The Summer Hikaru Died Volume 3 Amps Up the Tension
Image via Yen Press

The Summer Hikaru Died Volume 3 Amps Up the Tension

The Summer Hikaru Died is one of those manga series that sticks with you, especially as we learn more about situations and characters. It’s always unnerving, and we keep seeing Mokumokuren add these little details indicating things could be getting worse. However, with the third volume it’s clearer than ever that things are wrong, and it may leave someone wondering if it’s possible for the characters to accept and live with everything going on.

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Editor’s Note: There will be spoilers for the first two volumes of The Summer Hikaru Died manga.

The first volume of The Summer Hikaru Died involved Yoshiki discovering his friend “Hikaru” isn’t Hikaru anymore. When the real person was going on the mountain to complete a supernatural ritual left to his family to protect the town, he died. An entity took over his being, became “Hikaru,” and resumed his life. We see Yoshiki dealing with his grief, especially due to his love for his friend, and coming to terms with this new being that seems utterly devoted to him. 

With the second volume, we saw the effects of “Hikaru” leaving the mountain and coming to town. Things aren’t right. More supernatural elements are being drawn to their world. We start to see people, like Yoshiki’s family, in danger because of it. The second volume even ends with Yoshiki, after being more receptive to a new relationship with “Hikaru,” succumbing to another entity’s attack in some way. All of this is interspersed with more insights into what Hikaru and his family were involved in. 

As a result, volume 3 of The Summer Hikaru Died already starts out fraught with anxiety and danger. We see the after effects of Yoshiki’s encounter with the entity in the previous volume. It put not only him, but perhaps even “Hikaru” in danger. We see Asako, who’d already been shown to have a sixth sense of sorts, hinting that more beings are creeping around and potentially causing trouble for fellow friends like their classmate Yuuki. Rie, a housewife who warned Yoshiki about encounters with the supernatural, is shown dealing with another incident.

More chilling are the encounters involving “Hikaru.” I felt like the second volume of The Summer Hikaru Died lulled me into a false sense of security. It seemed like Yoshiki and “Hikaru” came to an understanding of sorts. The fact the two were working together at the end of the volume for the sake of Kaoru was also reassuring. And then, we have this… incident. It’s this shocking reminder of how otherworldly everything is. That even if a bunch of apparent teenagers are getting along, enjoying time with friends, things aren’t normal. They’ll never be normal again. It ramps things up, especially given the responses of characters like Yoshiki and “Hikaru” to the incident.

But I feel like what really makes volume 3 of The Summer Hikaru Died show the manga is ramping up is the introduction of Tanaka. More people are aware of what’s happening, especially after the Indou family’s incidents. A professional is being called in. We’re already seeing him make some revelations as a result. Given what we have seen throughout the first two volumes and this third one, it may leave the reader feeling conflicted. He’s not the villain, but he could end up being a villain for Yoshiki and “Hikaru.” More importantly, his appearance and actions further bring things to a boiling point.

It genuinely feels like things are coming to a head in volume 3 of The Summer Hikaru Died, and the characters in the manga can no longer ignore the effects of “Hikaru” coming to town. Yoshiki is starting to realize the danger everyone is in, even though this being cares for him and shares the face of someone he loves. The people in the community are starting to encounter dangers both directly and indirectly caused by “Hikaru’s” presence. Mokumokuren knows how to leave a reader wanting more, and I can’t wait to see what happens in volume 4 and 5 as this arc builds up to what’s next. 

Volume 3 of The Summer Hikaru Died is available via Yen Press, and volume 4 of the manga arrives on August 20, 2024

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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.