WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Miss my review of volume 2? You can find it here!
Following the revelation that Ray was working as a spy for Isabella in order to get close to her and better orchestrate an escape, Emma and Norman utilized the information he had gathered to arrange a date for the kids in the home to make their daring attempt to leave.
The volume opens with Don and Gilda, two kids who are ranked closely with the darling trio of the house, attempt to infiltrate Isabella’s hidden room. Discovering a creepy room filled with the previous kids’ old toys, they realize that the children are being sent away without these cherished possessions, reinforcing the truth that Emma, Norman and Ray had told them in the previous volume. When Don and Gilda find out the whole truth, including the fact that they are raised as food for demons, he lashes out at Norman and Ray for not trusting him with the information.
Unfortunately, this whole conversation is overheard by Sister Krone, who continues to seek out evidence that the children are plotting an escape in order to get Isabella demoted and become a Mom herself. She confronts the kids in the forest and suggests that they join forces to bring Isabella down. Of course, Norman and the others deduce that if they provide her any evidence that they are planning to escape, she will promptly use it to turn them in. However, if they can utilize her knowledge to escape successfully, Isabella would still be brought low. This leads to another interesting cat-and-mouse session between the kids and Krone as the two forces balance their information.
The conversation leads Krone to believe she should be able to find some evidence of their escape somewhere in the house. Unfortunately for her, Ray planned for this event and plants two pieces of fake evidence for her to find to throw her off the trail. In the midst of her plot she is approached by Isabella, who presents her with a letter stating that she’s been promoted to be a Mom at another house.
Krone recognizes this as a means of Isabella getting rid of her, and remains determined to bring her down. She presents the fake evidence she had collected to “Grandma”, their boss, but instead of being vindicated, Grandma states that Isabella has the house under control, and that Krone’s incessant troublemaking is a problem for her. Krone dies at the hands of a demon, leaving behind a gift for the kids to try and help bring Isabella down.
Isabella also moves against Ray at the same time, dismissing him as her “dog” and asserting that he no longer has any value to her. Recognizing that he’s been lying to her and attempting to betray her, she locks him away and goes out to confront Norman and Emma in the forest, as they are beginning to inspect the outer wall in preparation for their escape.
Just as Ray is about to (attempt) to kick the door down, Don appears and lets him out, the two of them racing towards the forest to complete the inspection as Isabella talks candidly to Emma and Norman. She asks them to be good, so they can enjoy their last bit of time together before the inevitable happens. Norman refuses, dashing off as Emma attempts to tackle Isabella to the ground. Norman thinks he can make the escape before Isabella turns onto Emma and breaks her leg.
Norman stops, and Isabella casually informs them that his ship date has been moved up to the next day. With a broken leg, Emma’s in no condition to be running away, and Isabella appears to have put the kids into a checkmate.
Wow! A lot went down in this volume. It was great to see Don and Gilda take some of the spotlight during their basement search, as well as their contributions to the frenzied final chapter. I’m interested to see how their actions will help or harm the trio’s plans.
Sister Krone’s arc came to a sudden end, and yet her death served a number of purposes. First, it really helped to cement Isabella’s power, influence and intelligence within the House. Second, it provided some insight on the broader world. She mentioned that she had seen humans on equal footing with demons, and the concept that there are humans that don’t get eaten is a fascinating element that alludes to a particularly messed up dystopian society. Finally, the gift that Krone leaves behind may very well pave a path of revenge for the kids. Her death will likely be a catalyst for some pretty big changes in the coming volumes.
Finally, the confrontation with Isabella in the forest was pretty chilling. The way she casually snaps Emma’s leg and thanks her for the “hug” makes it clear that she is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that they are delivered properly as an exquisite meal.
I know it’s early on, and the characters are continuing to grow, but I am getting annoyed that super-genius Norman keeps getting played. I would like to see him score a definitive win over Isabella at some point soon. Here’s hoping!
Overall, the art continues to impress, and the addition of Don and Gilda means that we’ll likely see some more dynamic character development and interpersonal relationships in the chapters to come. That is, if they live that long. You can pick up the latest volume from VIZ here!
Note: VIZ Media provided us with a digital copy of this volume in exchange for our honest review.