Sabikui Bisco Volume 3 Review

Volume 2 of Sabikui Bisco saw our heroes face off against the legendary monk Kelshinha, who stole Bisco’s stomach (and therefore immortality) and caused chaos across the holy land of Shimane. Can things get any crazier than that in Volume 3? Let’s find out! 

As we reunite with Bisco and Milo, we find them along with travelling merchant Tirol heading to the Mushroom Keepers’ home where they can take a well-deserved break. Unfortunately, fate has other ideas in store for the trio and not long after they get stuck into a welcome party, the town is attacked by a mysterious red-haired gentleman called Apollo. 

Apollo wields a mysterious power that can make skyscrapers and buildings from modern-day Japan appear from thin air. His goal is to restore Japan to how it was in the year 2028 before the Rust Wind changed the world into what it is currently. But Apollo has no place for Bisco or the rest of humanity in his restoration plans and he’s come to wipe them out once and for all. 

Our heroes put up a united front and although the power of mushrooms is no match for the buildings and robots sprouting up from Apollo’s attack, they manage to chase him off for a short time. But during the fight, Tirol ends up being processed by a mysterious being called Hope who knows all about Apollo but promises they want to save current-day humanity from his plan. Bisco decides Hope must be an evil spirit and vows to get Tirol exorcised, but first, they’ll have to head back to Imihama Prefecture. 

Back in Imihama, Pawoo and Jabi are leading the charge against Apollo’s army of buildings and futuristic technology. No matter how powerful their attacks or strategic their fight, the group is barely holding off the enemy and it soon becomes clear that the only way to protect Imihama and the rest of Japan is to head to Apollo’s home base in the Tokyo Crater. Together with Bisco and Milo, perhaps they’ll be able to defeat their powerful foe. But what price will they pay to achieve victory? 

If the idea of skyscrapers and mystical ways to return Japan to the way it was in 2028 sounds ridiculous to you, well, it is. I spent most of my time with this volume feeling that it had gone completely off the rails. But, when you think about what we’ve seen from Sabikui Bisco so far, is it really that far-fetched? The origin of the Rusty Wind, Bisco’s immortality and plenty of other aspects are just as out there. And to author Shinji Cobkubo’s credit, they have managed to tie the plot together quite well here. 

To a degree, you have to switch your brain off and not think about anything too deeply, but Apollo’s story certainly hasn’t come out of nowhere. It has always been clear to readers that whatever caused the Rusty Wind wasn’t just because of the defensive weapon Tetsujin; surely there was more to that story – and there was. Apollo and Hope’s histories are both quite interesting, although I will say that Apollo has generic villain vibes for most of this book. 

As always, what grips the reader and makes this series so much fun is the interactions between the characters. Bisco and Milo are as close as ever and with Jabi and Pawoo playing much bigger roles in this story than they did in Volume 2, no matter who your favourite character is, there’s a lot to enjoy here. As always the dialogue is snappy and sure to bring a smile to your face as you watch Bisco and Milo bicker, or Pawoo attempt to win Bisco’s affection. Rather than the story, watching over their actions is what makes Sabikui Bisco such an engaging series. And that’s going to be important going forward. 

In the afterword for this volume, Cobkubo admits that their original intentions were for the series to be a trilogy. However, the series has continued in Japan for a further five volumes so there’s still a lot of content to come. I finished Volume 3 thinking it would have been a perfect end to the series (much like I thought in Volume 1), but the set-up for Volume 4 is intriguing and certainly makes me eager to carry on with it. I just hope that the author can deliver books as entertaining as these three have been, now their original plans are used up. 

Sabikui Bisco Volume 3 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press and has been translated by Jake Humphrey. As with the previous releases, this book reads well with no issues to note. Volume 4 of the series is already available with #5 set to follow in July. 

Overall, Sabikui Bisco Volume 3 brings the story so far to a strong conclusion. While the content of this arc has gotten somewhat silly, readers will still enjoy watching Bisco and Milo rampage and cause utter chaos while doing their best to protect the country they call home.

Our review copy from Yen Press was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK. 

8 / 10


When she's not watching anime, reading manga or reviewing, Demelza can generally be found exploring some kind of fantasy world and chasing her dreams of being a hero.

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