Star Blazers Lambda Chapter 8

Story and art by Ryuko Azuma
See it in larger format on Comic NewType here
Narrative reads right to left

Vimana station, Yu’s quarters. Video game noises are heard. Topness leader (and Mark 1 pilot) Nina Nelson is approaching.

Right side: Nina asks to come in, no answer. She steps in and finds Linne Aegis with VR goggles and hand controllers.

Left side: Nina’s working hard against the game, getting killed for the 49th time. She asks Nina what she wants with Yu (who’s asleep) and she stammers that he fainted in the simulation. (Meaning she’s probably here to check on him.)

Right side: Linne sympathizes, admitting that it must be tough to be the Topness leader and have to worry about everyone. Nina starts to say that Linne can take over for her if she falls in battle, but Nina doesn’t want to hear such talk. She compliments Nina’s ship, the Mark 1, but says it’s somewhat limited as a strategy hub. “It’s really more of a fighting ship.” Nina goes sullen, saying she wishes this whole thing was a game.

Left side: Weighed down by her responsibility, Nina forgets about waking up Yu and walks off to a briefing.

Title page: Behind Closed Curtains

Left side: Yu and the other members of the NerfThis fleet are in battle, but everyone is in dissary, splitting in different directions.

Right side: Nina shouts orders for Yu to stay focused and go help Linne while she and others stay behind.

Left side: Nina’s tone changes and she starts screaming.

Right side: Yu wakes up from a nightmare. Or will it be a premonition? Elsewhere, Linne is at a vending machine when the station alarm goes off.

Left side: “You’re here,” she mutters. In the command center, data on a new Seireness attack is coming in.

Right side: Alexei and Abby get a look at the new attacker, a giant in the form of a torch singer.

Left side: As the fleet scrambles, everyone reacts to the new development. This is the first time only a single enemy has appeared, so it’s referred to as an “aria attack.” Nina orders everyone to get in formation with Hugo and Laine taking point.

Laine launches his Bind Needle attack, but only succeeds in impaling the giant’s arm.

Right side: The giant pulls away, severing its arm and taking off. Hugo and Laine pursue at full power.

Left side: Hugo says the giant is leading them in circles as if it wants to beat them into batter (for cooking).

Right side: Aisha tells Nina something must be wrong with Mark 1’s Second Sight units, because there are suddenly a lot more Seireness nearby. There was no sign of a wormhole for them to emerge from. Hugo and Laine are now in the thick of it.

Left side: Nina is stunned when her systems start picking up the additional enemies and the number climbs rapidly.

Suddenly, it’s a swarm of enemies.

Right side: Hugo is at a loss for what to do, calling out to Nina as the numbers skyrocket over 10,000. Nina shouts for everyone to retreat. Marina activates her Frost Aster shields to give them cover.

Left side: Laine and Hugo are now in the rear, unable to outrun the multiplying attackers.

Right side: As they start to panic, Linne Aegis rushes in, shielding them with the Mark 7.

Left side: Nina shouts at Hugo to deploy his Thunderstorm attack, but it’s still not enough to overcome the swarm. “At this rate, we’ll be torn apart!!!”

Nina is frozen with indecision. “What am I supposed to do? Hurry, come up with an answer…I’m the leader of Topness…we’re all gonna die…what should I do…?”

Suddenly, Aisha shouts that all the signals are scrambled. Nina’s Second Sight satellites start firing into the enemy swarm and are hit back.

Right side: Aisha is stunned, trying to figure out what game mode they’re in. Nina yells for Yu to ready the Wave-Motion Gun, and he complies.

Left side: Her nose bleeding, Nina orders everyone back into formation, and to proceed slowly toward the Seireness. They have no idea what she’s asking for. It’s chaos.

Nina’s satellites start dropping one by one.

Right side: Hugo watches in confusion as the satellites go off line.

Left side: The Seireness directs her swarm to close in around Hugo’s ship. Hugo is helpless, calling out for Yu.

Suddenly, Yu is there, ready to fire point blank as Nina shouts, “It’s up to you!!!”

All is darkness. Someone is calling for Nina.

Yu finally shouts her awake and hugs her hard. “Thank God you’re alive!” Everyone crowds around her in the ship dock, where her ship has come to rest while she was passed out. Linne smiles at her success.

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Ryuko Azuma’s Production Memo

I had a really hard time with chapter 8. At the end I laughed and said, “Why did I do this to myself?” There were too many Seireness and too many effects. I used up all the deadlines I had saved.

This is the chapter where Nina’s distancing herself from Yu and Topness based on her own assumptions. She couldn’t get to the other side of this soft, single curtain.

Yu held her and pulled her close. Nina didn’t grow up, she didn’t give up, she did her job as the leader of Topness. She defeated Seireness in an even more indirect way. I thought that Nina was really great… and that’s why I did it.

Also, surprisingly, Hugo was very active. He’s the one who has the most human-like weakness among the Topness. He seems to be popular among girls. There is a sense of fear that spreads, and I think this chapter became even more tense because of his despair.

The basic theme of Lambda‘s battle is the fear of a locked room. A locked room in infinite space? You may think space is big, but it’s a locked room for the author because it’s tightly packed with various restrictions.

Also, I really like the direction of the Wave-Motion Gun. But, well, I’m tired of drawing it. This is why I had to shortcut it, but I think some people might have been surprised.

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