Author: Tatsuya Hamazaki | Illustrator: Rei Izumi | Page Count: 278
"It's a black box no one should look into."
The events of four years ago are still felt by the system administrators; their fear of a reoccurrence forces them to halt Shugo and Rena’s progress, but in doing so they place themselves at the very centre of something far beyond their control.
Tatsuya Hamazaki didn't just hold the best for last, he held about ninety percent of everything for last. The third volume is packed with story, shining so bright that it causes the previous volume to throw an even darker shadow of shame. That extra depth required an extra page count, making it much longer.
Friendship and awakening are themes central to the coming of age story that's the backbone of the trilogy, and they come to the fore at last. It also throws in commentary on ideals, nostalgia, duty, limitations, family and honour. Some of them sit quietly in the subtext, but are there should you choose to look for them.
There's still occasional filler that’s clearly fan-service, but it’s forgivable given that it's structured as a further step along the path of realisation.
3½ legendary right hooks out of 5