Title: Can’t Stop Cursing You Vol. 2
Author: Kensuke Koba
Release Date: November 30, 2021
Publisher: Yen press
Can’t Stop Cursing You Vol. 1 provided such a great introduction to this series that I was skeptical if the follow-up volume would be able to keep up. However, Can’t Stop Cursing You Vol. 2 provides a new direction for the series while keeping true to the themes and introducing new characters.
Can’t Stop Cursing You Vol. 2 answers some questions about Saeyama and his job as a curse-breaker. However, it doesn’t overwhelm the reader with unnecessary backstory or complicated world-building. Instead, this creates an excellent pacing that allows the reader to follow the narrative naturally without the need to second guess interactions. Further, Yamazaki also gets more screentime here, and his personality is given room to shine.
In the previous volume, Yamazaki was a bit of a clutz. This character trait is still present, but he finds his place as an assistant curse-breaker and learns to take it seriously. He’s faced with a few challenging moments, which shows that he can rise to the challenge of these twisted mysteries, but I’m glad that author Kensuku Koba still found time to insert his goofy traits when they are needed.
This volume surrounds a cursed killing game that doesn’t have as much tension as the first case, but its rollout allows for new characters to be introduced, and even a heroine joins the cast. You’ll have to read through the entire story to understand how it all connects, but I feel like the conclusion creates a demand for the follow-up volume. Additionally, it’s nice to see that the writer doesn’t hint at the next curse. Instead, we are left with a taste of the power of the Curse Gods and only our imagination about what’s to come.
The art in this volume wasn’t as extravagant as the first volume. However, this is mainly because the antagonist wasn’t as prominent as the overall narrative. The idea of this entry seemed to be establishing a few more rules of this world and whether or not Yamazaki was capable of being an assistant. The pacing is ultimately handled by Saeyama, though, as he slowly connects the dots and progresses the story.
I ended up liking the illustrations for the new characters introduced—especially Nagumo, an anti-curse-god officer with a bad memory. The gory scenes were a lot to stomach, though, as there are brief themes of suicide here. I will say that the cause of this all, a chance interaction, was a little weak, but it helped the messaging in the end.
Can’t Stop Cursing You Vol. 2 is an excellent follow-up to one of the best manga series of 2021. The pacing expertly delivers some fantastic character moments with themes of death around every corner. The humor is downplayed but still present, but the seeds planted for future volumes have me begging for more.
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