ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Queen’s Quality,’ Volume 12

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Queens Quality Volume 12

Queen’s Quality has easily become one of my favorite shojo titles currently being published in English. Romance? Check. Fantasy? Check? Action? Check. And it’s all held together with gorgeous art. Created, written, and illustrated by Kyuosuke Motomi, Queen’s Quality Volume 12 is the latest volume in this QQ Sweeper sequel series.

Queen’s Quality Volume 12 is localized and published in English by VIZ Media‘s Shojo Beat imprint, featuring an adaptation by Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane, translation by JN Productions, with touch-up art and lettering by Rina Mapa. Last volume, readers were shown the weakness of the snake that is inside Kyutaro, the level of danger of the snake hiding in Aoi Shinonome, and that was just from a first meeting. On the other hand, Fumi is doing everything she can to bring out his power and control her own as the Queen inside her is both a grounding force for her partner and boyfriend, as well as the main hope for their Clan.

But, in this volume, Kyutaro faces off against Seiryu Clan member Aoi Shinonome and his weakness is even more in the spotlight, leading him to decide to let his snake eat some of his “wishes” in an attempt to grow significantly stronger. But to trade his “wishes” for power means he’s giving away pieces of himself with no clear promise that it will pay off or if he’ll be able to return to himself when the dust has settled.

The give and take between Kyutaro and his snake is stunningly illustrated. Having offered up the wish “to remain myself to the end,” he hoped to escape danger. A vessel gives the snake a wish; the snake eats it, grows in power, and then grants it. But that isn’t all. Instead, the snake pushes doubt into their host, and while he thought he could protect himself and Fumi, Kyutaro will have to confront his doubt to overcome it – with Fumi’s help, of course.

In this snake arc, Fumi and Kyutaro’s roles have been reversed. At the start of the series, Fumi was fighting the Queen within her and, over the course of around 10 volumes, had to learn not just to control but to become one with that power inside her. Now, it’s Kyutaro’s turn. Only the Snake inside him is more dangerous to his well-being. But Fumi acts as a force to keep him with her, using the strength of the Queen to check the snake even when in a vulnerable position.

The parallels between the two are what makes this volume stand out. As usual too, Motomi’s art is dark and dreamlike, adding a somber beauty to the action. In fact, the last half of Queen’s Quality Volume 12 is a dynamic fight sequence in a mind vault. It involves animals, weapons, and violence that is gorgeous and dark at the same time. But where the actual action is something to behold, the character designs are even better. From the uniforms that the clans wear to how fierce Kyutaro and Fumi look with their weapons all in black, Motomi knows how to put fashion and fantasy on display.

Queen’s Quality Volume 12 is a spectacular volume. It features sexual tension, romance, fantasy fight sequences and showcases Motomi’s strength as not just a writer but an artist. In fact, her art tops even those shown in action-centric shonen titles in a way that makes me crave a studio MAPPA adaptation. If you haven’t been reading Queen’s Quality, you need to rectify that.

Queen’s Quality  Volume 12 is available wherever books are sold on July 6, 2021.

Queen's Quality Volume 12
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TL;DR

Queen’s Quality Volume 12 is a spectacular volume. It features sexual tension, romance, fantasy fight sequences and showcases Motomi’s strength as not just a writer but an artist. In fact, her art tops even those shown in action-centric shonen titles in a way that makes me crave a studio MAPPA adaptation. If you haven’t been reading Queen’s Quality, you need to rectify that.