After having defeated an evil Red Eye, Minoru Utsugi is taken to the SFD, the headquarters where Yumiko Azu-the Accelerator works. There, Minoru meets other hosts of the Jet Eyes, where he has agreed to work with them to defend humanity against the Red Eyes in order to obtain his objective of ridding the world of any memory of him.
Given the codename, the Isolator, Minoru and his new associates set out to track down another Red Eye, with the ability to manipulate oxygen: The Igniter.
The story continues directly after his victory in the last volume, and proceeds to explain more about the situation he’s in. For those who like the scientific aspects of A Certain Magical Index/A Certain Scientific Raigun, chances are that you’ll like this series as it takes concepts from chemistry and physics to explain some plot elements.
With the addition of Minoru’s new comrades, the volume focuses more on the interactions between the characters. While the characters themselves don’t stand out much, they offer another perspective to counteract Minoru’s personal philosophy. They show their thoughts and concerns towards Minoru in hoping they are able to convince him to join the organization. As the plot progresses, more details are added to these new teammates to offset their indistinctive personality. For Minoru himself, the different viewpoints are looked at into consideration with his own; something much needed from the last volume. The introduction of new characters is a good step in the right direction but the amount of individuals added felt wasted, having certain characters have only one or two scenes.
The story is split into two different perspectives, Minoru’s and the antagonist. There is much detail in how the world is written out, such as the actual operation of the powers and enviroments, but these descriptions tend to go on too long.
While the volume places more emphasis on the relationships, there is a neglect in the perspective on the antagonist of the story. In the first volume, Reki Kawahara included the villain’s perspective; a writing method that he has never done before in his previous works. This worked as it gave extra depth to the villain; letting the reader know who the person is exactly, besides really creepy.
The artwork has two different styles; one bears a resemblance to the anime adaptation of Sword Art Online and the slightly cutesy style. Although these illustration are pretty general in term of design and look, the dynamic shots of some of the drawings help express the emotions behind it.
The second volume of the Isolator is great continuation of the events that left off in the last book; and with the introduction of new characters, it provides more information towards the established plot elements and Minoru himself. However, the volume still suffers from the same writing issues as the last volume and the extra depth towards the antagonist is missing here; something that was nicely added previously.
Afterword: While I regarded the volume as average, I honestly enjoyed reading it. Anyone who’s a fan of Reki Kawahara’s work will like this series; and I would actually recommend reading this volume before the first one.
Author: Reki Kawahara
English Publisher: Yen Press