Kasahara’s visit with her parents winds down, but not before a family argument leads to Kasahara’s father uncharacteristically defending her choices. After the parents have left, Dojo finds a copy of Weekly New World (the copy that featured Kasahara at the debate in issue #3) in their room. At least one of Iku’s parents suspects more than what they will reveal. Readers also get a peek into Instructor Komaki’s life with the introduction of Marie, a deaf friend of his from childhood who comes to visit one day. After Komaki recommends a book to Marie that features a deaf character, an anonymous source reports him to the Media Betterment Committee for emotionally abusing a minor. Komaki is arrested & the Task Force must pull together to find him.
The addition of Komaki’s story is a nice addition to the series so far, especially after the last issue ending on his perspective. The rumor that leads to his arrest could almost have been culled from the more reactionary parts of today’s internet. One critique: while I am aware that there are plenty of stories about one character being worshipfully in love with another since childhood, something about Marie’s mental refrain of “See me as a woman” kind of reminded me of Emma from the Metal Gear series. That’s probably just my own personal associations at play but it did lend a certain cringe-worthiness to my reading. Tezuka has been in the background a little lately, so the hint of his background complications in this issue is a welcome addition. Also welcome was Shibazaki actually helping Kasahara to execute a plan instead of just listening to her talk about her relationship troubles & flirting. This series has completely charmed me & I enjoy it more & more with each issue!