Friday, January 28, 2011

House of Five Leaves Vol. Two - Review

A Cowardly Samurai Continues his Adventures




Masa continues his moral and social struggle by keeping company with the notorious Five Leaves, a gang of kidnappers who refer to themselves as "chivalrous thieves." This volume explores the reasons that each member of the gang has decided to get into the nasty business of kidnapping, as well as the conditions under their first job. A coming storm of gang activity is hinted at, as Masa takes on a boasting gang member who threatens Ume, the owner of the restaurant that the Five Leaves operate out of.

This volume was a pleasure to read, though there was little or no action for being a story about a ronin. The lack of violence doesn't make the story bad, but it does succeed in keeping the reader interested, yearning to see Masa use his sword. Though he's a socially awkward man, it's been hinted at throughout the story that he's an incredible swordsman. The promise of Masa coming over his social hang-ups keeps the manga moving swiftly, but so does the incredible artwork by Natsume Ono. Her style lends much of it's layout to classic film traditions of fades, pans, and close ups. It'd be interesting to see her direct a live-action film of one of her stories.

If you enjoyed the first volume, then you can find the same enjoyment in this next installment. I know I have the next chapter on pre-order through Amazon.

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