With only two issues left in the series, Wayward is ramping up the action to deliver an epic finale. I didn’t review the last issue, but when I read it, I found it strangely paced, which was disappointing since I loved issue 26 so much. This issue is better paced, even if it’s still following up on the strange decision to kill Shirai just to help him go some sort of Super Saiyan. (By the way, the design for this is not a favorite of mine.) Most of this issue is dedicated to action and fight sequences, which isn’t by itself a bad thing, but Wayward has always preferred those sequences over character moments, so it feels like more of a back-to-the-basics thing in this instance.
The action itself is well done. It’s crisp and fast paced, which unfortunately also makes the issue go by very quickly. I’m not sure if there’s anything that could have been done about this, but it feels like this issue did little to nothing to further the fight to the end. With only two issues left, I would hope there would be something more substantial to grip onto in regard to the fight between the kids and the yokai. The most important thing to happen in this issue though is that Ayane is reincarnated via an old woman who loved cats. The scene where this happens is well done, and I loved the splash page that revealed Ayane was reborn. It does seem a little weird since she only died like two arcs ago, but with the story heading to its natural end, it also only made sense to bring her back before the finale.
The art continues to be gorgeous, almost blossoming off the page. The wreckage has an almost haunting beauty to it, and the character expressions are stepped up in the expressiveness department. Wayward has always been carried on its art, coloring, and graphic design, and this issue is no different. Something I’ve always found wonderful about this series is that they almost never skimp on the backgrounds. Backgrounds and environments can be hard for a lot of artist teams, especially if they have such beautiful character renderings like Cummings does, but the backgrounds in this issue especially had such an eerie but still realistic feel to them.
All around, this issue continues the problem and strength the series has always stood on. The action is all there, but it lacks the proper character notes to back it up. I’m happy Ayane is back, but unfortunately it feels too little too late at this point. The issue reads really quickly, but at least the art is well rounded and buzzing with life. As Wayward marches towards it conclusion, I can only hope we get an ending that is worth our time, or at least get some eye candy to appreciate if that doesn’t pan out.
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