Monday, December 5, 2011

House of Five Leaves Vol. 4 - Review


A strange new negotiator named Ginta has shown up in Edo and is meddling in the affairs of The Five Leaves and the new kidnapping gang The Night Crows. As Masa continues his work for the Leaves and Yaichi, he soon becomes close with Ginta as Ginta pushes his way into the gang. But as people from Yaichi's past start to catch up with him and The Night Crows continue to kill and kidnap children, the personal lives of Masa, Ginta, Yaichi, and the others start to come tumbling down.

Written and illustrated by Natsume Ono, his volume of House of Five Leaves was a wonderful character piece that delved deeper into the mysterious origins of the gang's leader, Yaichi. The more you find out about this light-haired stranger the more you can't help but read and see the dastardly things he's capable of. Half of the gang is convinced he only wants what's best for all of them while the other half is certain that he'd sell them out at a moments notice. The more you learn about Yaichi's past, the more the future starts to blur for Masa and the others.

Ono's writing and artwork is at her standard in this book, which means that it's excellent. For a manga that doesn't rely on action or explosions to move the story the pace and page turning power of Five Leaves is on par with any of the big battle stories like Bleach. Masa is a character that allows readers to see the life of organized crime in the Edo Period through the eyes of someone just as innocent as most of us, but at the same time expands upon him as his own person and not just a vehicle for storytelling.

This volume gets a 4/5 for being a great addition to the Ono library of powerful manga. There was a typo that I found in one of the middle chapters, but it didn't take away too much from the story. My brain just filled the missing word in. I only noticed because I started the page again after spilling a little bit of coffee.

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