January 2, 2012
Akira Amano – Viz – 2010 – 36+ volumes
This series is full of good ideas. I loved that this volume used the ten-year bazooka to really change things up, sending the characters ten years into the future with various future versions of everybody running around. I love that there’s consequences for this, and I also liked that the ten-year bazooka occasionally made appearances throughout the volume. The way the story unfolds here is really interesting, and the fact that Tsuna is told what he’s done that’s led to this, and ways to prevent it, was a nice touch as well. I’m a sucker for time travel stories, so maybe I’m just easy to please, but I thought this was exactly what the story needed after the last lengthy fight scene.
Plus, I still really like the premise. Tsuna is some sort of next generation mafia boss, and he’s being trained by a baby that was, apparently, a full-grown man that was stunted because he was such a great assassin. I’m not entirely clear on the whole baby/Arcobaleno thing, but I know that’s fairly close. Also, “deathperate” is still, and always will be, the best pun in shounen manga.
But… I’ve read five volumes of this series now, and I still have no idea who most of the characters are. There are a thousand of them. That’s normally a problem in shounen manga, but it feels worse in Reborn since the volumes I read were all from the latter part of a fighting tournament. Literally, it was a fighting tournament, with teenage mafia candidates fighting other teenage mafia candidates to see whose leader would be the head of the family. It was an awful lot of fighting. With the restart, I thought there would be a bit more story, and there was (I’ve already talked about how much I liked it), but somehow they squeeze two fights into all this, while explaining about the future and past versions of characters I have no recollection of. It’s one thing for Tsuna to have seven bodyguards (or is it six?), it’s another thing to have about a dozen passing acquaintances that may or may not appear at any time, in present or future form.
As much as I like all the ideas in the new story in this volume, it was nearly impossible for me to follow it because I had no idea who any of the characters except Tsuna, Reborn, Gokudera, Yamamoto, and Lambo were. Part of that’s my fault, again, because I haven’t been reading from the beginning, but if your story is dependent on fights between a thousand characters… well, you have a Shounen Jump series. I’m finding I have less patience for them these days, unfortunately.
This was a review copy provided by Viz.