This is truly the penultimate volume, the high tension stretching as far as possible as the Japanese government moves towards the eradication of the parasites. For the majority of this volume Shinichi maintains the distance of an observer, caught in predicament of inaction -- which, as will haunt him later, may well lead to an unnecessary massacre of citizens and soldiers.
Despite the pauses in procedure, this is also probably the most action-oriented volume of the series thus far. Humans and parasites are both killed with little discretion, the army failing to keep their trap under control as they surround and systematically kill suspected parasites in their once-veiled headquarters (or "nest"). Hitoshi Iwaaki is frank as always about death, even if some of the revelations and proclamations -- particularly those of Mayor Hirokawa -- lead to a perception of damnation of human arrogance. Iwaaki himself admits that he attempted to portray those involved as acting as they naturally would, affirming that he doesn't "spend a lot of time deploring [his] own species." Further questions are raised about the development of the parasites themselves, as Iwaaki also notes his responses that Migi, Reiko and Goto are no longer acting with practical interests -- perhaps a suggestion of communities "corrupting" rational thought?
The art also continues to improve and move further away from the charmingly dated 80s styles found in the first volumes. The opening chapter title page immediately stands out, depicting Uragami -- the killer introduced in the prior volume -- with a sadistic gaze strikingly portrayed by bold lines that is helped by the effectively minimal shading. Iwaaki's empty space is used more sparsely and successfully, as well, with a greater use of backgrounds and more appropriated examples of the aforementioned technique applied to emphasize the threat that Goto poses as he clinically manipulates and murders the ignorant soldiers in his path.