First published back in October of 2004, ‘Deus Vitae: Volume II’ formed the second instalment in the Deus Vitae Trilogy by Manga writer and artist Takuya Fujima.

DLS Synopsis:

Lemiu had made her decision.  She may be Selenoid, but she wanted more from her artificial life.  And in Ash Lamy she saw a way of creating the life she hungered for.  So Lemiu had left Mother Seishia’s Selenoid dome and started what she hoped would be a new life with Ash.

But the tranquillity of their new life doesn’t last long.  The peacefulness of their idyllic existence together is broken by the arrival of a young orphan boy named Pat.  And no sooner had the boy arrived, than a gang of mutated beings emerge from out of the woodland.  Humanoid creatures who had once been Selenoid, but a disease had since turned them into monsters.  But their time is short.  For it is not long before the disease which altered them so horrifically, will soon wipe away their existence entirely.

Something dark and corruptive seems to be taking hold over the land.  A balance in power is shifting.  After twelve years of slavery, Re-O are finally rising up once again.  Leave thought she had destroyed these few remaining humans.  But instead the rebellious organisation are ready for revenge.

Fronted by the charismatic Raschur, the Re-O have taken over the Moonstone Mine located along Lunatic Road and have readied themselves for the inevitable repercussions of their actions.  It was a forceful move they know the Selenoid’s wouldn’t be able to ignore.

And sure enough, Mother Sereth’s Army are soon at the gates, and mankind’s fight for survival is once again on.  Humanity’s only hope hangs by a thread.  Those remaining must now come together, fighting shoulder to shoulder, if they are going to have any chance of surviving this war…

DLS Review:
Following on from the explosive events of ‘Deus Vitae: Volume I’ (2004), Manga writer and artist Takuya Fujima returns to the action-fuelled sci-fi romp that is the ‘Deus Vitae Trilogy’.  And fair do’s, there’s very little hanging around before another sizeable dose of action is bubbling up and Ash Lamy is once again battling against the Selenoids.

Of course Lemiu is now frolicking around at Ash’s side, strutting around with little to no clothes on whilst hanging onto his every word.  However, within a couple of pages the pair’s peaceful retreat has been interrupted by the arrival of some twisted and malformed Selenoids, along with an annoying little brat of a kid named Pat.  From here it’s all go with what is quickly becoming a textbook ‘Deus Vitae’ narrative:- with fights breaking out at the drop of a hat, clothes being ripped off like there’s no tomorrow, and very little in the way of a storyline that makes much sense most of the time.

Indeed, much of the unfolding story comes across as painfully fragmented.  Stuff happens, you see it unfolding, but half the time you’re not 100% why it’s happening, or indeed the actual motivations behind the characters’ actions.  There’s so much stuttering with the delivery of the story.  Events conclude with such abruptness that you’re never entirely sure what’s going on before the focus has shifted elsewhere.

Dialogue is another aspect that once again falls short by some considerable way.  This may be in the translation, but whatever the reasoning, pretty much every word is spoken with such flatness that it’s hard to connect with any characters on any level whatsoever.

Interestingly, Fujima has upped the eroticism in this second instalment quite considerably.   Barely a page goes by without Lemiu’s full breasts coming out to play.  Even Lady Shee seems to be adorning a somewhat transparent garment, with her equally sizeable breasts again clearly defined and drawing the readers’ attention.

However it’s not all innocent schoolboy titillation in this second volume.  Instead, Fujima ventures down some far more risqué routes; most notably with the gang rape of Lemiu by the Re-O.  Fujima depicts the scene of the Selenoid girl’s brutal rape in a fair amount of sensualised detail, only for it then to peter out without any repercussions transpiring whatsoever.  In fact, after a few pages, Lemiu’s back to her usual self and Ash and Raschur (who’s men it was who raped the girl) have let the matter lie.  Okay, so she’s not really human, but still!  What the fuck?!

Anyway, the story eventually edges towards its conclusion with plenty of barely explained action sequences and fighting bringing it all to an otherwise spectacular crescendo.  All through this Ash Lamy is depicted as some sort of superhero; able to take down whole regiments of Selenoid’s and achieve the seemingly impossible.  It’s all very Manga, and once again, never really explained fully.  And having this somewhat unflawed protagonist sorting everything out does take the edge off the story’s potential grittiness.  After all, who wants to read about a protagonist who can do no fucking wrong?

It would be fair to say that this second volume hasn’t really taken the overarching narrative or plot any further.  In fact, it feels more like a stopgap story.  One with a buzz of activity, but no real meaningful outcome.  And getting there can be quite infuriating, with a distinct lack of clarity, rhythm or flow to the storytelling.

Not exactly a triumph.

The graphic novel runs for a total of 200 pages.

© DLS Reviews

Other ‘Deus Vitae’ instalments:

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