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Captive Hearts of Oz Volume 2: 06/04/20
Captive Hearts of Oz Volume 2 by Ryo Maruya is the B in this four book plot arc. It's the point where everything we thought we knew is shown to be wrong and the characters and reader have to come to a new understanding.
The biggest reveal is that this Oz isn't Baum's Oz. Baum's Oz is Oz Prime. Or if Baum is to believed, his books are just first hand accounts of an Oz that can't be fully realized in book form. In which case, the Oz here would be Oz Tertius.
Put another way, there are forces at play that are trying to run the Oz narrative as a simulation and it's getting away from them. The world is breaking down. There is a corrupting force eating away at Oz Tertius.
As this isn't Oz Prime or Oz Secundus, it doesn't matter if characters or scenes are off model. So the Wicked Witch of the West can be a hot dude. He can even survive being melted. His monkeys can be people too.
Despite all the changes and the realization that the experiment is running afoul of an outside influence, volume two also sits on the road narrative spectrum.
As with the first volume, the main traveler is a scarecrow. But with greater understanding of how this Oz works, it's also apparent that all the travelers (save for maybe Dorothy) are constructs and trapped within the confines of their simulation. In this regard, the party is made up of scarecrows and minotaurs (99).
The destination is uhoria (CC). It's an out of time ending — or in this case, a desire by the travelers for an off script ending. They want to transcend their programming and make their own destinies.
The route taken is an offroad one (66). This piece of the travel takes them off the Yellow Brick road and through the poppies and across a river. Of course these detours are in Baum's novel too, but here in a separate volume, they count as the main means of travel.
All together, volume 2 is the tale of scarecrows (literal and figurative) traveling to uhoria via an offroad route (99CC66).