I can’t really explain why it took me so long to pick up this series. I had never decided to avoid this series, but at the same time I had never considered reading it. When I decide to try out a new manga series the decision is usually very impulsive, and may be triggered by the smallest encouragement. In this case I just suddenly wanted to read it after someone mentioned they liked it on the forums.

Plot Summary

“It was a long, bitter war…the bloody war between the empire and the Republic of Frost left a deep wound throughout the Empire.

Three years after the cease-fire, now known as the Thin Ice Treaty, the Empire is still plagued with starvation and disease, while bands of former soldiers terrorize the populace…

The Empire is now fighting another battle to repair the destruction of war…”

The concept of a series focused on the re-building of a country after a war is a lot more exciting than I thought it would be. In the war the government did a lot of things they need to hide, especially now that peace is attempting to be established. Meanwhile the citizens are suffering under the after effects of the war and a corrupt government system. Now enter Pumpkin Scissors, a section of the military dedicated to the re-vitalization of the Empire. Their goal is to aid its people in recovering from the war. But what usually ends up happening is them airing out the dirty laundry of the military/government, for both past war offenses and current offenses.

After the war, Randel Oland finds purpose again in following Alice Marvin of Pumpkin Scissors. What sold me on this series are these two characters, I like who they are and how they interact with one another. Alice has never seen the battlefield during the war, a cease-fire was called just as she was about to be shipped out. Randel on the other hand, had been fighting under horrific conditions for a very long time. He fought in a group that was known for their suicidal goals and ferocious combat. Both are strong fighters and become scary in battle, Randel in particular will send shivers down his opponents’ spines. But at the same time outside of battle he is a complete softie, I never thought I could find such a big brutish man so adorable.

So I bought the first 3 volumes at a penny each (plus shipping), volumes 2 and 3 arrived first (of course), and then volume 1 arrived a week later. I devoured these 3 volumes in one night. I then ordered the rest of the volumes available to the US. My only worry is…Del Rey hasn’t announced anything about when volume 6 will be coming out. I don’t mind waiting a long time for a series to continue being released, but I just hope I get the rest of this series in some form at some point in the future. The current unstable world of manga (and my incomplete series) has me a bit nervous at the moment, I might be overthinking things but…I’m still a bit concerned. So I recommend this series if you like what I’ve said so far, but I have concerns over if we’ll see future manga volumes released.

Since the manga seems to be a bit stalled in its release outside Japan, the anime was my beacon of hope. I was counting on the anime going further than what I have in the manga here. I glanced at episode summaries and my hopes were crushed. The ENTIRE anime series seems to only cover the first 3 volumes! I don’t know what the usual manga to anime ratio is but covering 3 volumes of manga in 24 episodes seems absurd! Maybe I’m wrong and that’s normal, but it doesn’t feel right. I wonder if the pace of the anime will be satisfactory? I have such a love/hate relationship with anime, I love anime but it often leaves me disappointed at the end. Unless the series is a popular shonen (or a short series) it seems like anime (in general) is destined to be an incomplete story.

Now here is how my figure collection is as large as it is, the whole time I’m reading and enjoying this manga…I’m remembering that figure of Marvin Alice that GSC released a while back. I’m seriously considering purchasing this figure, it’s a woman wielding a weapon, and it’s a character I really like. Usually figures that meet those two points end up in my collection eventually.