I don’t plan on blogging anything release-by-release, but what a pleasant surprise to see chapter twelve of Karasuma Wataru‘s Deus x Machina finally done! As the subject of my first post, this series is somewhat special to me, and I was sad to see that the scans halted just as things were getting good. In a funny twist of fate, Horobi no Michi finally released the chapter just days after a new scanslator called Riceballicious took the initiative himself. Because I saw Riceball’s scanslation first, the images in the post will be from his version.
Luke’s real purpose in this manga comes to light—he makes a cute trap. This cover image is excellent—Sue has a serious sleeping face, but her pinching Luke’s cheek counterbalances it to keep the image playful. It’d be unnatural for these characters to star in a “beautiful” picture, yet this one still carries that feeling.
Deus x Machina exists for scenes like this. From the start, it’s been a manga that shoots for “darkness” without batting an eye. The main characters are all murderers and psychopaths with Luke being the only outsider. It’s no surprise when little girls are being auctioned off in some guy’s mansion, and the manga doesn’t stop to dwell on it. Most shounen manga would’ve had someone yelling that “this is wrong!,” but no one in this story gives a damn.
This image exemplifies Sue’s cuteness through her lack thereof. Mary and Sue try to seduce the guards and get into the mansion, but unlike the wide-eyed and adorable Mary, Sue’s face is made of stone. Nevertheless, she tries to copy Mary’s technique and blatantly fails, yet the fact that she fails is also what makes her cute. Moments like this rock for both characters’ development—it shows how much Sue is into this act how close she is to Mary in spite of her personality, and also how Mary honestly believes that Sue is a great partner.
While bringing up purposes of things, lets talk Mary and Sue. They’re fun and silly on a fundamental level, yet both are remorseless, even sadistic killers and thieves. They’re more frightening than the Bee girl from earlier chapters who was cute yet sadistic, but was a cold-blooded madman 100% of the time, whereas Mary and Sue are truly warm, kind, and lovely creatures. Their unpredictability makes me instinctively worry about them.
The stuff I wrote about Machina’s presence in the first chapter has held true throughout the series thus far, and this scene works to remind us of that stuff after Machina’s been out of the game for a little while. Above, we see a gang boss standing on the same plane as Machina; he arrives with a presence to equal hers, which at first makes him feel like a threat. Machina won’t have that.
There’re plenty of ways Machina could’ve threatened the boss to let her in, but what really pissed her off was the way he looked down at her. She punches him out just to show him who’s the real boss.
To back it up, we also get a reminder of Machina’s sadistic nature.
I saw this coming from a mile away, but it’s still my favorite moment in the chapter. It reminds me that this manga comes from Dengeki Daioh, and no doubt its readers reacted just like the gamblers did.
The tension behind the battle maids has been mounting for a while, and a sudden decapitation is one hell of a way to let it explode.
In telling Luke to forget everything he’s about to see is another confirmation of Mary and Sue’s remorseless nature. Killing people is something they enjoy—however, they know that Luke won’t look at them the same way if he thinks they’re heartless murderers. The only reason they feel they should hold back is their love for Luke.
I half-expected a bunch of grenades to fall out of their skirts like Roberta from Black Lagoon. The full effect of this moment was lost on this scan because the pages were seperated, so I put them together in this image. There’s a cinematic quality to this page. It’s worth noting that Sue is actually smiling for once.
Continuing in Deus x Machina’s usual high-torque fashion, the chapter ends with yet another shocker as Machina puts one in Sue’s head (it took me a moment to realize it was Sue because her eyes are so wide). I don’t believe for a second that Sue is dead—no matter how wild this manga is, I don’t think it’d kill a character all-at-once like that. Moreover, if she were dead, a reaction shot by Mary would be appropriate. However, if we assume Mary knows that Sue can survive a shot to the head, then her reaction would be pushed into the next chapter to use as a twist. We’ll find out as soon as one of the scanners gets the next chapter out.
Update: Riceballicious apparently released chapter 13 while I was writing this post! Maybe this manga will be caught up quicker than I thought!
On an unrelated note, I set up an account on Manga Updates, so if anyone’s interested, they can check it out here.