Sankarea: Undying Love (Volume 10) – Cold Truths

Sankarea Volume 10 Cover

Otoki tells Chihiro and Darin Grandpa’s story and how it impacts Chihiro’s life. Some of it is hard to hear, but it awakens painful memories and shines a light on what Rea must be dealing with!

Sankarea: Undying Love (Volume 10) – Cold Truths

What happened?

Otoki explained that Grandpa Jogoro was born at the beginning of the Meiji period which would make him more than one hundred years old. He was a big and popular man who dedicated his life to developing cures that he distributed freely within his village. He met his first wife, Sada and they were happy. However, a great epidemic came and decimated the village. Jogoro headed to Tokyo to learn more and return with a cure.

When he returned everyone in the village including Sada had died. He was distraught, channelling this anger into an attempt to overcome death itself. He created potion after potion, testing them on the dead villagers. Eventually, it worked. He revived Sada. She bit him and he lost consciousness. When he woke he was in a doctor’s home, recovering. That was where he met his second wife, Otoki.

Sankarea Volume 10 Chihiro remembers his mother

They moved to Tokyo and ran a small clinic, although Jogoro continued to experiment with his potion. When Otoki found out, she swore to help him. However, she died suddenly. Jogoro revived her, but after a while, she realised that she would soon attack him too. She agreed to be frozen in ice as long as Jogoro would check in on her from time to time. Jogoro’s body was ageing slowly thanks to the continued exposure to the potion. Soon, he married his third wife, Chihiro’s grandmother.

One day, many years later, Chihiro and Mero were coming to visit Jogoro with their mother when they got into a car accident. Both Chihiro and Mero were miraculously unharmed, but their mother was mortally wounded. Knowing about his research, she begged Jogoro to bring her back so that she could keep a promise to her children. He didn’t want to do it, but if he didn’t what was the point of his research. Reluctantly, he agreed. She kept her promise to her children and then left to protect them.

Sankarea Volume 10 Chihiro finds Mero covered in blood

Chihiro couldn’t believe it, but it was all compounded when his memories came flooding back. It happened. It was the driving factor behind so many of his decisions and he hadn’t realised it. Darin was amazed at the story but then turned it onto Rea, warning Chihiro that he must prepare for that eventuality. He refused to believe that she would enter the Terminal Eater phase – she was a new type of zombie!

Meanwhile, Rea had entered a new phase where she was searching for the thing that she desired the most. That search took her to Chihiro’s house where she attacked Chihiro’s father. Ranko followed her to the Sanka School for Girls where they barricaded her inside the main hall. Lady Aria wanted to call the police, but Ranko asked her to wait for Chihiro. He eventually arrived and went inside.

Sankarea Volume 10 Chihiro meets Rea at the school

What did you think?

This is the volume I have been waiting for! It was fantastic. Jogoro’s past was incredible. His story is full of tragedy and hope, but mostly tragedy. The thing about it is you can understand his motivation. It was simple. He wanted to help people. Sure, it probably became an ego thing too, but that came later. I loved how he used Otoki to tell the story and how she’d been frozen in that cave listening to him for almost a century. The fact that she knew he was dying when she was thawed out made it that much more powerful.

The story of Chihiro’s mother was equally tragic. Imagine asking to come back as a zombie to keep a promise to take her children to an amusement park, knowing that she would have to say goodbye before she lost her mind and tried to eat them. What that must have done to Chihiro and Mero when they found her in the Terminal Eater phase tied up in a cabin is unimaginable. Literally, everything in this story came together at this moment ready for the big finale. I can’t wait!

Sankarea Volume 10 Young Chihiro and Mero find their mother

What have you learnt?

This is where the manga rules over the anime. The anime had many of the hints of things to come such as the mentions of Sada and Grandpa eating hydrangea leaves but failed to deliver on them. In our discussion about the anime and through my reviews, I mentioned many of these and wondered regularly just how much more there was to the story. Well, now we know and it was amazing.

I’ve seen stories come together before and been amazed at how well the brain is able to put the pieces together, even subconsciously, however, this was most definitely planned. It’s a stark reminder to me that there is no substitute for working through the entire story before releasing anything. Foreshadowing is one of the most important aspects of a story. There shouldn’t be any real surprises. There should be more than enough clues for the readers to work things out ahead of time or at least put it all together after the fact.

Sankarea Volume 10 Rea bit Dohn

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What did you think?