Mars v.7 by Fuyumi Soryo – 198 pages
Rei breaks his chokehold on Masao, and Masao tells him they are the same kind of dark, destructive person. Kira’s mother collapses from overwork, and has to recover in the hospital. Rei returns to Kira, and his warm side is on display again as he takes care of her while her mom recuperates.
Rei does a lot of thinking about his nature; while he wants to protect who he loves, he questions whether he is really as dark and destructive on the inside as Masao wants him to be. Masao decides to get rid of Kira and her good influence on Rei. Masao tries to kill Kira on the roof of the hospital, but Rei stops him in time, not, however, before he experiences the impulse to kill Masao.
Masao pushes some people down an escalator, is taken in by the police, and is expelled from school. Rei questions whether he could really be like Masao, and sinks into a withdrawn mood. Kira visits him, but when they embrace, she suddenly pulls away in distress and fear.
While this is a thoughtful entry in the series, with Rei considering questions of justice, right and wrong, and human nature, I’m not a fan of the Masao character, or the current storyline. Masao makes the usual evildoer's mistake of talking too long while trying to do something bad, giving Rei more than enough time to stop him from murdering Kira. It wasn’t really a smart move to get expelled from school, either, if he wants to work his machinations on Rei and Kira. The character helps propel changes in Rei, and Kira’s troubled past is finally starting to surface, but I’m ready to move on from this part of the story.