2 out of 5
Charitably, I can see these chapters of KoS as Nihei angling in another post-human POV – we have the cybernetic, gender-neutral Izana; biological organism Tsumugi; and now the completely artificial Teruru – but in reality, it’s just some harem bullshit. As soon as they give Teruru some dialogue, waiting on a half-destroyed planet for the always heroic Tanikaze to elect to rescue her, her trajectory as a tsundere is painfully clear – like, now that Yuhata has moved in, I guess she can’t fill the role anymore – and then, christ, there’s the “my skin is just a construct, so here I am looking naked” bit that’s vomit-worthy, filling the entire 2/3rds of the tankobon with snippy girl battles. I just got done praising some effective meet-cuteness last volume, and to be fair, Izana is actually pretty mature throughout this (though that’s only because she’s been shoved into the “nice girl” role), but the sin here is that nothing important happens, storywise. Nothing. We’re on break, gearing up for a huge battle with the cluster ship, and it’s just one or two page check-ins to remind us of that. The opening battle (to rescue Teruru) is well done, and I like there being a semi-plotty reason for bringing Ms. Hayama into the mix, but this was all, essentially, just filler. It’s not a “necessary” diversion, and I’d rather Nihei have spent more time digging into the characters we already have.
Some points for the background gag of putting a dress on the dick alien, though.