Title: Last Round Arthurs Vol. 2
Author: Taro Hitsuji
Release Date: March 30, 2021
Publisher: Yen Press
In a world where Fate controls most real estate in terms of summoning legendary fighters to your side and fighting in a war, there’s little who can stand in its way. Last Round Arthurs Vol. 2 continues the fight for who will take the crown, but while it delivers excellent action set pieces, it tends to rely heavily on tropes and fan service to act as plot points.
Last Round Arthurs Vol. 2 begins with a rather unique fight between Rintarou and Felicia’s knight Sir Gawain. Gawain underestimates Rintarou and quickly regrets forcing him to reveal his dark monster-like form. While most are afraid of Rintarou after realizing this about him, Luna is totally into it. This is brought up again and is supposed to be significant, but it comes off as a throwaway line and would have made a nice scene of Rintarou upset that she saw him in this form.
The plot rushes along like this until the next fight, and we are fed several tropes along the way: We’re actually childhood friends, random fanservice, the enemy is closer to you than you think, and even the “I’m going to quit, but not really quit set up.” It feels like the story is just moving along to get to the action, which is arguably the best part about the manga.
During fight scenes, illustrator Yuzuriha takes up multiple pages of panels to show the character’s fight. It’s cool to watch play out, and I’m not going to argue with the subtle fanservice featuring Sir Kay. However, I just wish I cared more about these characters. We get some back story, but the manga needs to slow down a bit and establish who these characters are. I’m tired of Luna just being this airheaded girl and Rintarou being the too-cool-for-school bad boy who is actually really sweet.
These overplayed personality types do nothing to help the characters lay a stake in who they are. There are few subtle drops of interesting backstory, and then we’re moving along. I will say that it’s not completely bad, and I was entertained throughout most of the manga, but I feel like this was fueled mainly by the gorgeous illustrations.
Last Round Arthurs Vol. 2 expands the supporting cast and establishes formidable enemies to look out for in this fight. It’s been touched on before, but now we’re in the fight, and all gloves are off. The conclusion is one of hope, and that gives me hope to continue reading. However, there’s gotta be some serious character growth in the next entry because one can’t survive on tropes alone.
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