Romance, fantasy, and a whole lot of world-building are what fills Queen’s Quality Volume 11 from mangaka Kyouski Motomi. The series is published by VIZ Media’s shojo-specific imprint Shojo Beat. This volume is adapted in English by Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane, translated by JN Productions, and features touch-up art and lettering by Rina Mapa.
Queen’s Quality Volume 11 collects chapters 49 through 52 and picks up immediately where the last volume left off – with Fumi in control of her full Queen powers and Kyutaro fighting the Snake inside him. When the two emerge from Kyutao’s mind, they have a plan. Instead of killing the snake and killing Kyutaro in the process, Fumi defers to Kyutaro’s confidence, allowing him to strike a deal. With a known snake in the Seiryu clan, Kyutaro promises to let the Snake within him control his body and devour the one in Seiyru. The condition, the Snake, can only emerge when either Kyutaro or Fumi gives the order.
As a whole, the romance between Fumi and Kyutaro is still there but presented in a much different light than the last volume. While volume 10 gave us lovey-dovey moments of unending affection, Queen’s Quality Volume 11 gives readers a partnership. While there is still affection when the two aren’t fighting, there is a respect for each other that builds in a way only two people in a romantic relationship can. Fumi is powerful, but she isn’t a tool for Kyutaro. Likewise, Kyutaro knows his limits, and Fumi respects his decisions, even if they worry her. This is a small element that builds out the couple’s characters and relationship dynamic in a way that makes me want to see them keep fighting by each other’s sides.
But beyond the strength they find in each other, Fumi has also grown as a character. She is no longer afraid of her power. In fact, while we see her and Kyutaro confronting his Snake, we get a glimpse of an unrestrained Fumi – a Queen not afraid of her power, versus a girl terrified of succumbing to it. It’s this strength that makes the volume’s confrontation with the Seiryu all the more interesting. While our couple has demonstrated their strength when they come head to head with the Seiryu snake, their failure is palpable, and you realize that they have to keep growing.
Additionally, Motomi’s art in this volume is breathtaking. It’s fantastical, dark, and interesting. Motomi balances soft lines with rich uses of black is gorgeous to look at, and the intricacies of the illustrations never overpower the dialogue. But the strength of this series is a moment that makes me wish Motomi also wrote shonen series. A fight in the bath where Fumi and another female character are both naked.
It’s a scene that in a shonen would have taken on ecchi qualities, but in Queen’s Quality Volume 11 is not only tasteful but also adds to the story. Naked, Fumi can’t rely on her strength as a queen; she’s vulnerable. But she holds her own. Fumi has grown in both spiritual and physical strength and has become an amazingly capable shojo heroine.
Overall, Queen’s Quality remains one of the best titles in shojo right now. It’s strong fantasy and even stronger action, all while balancing a romance that hits in a relatable way. Queen’s Quality Volume 11 is another stellar addition to the series that sets up a growing Snake threat that will surely make for a dynamic and action-packed arc.
Queen’s Quality Volume 11 is available wherever books are sold on March 2, 2021.
Queen's Quality Volume 11
Overall, Queen’s Quality remains one of the best titles in shojo right now. Its strong fantasy and even stronger action all while balancing a romance that hits in a relatable way. Queen’s Quality Volume 11 is another stellar addition to the series that sets up a growing Snake threat that will surely make for a dynamic and action-packed arc.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.