Estara's Reviews > House of Five Leaves, Vol. 1

House of Five Leaves, Vol. 1 by Natsume Ono
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Oct 20, 11

bookshelves: manga, read-in-2011
Recommended to Estara by: auto-buy mangaka
Recommended for: relationships, drama, Edo, slice of life - lovers
Read from October 19 to 20, 2011 — I own a copy, read count: 1

I actually came across this first as a fansub - I was interested in the series after having seen the Ristorante Paradiso fansub. I think the anime got even more of Ono's drawing style correctly than RP did - but I didn't mind the prettifying in RP because that is a couple of romantic vignettes of people in various versions of love and friendship.

House of the Five Leaves also has friendships and relationships but it's not really a love story. It's historical in setting, but personally I think she might have set the conflict up in a different time period without losing anything about it.

The draw are the characters, if you don't like them you won't have the patience for the slow reveal of the ties that bind them. Outsider Masanosuke, a capable samurai who has such a retiring and shy personality that he can't keep his job anywhere, comes into contact with a self-confident and suave shady stranger, who basically adopts him like a stray dog. He finds himself slowly entangled ever more in the associations of that guy and becomes fascinated despite seeing very clearly that the way of life of this Yaichi person is not conforming to Samurai honor standards.

Having seen the anime, I can guess better now and at more leisure why Yaichi decided to keep contact with Masa even after the initial reason he picked him up.

I have the feeling that the anime sometimes took more time to explore certain areas of Edo life - Matsu's skill of smithery with regards to things like locks and hairpins was detailed more in the anime - but other than that the relationships between the characters can be perused at more leisure when you have a static page.

Also, the SIGIKKI edition by Viz is incredibly handsome, and exquisitely printed plus careful with the honorifics and the necessary explanations. Kudos!
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