In the blink of an eye, a modern-day girl named Asahi is whisked away from her warm and happy home and stranded in a strange and mysterious world where she meets a water dragon god!
Asahi returns to the present day, and though her reunion with her family is joyful, she misses Subaru and the water dragon god in the other world. When Asahi comes to a decision about what to do, the water dragon god’s heart is greatly shaken!
This volume continues into Asahi’s home arc – she has somewhat settled in with her family, getting to know her younger sibling Haruki, but still missing her life back in the olden Japan. Meanwhile, political tensions are rising, with the people thinking the Water God has abandoned the Emperor. Another player appears, who is shown to be the own controlling the Evil Priestess’ plans, as well as another god who is favoring him.
A key theme of this volume was longing, and was rendered in different characters. First, we see Haruki finding Asahi’s shrine-like room in childhood, and figuring out she was the first child of their parents, and how her loss affected them. There are a lot of warm moments shared between Asahi and her family, but in her heart, she is still longing to go back, knowing that if she did so, she would be putting her family through that pain again. Over there on the other side, Subaru is preparing for war, and swallows his anger to ask the Water God for a favor, which the latter grants on some coaxing from the Wood Goddess.
I liked that the focus was removed from the romance, but instead the fact that the Water God simply misses having Asahi around was highlighted. It was leading up to the romance, anyway, so I will grudgingly accept it. (Honestly why are there so many gods/spirits seeking young brides?!) Subaru is pretty much going into the background now and I am sad that ship has sunk. But on the non-romance side, I am interested to see how Asahi’s life will pan out, now that she has chosen to come of her own free will. But ultimately, in terms of plot, I felt it rushed into resolving this arc, and also introducing new players; even so, the volume didn’t feel like a monumental progression in terms of plot.
In short, an emotionally strong volume, but not much in terms of story.
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Viz Media, via Edelweiss.
Previous volumes in series
Releases on October 2, 2018