warning: i am nowhere NEAR fluent in japanese and can't translate worth crap T__T please forgive any inaccuracies
in volume 20, madoka gets kidnapped by shido's rival faction. ban and ginji tell shido they'll retrieve her for him. as usual, at some point, ban and ginji have to separate (amidst the usual meaningful looks) to take out different opponents. volume 21- long fighting scenes blahblahblah ban is cursed and his own mother can't stand the sight of him blahblahblah. ginji finds madoka, and as they're leaving, madoka begins to cry and says something along the lines of "i'm so sorry, for my sake i see that you've become hurt..." and ginji starts to protest until he remembers.. "what are you saying? madoka-chan is bli-" and she stabs him through the heart. turns out that "madoka" is jyorougumo, crazyfreakybitch who can take on other forms, and claims she will now eat ginji in order to increase her "beauty" O_O. ginji does what he's done every other time someone kills him during the manga: he turns into raitei. and blows up the hotel they're in. and raitei is PISSED. "jyorougumo... WHY... WHY DO YOU MAKE ME FIGHT?"
ban and himiko see the hotel explode and have to dodge some debris- meanwhile, himiko is freaking the fuck out (as hinted in the mugenjou arc, for some reason himiko is afraid of raitei, especially since ginji is such a sweet puppy ._.) and ban is getting really scared- he thinks of hakase, who told him in volume 19 that something BIG was about to happen.
jyorougumo and raitei continue to fight. raitei is PISSED and keeps saying, then SCREAMING, "PERISH" (he intends to KILL HER- the last few times he came out of ginji, he didn't actually try to KILL his enemy, other than akabane, but he believed then that bane was an illusion created by mugenjou). well, she still wants to eat him anyway.
ban and himiko burst in. ban screams "GINJII!!" then goes "!!" because ginji/raitei doesn't respond at all- in fact, he starts glowing like CRAZY with electricity. ban looks really scared and screams, "STOP, GINJI!!" raitei screams and lets out a HUGE BLAST of electricity much more powerful than the one he let out during the venus de milo arc- this one destroys a good part of the city.
this is entire scene is bad for several reasons-
1) raitei wanted to KILL instead of simply take out the enemy (the way he took out the miroku 7 without actually murdering any of them)
2) no response to ban AT ALL. @___@ in fact, he blows up part of the city after ban screams for him to stop.
3) i think this is probably a mistranslation since i can barely read japanese, but apparently this raitei appearance is either as strong as, or stronger than mugenjou!raitei?
later, ban, himiko, and ginji are in an alley. ginji is out cold, and apparently has been like that for some time, because ban's got a bunch of spent cigarettes. he looks stressed, pissed, and really worried. he and himiko talk briefly about mugenjou and raitei's power, when ginji wakes up, going 'eh? where am i?' before going 'so.. i.. i turned into raitei again.' ban stands up and goes "ginji..." then punches him really hard across the face, throwing him back into the alley against some garbage, etc- both ginji and himiko are REALLY surprised, and himiko has to hold ban back to keep him from doing any more damage to ginji. ban is PISSED, but he also looks really sad, and starts telling ginji things like "do you know how many people you could have murdered?" ginji tries to protest and say that he had no choice. ban tells himiko that they should leave, when kadzuki shows up- he knows where madoka is being held. ginji smiles and is like "ok, let's go!" but ban goes "you aren't going anywhere." ginji protests and says "what? i'm ok, nothing happened.." but ban grabs his arm and goes "then try using your electrical power." ginji tries and- after what happened as raitei, for some reason he can't use electricity anymore "O_O". he puts his hand against ban's chest, who goes "i wonder why that is?" and then throws ginji back into the alley again, against some garbage cans. he says some stuff about mugenjou and raitei, then says to ginji, "GET LOST. YOU'RE USELESS." ban begins to walk away, and himiko and kadzuki can only look on, utterly shocked. ginji says, "ban-chan... doesn't the S in Getbackers mean that you're never alone? ...(something about power and staying together, which i can't quite translate because i haven't learned the grammar form yet)..." then he starts to cry and goes "answer me, ban-chan. BAN-CHAAAAAAAAN!!"
meanwhile, ban, kadzuki, and himiko have reached their destination (where kadzuki said madoka was). as they're getting ready to hike up the mountain, ban accidently says "let's go, ginji!!" himiko says "ban...?" and kadzuki goes "...." and then ban goes "!!!" and looks really sad and upset before saying "...let's go."
ginji leaves from honky tonk with hevn and akabane (poor ginji XD) to go look for madoka and help shido. they take a helicoptor to the mountain where kadzuki said madoka was.
on ban's side of things: himiko gets kidnapped by their opponent; they crush the part of the cliff that she's standing on. ban freaks out.
on ginji's side of things: unfortunately, (this arc has to do with insects, some of which can be used to control people) hevn gets controlled by one and tries to murder the pilot of the helicopter they're in. akabane knocks her out, says "sorry, ginji-kun" and then jumps out of the crashing helicoptor with hevn and the only parachute. the helicoptor crashes with ginji and the pilot in it.
ban realizes that 1) ginji is near him 2) the helicopter ginji was on crashed and 3) ginji is dying. he sends kadzuki to help ginji. ban: "i need to save himiko. you go protect ginji!!" kadzuki gets upset and grabs his arm and asks him if that's the best thing to do, what if ginji dies? ban says "i promised yamato i would protect himiko. so i'll protect himiko" and pulls his arm back. then he says, with a small smile, "besides, i think that ginji is strong!"
meanwhile, ginji is leaned back against a tree amongst the wreckage of the helicopter, trying to sort through the muddled memories of his most recent raitei!transformation. he thinks, "is this how it ends? ban-chan..." and thinks again of ban walking away from him "...ban-chan..." and clutches his fist, and one tear goes down his face. T___________________T the two page spread just hurts my heart to look at it T______________T
he gets saved and healed by one of the forest people, one of shido's friends, kaoru. hevn and akabane find ginji, who is passed out, but alive. kadzuki, freaked out, also manages to find them, and is relieved to see that ginji is alive.
emishi, asked by makubex to help shido, meets his new love interest- i mean, partner, natsuki amon, and the manga volume ends.
poor ginji T_______T he and ban are still separated in the latest gb chapter, too.
there's a lot of angst, but there's also actually a lot of funny "OMG WTF"ness to balance it out. for example, the page after you see crushed!ginji on his knees screaming "BAN-CHAAAAAAAN!!" you flip the page and you see, in the top panel, what looks like hevn in, uhm, the throes of passion, moaning things like "*pant pant* gin-chan, IT FEELS SO GOOD"
in the next panel, you see that it's actually tareginji sitting on her shoulders, and he's all upset and shaking so much that apparently he's giving her a shoulder massage that has the same affect on her as a vibrator O____O paul, natsumi, and remiel (the girl who started working at honky tonk after card arc, that's her name, right?) are blushing in the background and the girls are going "does that seem H (hentai) to you?" "yeah, it's H"
all of ginji's interactions with bane-san are great, too- he only seems to tarefy around akabane if ban-chan isn't around ^^;; there's a shot of akabane and hevn walking off carrying tareginji between them, each of them holding one of his hands, singing happily while tareginji is all ;;;;;;;;;
also, when himiko, ban, and kadzuki are scaling the mountain face, himiko goes first, and ban, below her, gets an extremely up close and detailed panty shot of her. (DUDE, HIMIKO, WEAR PANTS IF YOU DON'T WANT TO DEAL WITH STUFF LIKE THIS) his pervertness results in her KICKING HIM OFF THE MOUNTAIN and kadzuki has to catch him with his strings. saved-by-strings-ban's doing the tarefied crying thing with his fists in his mouth. it's cute.
also, several new characters are introduced. kaoru is beautiful! i love her outfit! if i didn't want to cosplay as natsumi, i'd cosplay as her, but the outfit (especially the ears on the hood) would be really hard to make. also, natsuki amon, emishi's new partner rocks <3 he's a perfect foil to him, much more so than shido is.