A Wind of Change
Masa is just starting to find his place in the Five Leaves when one of their allies is kidnapped by a rival craftsman company. Masa takes it upon himself to sneak into their organization as a yojimbo and rescue his crime companion. However, things within the Five Leaves have begun to change dramatically since Masa accepted his fate of working with the kidnapping gang. The member's pasts are catching up with them, for better or for worse, and some of them believe that Masa is at the heart of it. Throw in the return of Masa's kid sister and a police chief who has a very deep interest in the gang, and you've got a recipe for disaster down the road.
Written and illustrated by Natsume Ono, this volume of House of Five Leaves delves more into the pasts of the characters and how they've begun to catch up with them. Masa evolves as a character, taking situations into his own hands and manipulating people, even if it is subtle. We also learn that Yaichi has some very shady business with a large gang, that is also hot on his tail and heading for Edo. All of which is building up to a large boiling climax in the crime underworld.
The only complaint I have about this volume is that there's still no swordplay. There's a practice match between Masa and Yagi, but we don't even get to see that fight. It's still a very interesting manga, but if someone is going to hold a sword throughout an entire story, well, they better damn well use it.
That being said, it's still another wonderful piece of art by Ono.