Ch. 39 Summary: Satomi tries to kill Shiina on a school trip. Norio knocks her unconscious, but her dragon child still tries to kill Shiina. We see a flashback in which criticism for Satomi failing a test is interspersed with sex scenes.
Ch 40 Summary: Shiina’s mom and another lady talk about the dragon children, life and death. (This chapter is omitted entirely from the official English translation. But it doesn’t add too much… mostly talking about how dragons are all other types of monsters too, how the dragon children are like larva, and how they aren’t alive.)
Ch. 41 Summary: Satomi has been broken. Shiina’s mom tells Sudou not to try to save the world (lol).
Ch. 42 Summary: Shiina chills out in the hospital.
Ch. 43 Summary: Shiina’s mom and dad talk. We learn that her dad is leaving for work next week and her mom once tried to strangle her.
Ch. 44 Summary: Shiina runs away from home to spend the night with Tsurumaru and Norio.
What Just Happened?
We’re finally getting to the parts of the story where I have no idea what to make of things. Up until this point Narutaru has been strange, disgusting and sadistic, but comprehensible. But now where at the point where things start getting weird. Seriously weird. Ch. 39 in particular. So any help my readers can provide in clarifying things would be greatly appreciated. I don’t remember too much from my first time reading the manga after this point, so my speculation may be wildly off.
So, we start off with Satomi trying to murder Shiina on the school field trip. Then Norio knocks Satomi out with a taser. Perfectly normal up until this point. But then:
Amapola sprouts a body. And while Satomi is unconscious (recall, the dragon children are supposed to share sensations and be fully controlled by their bearer) Amapola continues to attempt to kill Shiina. (If you’ve read the later chapters, also note that Takeo is unconscious while part of this is going down…)
I suppose Satomi may have more fully entered into Amapola’s body while she was unconscious, and her subconscious took control. This could be why she is completely unconcerned if her “friend” dies (although it’s not like she seemed to care before) and is seemingly much more vicious.
Anyway, moving on. Satomi’s life flashes before her eyes. This is the part that’s really confusing, and I can only assume it’s intentionally so. Satomi wants to go to Banda because she’s bullied, but she fails the admissions exam. Afterwards, some random lady (seriously, who in the world is this person?) trash talks her while her mother says it doesn’t matter, seemingly oblivious to Satomi’s pressing problems with bullying. Bungo is the one who protects her.
They have sex.
Then in the next panel Bungo transforms into somebody else.
Ok, so I think he just grew up and dyed his hair. But it took me a while to realize this… so confusing.
The sex scene is interplayed with random lady telling Satomi she’s worthless, and Satomi’s mother telling her she’s worthless but it’s okay (she phrases it better but that’s kind of what’s implied). Aside from my confusion on who she’s having sex with and who this random lady is, this part of the chapter is superbly done. A contrast is established between the power Satomi experiences through sex and Bungo, and the powerlessness and shame she feels from the one defining moment of her life when she failed the middle school entrance exam.
Almost makes you feel bad for Satomi! At least until you remember all the people she’s murdered because she failed the middle school entrance exam.
We’ve been wondering from the start why Shiina doesn’t get along with her mother.
Well, her mother tried to strangle her in the past. That would certainly explain it.
Keep in mind how this fits in with Narutaru’s themes of birth and pregnancy:
- Shiina’s name means “barren”. Shiina claims she never ever wants to have children. Now we may have an idea why— she doesn’t want to strangle them like her mother.
- The dragon children are likewise described as empty and barren, as corpses.
- Shiina’s mother had a child and tried to kill it. She’s afraid of her child, even now.
- Norio wishes he could father Tsurumaru’s child, but is unable to, being male. Instead he creates art that looks eerily similar to the barren dragon children.
- Tsurumaru fathers as many children as possible but takes minimal responsibility in raising them.
- Satomi looks down on women whose goal is to have children as mere breeders.
Quite the pleasant set of perspectives, isn’t it!
Otohime is back! Note how she always arrives just when Shiina is about to die. I’d also like to mention that I love the backgrounds in this section.
Hahaha poor Norio. Although I bet he likes it.
Amazing faces, as usual.
Hoshimaru is so cute! Even when he’s reaching for deadly weapons!
Poor Satomi… the cutie has been broken. Well okay she was broken to start with but in a different way.
Lol. Trying to imagine Sudo attempting to solve the world’s limited resource problems if he could. Clearly Shiina’s mom does not know him too well.
We finally have a bit more concrete idea of what the dragon children seek. We’ll see this illustrated quite graphically rather soon…
I should mention that the translation here is a bit misleading (I think). Tsurumaru says this is what the “竜骸” seek, which has been translated in other places as “dragon child”. The name more accurately means something along the lines of “dragon corpse”, and we’ve discussed the second character previously. I think it’s important to distinguish the dragon children (竜骸), such as Hoshimaru, from the dragons (竜) such as Otohime.