House of Five Leaves 5

April 16, 2012

Natsume Ono – Viz – 2011 – 8 volumes

On one hand, I always have a hard time convincing myself to pick up the next volume of this series. The slow pace and quiet story haven’t drawn me in to the point where I really have to know what happens next, and I have a hard time picking it up over other stuff in my to-read pile. On the other hand, I know that when I start the volume, I’ll be really, really into it. And that’s still the case, happily.

Things do get a bit more exciting in this volume as Yagi gets closer and starts asking the right questions. Yaichi pulls further and further away from Masa and the Five Leaves, and Masa finds work that suits him. Yaichi states that the next very big job will be the last for the Five Leaves, but I wonder about that.

I’m never quite sure what to feel about Yagi. He’s obviously The Law, and it’s no good for him to find out about the Five Leaves. But on the other hand, he’s not interested in the Five Leaves, he’s only interested in Yaichi. And even then, it’s not for any crime that Yaichi committed, but because of Yaichi’s childhood. We find out more and more about what happened between the two of them in each volume, but the flashbacks are maddeningly short. We still don’t know the full story, or why Yagi is so driven to find out what happened to Yaichi. And honestly… I’m not sure who Yaichi is at this point, as far as his past identity.

I do like that Masa found work that he can excel at. He’s also slowly overcoming his weakness, and even stands up to someone in this volume. While he still feel guilty about being the cause of Yaichi’s recent funk, he’s also the one that begins to bring him out of it towards the end of the volume, and it seems as if nobody bears him any ill will. Things are good for Masa right now, and I’m curious to see if they continue as such, or if something will happen to bring it all down.

Again, this is interesting and well-written, and every volume is worth reading. I like the characters, and I love the slow way the story is unfolding. But again… it’s not the kind of book that begs you to read. Just a very good one.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

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