Plot: After a meeting with Mr. Goi, Miroku has to make a decision about his future with Echika.
Breakdown: I read the first 69 chapters of Tsumi to Batsu last October, and while I had some problems with it, I really enjoyed what I had read.
Now I’ve had a chance to read the rest of the series, and I’m satisfied with how it ended. I mentioned in my previous review that the best endings for this series would have to be either Miroku getting caught or turning himself in, and that did happen. I won’t say which to avoid major spoilers, but there ya go.
He has a very interesting conversation with Mr. Goi which sends the events of the ending into motion, but we get sidetracked slightly when Sudo shows back up to play a game with Miroku and Echika, but it also closed out his story and explored his views on the situation quite well. I am a little weirded out that they legitimately had a moment where Sudo and his friend Huang bonded over dumping the rotting body of a prostitute over a cliff….
The romance part gets more explored here with Miroku and Echika, and despite the major flaws in both of them, their relationship does make sense. I’m not even really sure if there’s so much of a relationship and moreso of a co-dependency, but that’s a call for the reader to make I suppose.
Miroku does get a lot better in regards to personality after his conversation with Goi. He still shows some signs of sociopathy, mostly in the fact that it’s taking him an inordinate amount of time to understand that no matter how much of a bitch Risa was, it was wrong to kill her and Hikaru. Even by the end, he’s only starting to gain some modicum of remorse for it.
I will say one aspect that I thought was very disappointing was the lack of a final conversation with Yoshino. Everything he did beforehand was for Yoshino’s sake. He didn’t want her to ‘have’ to marry that rich businessman in order to support him, so he murdered Risa for the sake of her money, after justifying it by stating her death would be for the best for many people. They don’t even speak together in all of the 20+ chapters beyond chapter 69. They do speak to each other when Miroku’s in prison, but we don’t see what she’s saying. Closure with her was necessary, in my opinion, yet we really got none. It’s kinda implied that maybe she did get married to that guy but maybe got together with Miroku’s old roommate after news of Miroku’s actions came to be public, but I could just be reading too much into it.
In the end, this was a fantastic story and a great character study. It starts to wane on you with all of its depressingly dark tones near the middle, but luckily you also start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel at chapter 70.
The art is simply gorgeously detailed, even if Miroku’s face still got on my nerves sometimes. I know he’s not going to look fresh and proper since he’s struggling so much emotionally and mentally, but his expression hardly ever changes and his eyes just got to be depressing to look at. Then again, that’s probably the point. When he finally smiled near the end, I smiled with him because damn that was refreshing, even if the circumstances were sad.
Give this a look-see if you can stomach some really heavy and dark subject matter. It’s a great read.
Additional Information and Notes: Tsumi to Batsu was written and illustrated by Naoyuki Ochiai. It was published by Manga Action.
Year: 2007 – 2011
Recommended Audience: Very dark tones, attempted suicide, actual suicide, a couple sex scenes, full frontal nudity, rape from the previous section, prostitution and murder. 17+