There is a line that separates good and evil but, depending on your perception and your circumstances, the line may be displaced, blurred or somehow obscure and therefore indiscernible. Within Needless, this line has shifted, slanted, curved and distorted to show that the characters are not accurately bound to the traditional labels of “good guys” or “bad guys”. And because of this ambiguity regarding these ethics, it has allowed the characters to freely switch and flip side given their personality and the situations they find themselves in. In fact, it’s rather difficult to tell who’s what anymore besides the few central characters at the heart of the story. And because of this inability to distinguish good from evil and vice versa, it has accounted for numerous surprises, remarkable character growth, several entrancing fights and, perhaps greatest of all, even more unpredictable fun and amusement. **Warning: spoilers below**
With the 105th chapter of Needless comes yet another example of the increasingly popular trend of characters switching sides or at least appearing to do so. When we last left Seto and Solva in the middle of the city, they were in a heated battle against Kafka and Uten. The four return to the manga with Seto and Solva the prisoners of Simeon… or so it appears. Provided the events that unfold the end this chapter, it’s unclear who has the upper-hand between these two pairs nor what their current motivations are. And because of the way these events have unfolded, we’re set up with another curious mystery that’s both fun and exciting. To say that these current circumstances were unpredictable would be an understatement.
With the outcome of the fight unknown, or any developments regarding the infusion of Eden Seed and whereabouts of Stigmata, we’re left guessing at what possibly could be going on regarding their current relationship and situation. When we last saw these four characters, Kafka and Uten were obsessed with finding the missing Stigmatas and killing those who proved to be useless to Arclight and Simeon. However, at the end of the fight, neither of them decided to kill Seto or Solva and instead brought them to Simeon. Oh, so you mean Seto and Solva won and are controlling them? Maybe… but it doesn’t appear as though Uten and Kafka are following Seto’s orders directly. As Uten mentioned, they both agree on wanting to bring Seto and Solva to Arclight but disagree at what should happen next. Does this mean that there was a resolution on the battlefield? Then perhaps they’re not flipping sides after all? But then why go to the trouble of helping Seto and Solva find and potentially steal the data chip? And what about Kafka seizing Solva when Ishiyama and the mysterious, shadowy figure showed up? To say that these current circumstances are unclear would be an understatement, too.
However, what we know for sure is that this produces for some unimagined enjoyment and heightening interest. Given what we knew before, the idea of the four working together, in whatever capacity, was unsuspected. And because the story skipped over the part where the fight ended, we’re unsure to what degree these two teams have. Instead, the story is advancing at a quickening pace and we’re left wondering what’s going on. And because we don’t truly know what’s going on, it adds some genuine excitement and delight to the current developments and impending battle. Had we known everything, had it been explained to us in the present or through a flashback, then we’d have that understanding of why they’re together and if or when they may betray each other. But now, with them assaulting a Simeon laboratory, we have no clear idea of what’s going on. It’s happening, it’s thrilling, and we have no idea what will happen next because of how the manga has progressed. It certainly is a disappointment to not see how the fight ended, as any fight ending off-screen in a fighting manga is a bit of a downer, but the trade-off here is for an unthinkable arrangement that will lead to even more fun and stimulation. We’ll learn what happened eventually, perhaps not in full detail, but showing this bizarre alliance between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is definitely meaningful and absolutely worthwhile. It’s like the other times we’ve seen characters flip sides, it generates some immediate intrigue and curiosity as well as being electrifying and delightful. And who knows, there might be some other sides changing in the next few chapters, too, for even more fun and excitement.
Well, another late chapter, so that means it’s been a while since I first read this and have already read Chapter 106, so these impressions are rather dated. Still, this is another chapter that I deeply enjoyed, as you might guess from the theme for this chapter. At first, I was unhappy when I saw the return of Seto and Solva, seeing the fight already over gave me a quick, unhappy reaction to that page. However, as the chapter progressed, I began to realize why we never saw the resolution of the fight and how it made the rest of the chapter feel. There’s that sense of the unknown, that sense of unease seeing the four together like this that, without knowing their current relationship, keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. Definitely appreciate it now and, while I realize some others might be dissatisfied with this result, I am content with this development.
Other aspects of the chapter that are notable are having Arclight reappear. It isn’t too shocking to see him now, though with the number of Stigmata, that’s an intriguing development. Now the question becomes, what are all these Stigmata and what are the 3 that are missing? We’ve seen most of these Stigmata already (and there are a few clarified in 106) but there are several which are still unknown along with the 3 that have yet to appear or be recognized as Stigmata. The fight between Blade and Arclight has gotten off to a ‘hot’ start, so it’ll be fun to see what happens with these two. However, that leaves Cruz, Eve, and Disk alone with Riru which, knowing how overpowered she is, doesn’t look good given the opponent. Guess we’ll be seeing how this goes over the course of the next few chapters.