uncanny ability to reconnect everything and provide a, "What the hell did you do to me?" kind of ending. I still think there is one there, but it won’t be simple to pull off. Of course, great things rarely are. Here’s hoping your last volume will be what it should. | James Nokes

 

See the related links below to read James Nokes’ reviews of previous volumes of ES: Eternal Sabbath!

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