The MBC caves to social pressure & removes the word ‘barber’ from their censorship list, giving the Task Force hope that their efforts are slowly working. But their next assignment promises to be more challenging. The Ibaraki Library, which shares grounds with an art museum, is hosting an anti-censorship exhibit & the MBC are threatening a raid. The Library Task Force arrives & finds the force at Mito base has been severely compromised by the head librarian’s extreme pacifist views. Admin staff bully the soldiers at every chance. The Task Force make it part of their mission to report every incident & to help bolster their fellow combatants. Dojo & Kasahara grow closer as he listens to her struggles in the women’s barracks & Tezuka & Shibazaki rely on one another more as they try to puzzle out the ties between various factions. Kasahara’s parents arrive at Mito base when tipped off anonymously about her real job. After an emotional confrontation that has been in the works since issue 3, Kasahara prepares for the MBC raid on the museum.
Readers can breath another sigh of relief now that Kasahara has finally come clean with her parents. Her confrontation with her mom is so emotional & could have easily gone off the rails (infinite slap fight anyone?) but the support of both Dojo & Kasahara’s dad help defuse the scene. This issue has been more & more about Kasahara pulling away or trying to isolate herself, which is something I wouldn’t have expected of her given that she’s so open & concerned about others. But the reactions of her Mito comrades, Dojo & her father all keep her from drifting away.
As for the others, I still don’t like that Tezuka keeps talking to his brother. I get that he’s trying to impress Shibazaki & help his team but Satoshi is just slimy. As a reader, I still worry that Tezuka is the weak link because he’s so driven to seek approval. But as I continue through the series, he keeps resisting being separated from his company. I wonder whether I’ve taken a stereotypical view here or if I’ve misread some of the narrative clues. Onto the next issue!