3 out of 5
While volume 7 doesn’t significantly move the Aposimz story or its characters forward – Etherow and crew are heading towards the emperor; the emperor dispatches folks to take care of Etherow – it is a magnificently efficient volume, and rather perfectly balanced between action and downbeats, cycling through its subplots with practiced focus. That last term isn’t generally something I’d apply to a Nihei work, which can tend towards being oblique or wandering, or often redirect mid-stream; Aposimz has been a fascinating balancing act of a lot of the creator’s tendencies, though, juggling maximal and minimal visuals and story approaches throughout. It would seem that this has very much stream-lined at this point of the story, and that’s not a bad thing – it’s almost comforting, feeling like we can recognize everyone and everything that’s going on. Nihei goes back to the well on the naked Ajate joke once too often, perhaps – unless that’s part of the gag, and it will keep happening – and Jate and Tosu trying to find peace with Etherow feels a bit rushed, but does open up an interesting counterpoint to what we’ve seen of these characters before, showing concern for the general populace, but neither of these things felt like they ruined their page-space, or the flow of the story. So while we might just be in the “churn” part of things, getting folks from A to B via the plot mechanisms set in place, it’s also really satisfying being in the midst of a story running so effectively.