It’s finally happening, it’s finally here. After being hinted at and foreshadowed for quite some time, we’re actually going to see it happen. The Pretty Girl Squad’s next opponent will be… each other. That’s right, we’re finally going to see the trio split and fight each other in what will be a true test for each girl, not only in might but in character and resolve. And the battle with Seto and Solva still continues and with another major revelation. Just what exactly is Simeon up to? The City arc continues with yet another amazing chapter. **Warning: spoilers below**
Though the fight between the Pretty Girl Squad is just beginning in this chapter, the making of this fight began long before at the end of the Arclight arc. It all started when Mio mysteriously teamed up with Cruz in his pursuit to reunite with all his friends scattered around Blackspot. At that point it became clear that Mio was beginning to defect from Simeon and work together with Cruz. It became even more evident when Mio fought against Simeon during the Bloody Rain arc as a member of the Girl Squad. From that point on, it was clear that Mio was on Cruz’s side (foreshadow 1). Similarly, we also saw Setsuna and Kuchinashi spend time with Cruz during the St. Rose arc. After helping Setsuna and Kuchinashi solve a string of mysterious murders, the three became friends and Cruz became a member of the Girl Squad. However, Setsuna was nowhere near as endearing as Mio and stated that the next time they met, they might have orders to kill him (foreshadow 2). Still, outside of their orders from Simeon, the three had a strong and pleasant relationship, most evident when Setsuna tried to take the blame for Cruz’s intrusion all on her own. It even seemed that the four would get together once all the characters reunited for a mission or adventure. That still might happen (I pray it does) but first, the four need to join the same side.
Currently, the four are split with Setsuna and Kuchinashi out to kill Cruz and Mio there to defend her companion. How exactly did this situation transpire? It began in the previous chapter with the Pretty Girl Squad on the lookout for Cruz with orders to assassinate him. Setsuna allowed Mio to opt out of the mission since she knew it would trouble her after their extended time together and deep friendship. But after Setsuna located Cruz and proceeded to absolutely decimate the poor lad, Mio couldn’t help but step in and defend her bloodied friend. From this point on, Mio will not allow Cruz to be killed and Setsuna will not allow her mission to be compromised. And so, starting next chapter, the fighting will begin with Setsuna and Kuchinashi on one side and Mio on the other. What ultimately will happen is still unknown but I’m sure we all hope everything works out for the trio of friends in the end.
As for Seto and Solva, it seems the two are flipping roles this month with Solva being knocked out of the battle after temporarily losing Magnetic World and Seto returning to consciousness with an ultra-powered Gravity fragment. Along with the increased damage dealt with her fragment, it appears Seto and manipulate the direction and location of gravity now. This upgrade is certainly the hallmark of an Eden’s Seed implantation so it seems the experiment was a success to some degree. But the goal of the experiment was to see if Seto is one of the 12 Stigmata that Arclight is currently searching for through the Needless Hunt. We have only seen Seto perform two attacks, so perhaps we will see if she is a Stigmata as her fight continues in the next chapter.
One more bit before the final chapter review: this chapter reintroduced several plot points back in the story including two that I’ve been hoping to have answered for some time. The first is Mio’s recollection of when she joined Cruz. Finally she provided a reason for her companionship which was undoubtedly caused by the ‘Gentle Hand of Light’ that saved Cruz during the Eden’s Seed Release (PF Blast). Mio says it was an angel that protected Cruz. And despite all the religious themes and subplots within Needless, only one character fits that description which is Adam Neuschwanstein (ANn) who appeared in Chapter 82 (and is the main character of Needless 1.5). What makes this even more interesting is that only Cruz could see ANn then but it seems now that Mio could see her or, at the very least, the hand of an angel which in all likelihood would be ANn’s hand. I’m going to eagerly keep an eye on these developments since this seems to be one of the most central concepts in all Needless relating to both Cruz and the planned sequel to Needless, Needless 2. And because Mio is mentioning it now, I assume we’ll get information on this matter quickly. The other major development this chapter is Arclight has already found 9 of the 12 Stigmata and is searching for the final 3. Just who exactly is a Stigmata and who remains unknown are still quite a mystery but it appears we will begin learning about this soon, hopefully starting in the next chapter or whenever Seto and Solva’s fight is over.
Again, this was a fantastic chapter, not only because it included my favorite characters and began a fight I have been longing to see for years but also because it had remarkable character development, swift events, and storylines that are incredibly significant to the whole series and quite captivating individually. The City arc is quickly becoming my favorite in the entire manga, only second to the infamous and celebrated St. Rose arc. Everything about this arc has been simply outstanding. Not only have we finally changed settings and ventured into the City, a matter that has been unobtainable for the entire series, but we’re being reunited with virtually every character, seeing numerous unanticipated and amazing battles, seeing several central concepts and storylines come together, and keeping in comedy and fanservice whenever possible. This arc really personifies what Needless is about. Thought the comedy has been lacking across the arc, the pure excitement, adventure, and significance has been truly astonishing. Each chapter is enchanting in its own way, too. And with all these unexpected twists and turns on almost every page, it’s become impossible to predict what will happen next. Though there is one thing for sure: the next chapter of Needless will be absolutely thrilling and certainly enthralling. That and we’ll get color pages in the next chapter, too.