[Novel] S 4: Afterglow (エス 4: 残光 )

Image from June

エス 4: 残光 / S 4: Afterglow by Saki Aida

Written by: Aida Saki (英田サキ)

Illustrated by: Nara Chiharu (奈良千春)

English Publisher: June

Status: Completed

Volumes: 4

Summary: (from the back of the book)

At the end of S volume 3, detective Masaki Shiiba was last seen running away from the hospital room of his injured S, Keigo Munechika. Now, Shiiba has turned in his resignation, bought a gun of his own, and is bent on only one mission — to kill Takanari Godou.

 

Shiiba’s instincts are telling him that Godou was the one who had killed his sister Yukari and is the person responsible for Munechika’s injury. He vows to get the truth from Godou, even if he has to throw away his morals and life to do it. But can he do it? Can he shoot another person and commit cold-blooded murder for revenge? When he finds out more information about Godou’s past, will his resolution waver? And when the young Kiri Yoshizawa is thrown into the chaotic mix, can Shiiba accomplish his plans without any remorse?

Previous volumes here.

Finally! The elusive volume 4 is now mine muawahaha!

Seriously, though, it’s really hard to get a copy of this book. If I haven’t already gotten the first 3 books, I would have opted for a digital copy. But I was dead set on completing my copy. After 48 years of waiting, June reprinted this. Thank goodness.

Anyways!

Here goes…


May contain spoilers so proceed with caution!


Story

Positive ♡(。- ω -)

Despite being the last volume, there’s still a lot of things going on. There’s Shiiba’s resolve, Munechika’s relationship with his brother, Godou, and Yoshizawa. With this subplots, Saki Aida has a lot of things to tie up.

But compared to the previous volume, where the atmosphere is very tensed, I find that volume 4 is pretty low-key. Not much action since the development lies within the characters. Everything depends on how they mature and moved on from their lives.

I find myself enjoying all the wrapping up that Saki Aida did. There was no prolonged angst which is very good. Everyone got a closure that they deserve without being given an easy ending.

Neutral (¯ . ¯٥)

Somehow, I don’t know what to feel about Kiri’s subplot. It kinda feels random at one point. In hindsight, her ending makes sense as her world comes in full circle. But I can’t help but wonder how is she going to raise a kid alone when she spends her entire life relying on her grandfather.

Another reason I follow this series is that I want to see the development of Shiiba and Munechika’s relationship. But like I’ve mentioned, there’s so much to do and not enough pages to tell it all. So to give way to the central plot, the romance has to take a back seat.

I kinda want to see more lovey-dovey scenes between Munechika and Shiiba though. I mean, yeah, they have 3 other books of sex. But they had so much hardship and all they ever get in most of their bedtimes are angry sex or transactional sex. I wanted to see them spend peaceful times together. After all, they deserve it. They work hard for it.


Characters

Positive ♡(。- ω -)

Shiba

Ever since the end of S 3, I’ve been curious about what happened to Shiiba. Shiiba’s values have been tested a lot in the past volumes. But the closure of his sister’s case either makes or breaks him.

I love how Shiba matures in this book. He not only found the resolve to go on with his life and career but also with his relationship with Munechika.

Neutral (¯ . ¯٥)

Godou

Wow. What a history. I thought A Song of Fire and Ice prepared me for it, but apparently, I wasn’t ready for his background.

Godou is the type of villain you’d love to hate. He is charming, twisted, and oh-so-cruel. You know you should avoid him at all cost but you just can’t. Somehow, he reminds me of Makishima Shougo from Psycho-Pass.


Enjoyment (✯◡✯)

…It’s okay lol. Story-wise it’s good. Every chapter is about tying the loose ends which also means that the story’s kinda flat and relaxing. So maybe I’m just used to the action-packed earlier volumes that I found Afterglow to be so chill.

Besides that, I really wanted an extra or more sweet time for Shiiba and Munechika.


Highlights

Godou’s past – because it’s so wtf that I wouldn’t be able to think of Volume 4 without being reminded of his background.

…And so as seeing butterflies.

Motoaki’s resolution – I find the resolution scene cheesy. At the same time, I love Munechika’s line there. When Motoaki threatens to kill himself, Munechika allows him… then says that he’ll kill himself afterward. He proceeds to explain himself about his previous actions.

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