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House of Five Leaves, Vol. 1

(House of Five Leaves #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  502 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews

R to L (Japanese Style). A best-selling series from one of Japan's most respected authors. Masterless samurai Akitsu Masanosuke is a skilled and loyal swordsman, but his naïve, diffident nature has more than once caused him to be let go by the lords who employ him. Hungry and desperate, he agrees to become a bodyguard for Yaichi, the charismatic leader of a group calling i
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 21st 2010 by VIZ Media LLC (first published July 28th 2006)
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(showing 1-30)
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Megan M
Mar 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Masa is a ronin without a job. He is very intimidating, so he isn't what most people have in mind when they look to hire a bodyguard. He finally falls in with the "Five Leaves", a group who specializes in kidnapping from the corrupt of Edo.

As I read this, I though about giving it four stars. This morning, I was convinced it was a two. I'm going to compromise. As I was reading it, I really enjoyed myself and got caught up in the story, helped along by unique and tone enhancing artwork. But later
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel, manga
Review pretty much stands for the whole series instead of just vol.1

I've read Ristorante Paradiso before, as well as Natsume Ono's BL work as basso, and I have to admit that I wasn't used to Natsume-san doing historical Japanese stuff, since she usually sets her stories in contemporary Italy.

The art style is very beautiful and I love how simple it is. Sort of reminds me of sumi ink paintings. Story itself is propelled more by the characters as opposed to actual events, and while I do respect Ma
Divyansh Malik
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
House of Five Leaves is a Seinen Manga by Natsume Ono that shows the tale of Akitsu Masanosuke, a samurai who roams around for jobs to send back home to his family. When he is approached by the mysterious Yaichi, his life will change forever.

Personally, I loved the first volume of this series due to the character Masanosuke or "Masa". Masa is a naive but strong Samurai who takes up positions as a Yojimbo (bodyguard) but is known as a Rhonin (unemployed or masterless Samurai) due to his meek app
Masanosuke is an out-of-work samurai (ronin) who can't hold a job because of his personality. Despite his stature and skill, he's painfully shy, and no one is intimidated by a cringing swordsman. He catches the attention of Yaichi, who is in need of a bodyguard for an upcoming job. Masanosuke eagerly accepts only to discover that his new employer is the leader of a ring of kidnappers known as The Five Leaves. Despite Masa's reluctance to fall in with criminals, he's fascinated by Yaichi ... and ...more
Kim Dyer
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-comics
I actually enjoyed this volume by the end but it took a while to hook me. The story is low-key and slow moving. For a samurai story, it maintains a pretty sublime pace with no real action or violence. It's just the story of an introverted yojimbo slowly being drawn into a criminal gang. Yet the characters are what makes the series and I soon found myself getting quite attached to Masa (who is not your typical samurai), and curious to learn more about the mysterious Yaichi.

The art starts off a bi
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm hooked. I absolutely love the art, very gritty and ethereal. The story is meandering in a dream-like way that builds slowly and allows you to sink into the scratchy linework.
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a fascinating series. This is my third time reading. Still as good as the first time.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
eh okay... wouldn't read again or the series.
جمانة المدرَّع
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The best psychological-historical-samurai-seinen manga I have ever read
Feb 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads, manga
The artwork is on point and I think it is super adorable. The characters and their background are mysterious, but I hope to see more depth in them in the future volumes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will love this series. 3 stars!
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: relationships, drama, Edo, slice of life - lovers
Recommended to Estara by: auto-buy mangaka
Shelves: manga, read-in-2011
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
K. O'Bibliophile

Masa keeps getting fired: who wants a shy samurai? So when he’s hired as a bodyguard for the leader of a gang, Masa is torn between his need of money and his increasing suspicions that they may not be doing legal business. As he gets drawn deeper into the gang and its activities, he might not like what he learns, but at the same time he's intrigued by charismatic leader Yaiichi.

The first thing you notice is the artwork. Jagged black lines that have a sketchy, sometimes unstea
Aug 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: manga-general
This manga was recommended to me by two friends who have a love for unique manga that's literary (as opposed to "the same old historical drama"). I'd also read some of Ono's other work, both "Ristorante Paradiso" and some fan-translated work, and I love her low-key but intense plots and unique, loose drawing style.

This story had me confused at first, as it took a while for me to sort out the characters in my brain, but once I did, I enjoyed their distinct personalities. I adore the central chara
Oct 28, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a samurai story with an odd twist. Akitsu is ronin who lost his appointment to a feudal lord not for being unskilled, but for lacking confidence and not having an intimidating air about him. Too proud to take non-Samurai work, he falls in with a crowd of thieves/kidnappers known only as the House of Five Leaves. Led by Yatchi, a very charismatic and confident man, Akitsu finds it hard to say know even though his conscience tells him to. This is a very character-driven, dialogue heavy int ...more
Mikael Kuoppala
May 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Natsume Ono Stays true to her peculiarly enchanting style in this opening volume of a tale set in feodal Japan. The story is about Masa, an introverted and gentle samurai who loses his employment due to his unthreatening habitus. Masa crosses paths with a criminal league called The House of Five Leaves who make their money by abducting people. Despite his disapproval of the league’s methods Masa finds himself getting more and more involved with them, mainly due to an odd fascination he feels tow ...more
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga
First off, the art style is lovely. Something about this art just draws me in, with the characters being surprisingly expressive without getting all rubbery.

This story... it will not be for everyone. It's very slow, and heavily character driven. I love that what we're getting isn't typical. Our hero, such as he is, may be one of the least heroic characters I've ever encountered, in anything, ever. But that's part of what draws me in - the web being woven between him and the rest of the character
Sep 13, 2014 rated it liked it
This manga is pretty interesting, in that it's very sedate, all characters are rather calm and there is no action, and yet it's appealing. It's not really shounen or shoujo, which I guess is what I was looking for. The main character is pretty interesting as well: a tall, would-be-physically-imposing samurai who is so lacking in confidence that he slouches and people don't take him seriously in his profession. I will continue reading this series, and I really hope they really dive into the pasts ...more
sweet pea
May 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
something about this story enraptured me. maybe it's the illustrations, which are brilliant. the story is evocative of other samurai works, yet unlike anything else i've read or seen. the main character, Akitsu Masanosuke is an odd bird. the way he is drawn makes me think he has fetal alcohol syndrome. he is certainly socially awkward and a bit slow besides. he almost unwillingly gets involved with the Five Leaves, although he enjoys their company. i am interested in reading more.
Emilia P
Jun 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
Sad sack samurai falls in with a bad crowd. Hm...why did I read this? I guess I'm always willing to try out a semi-alternative manga. It wasn't bad, but it didn't inspire further interest either. I learned a little bit about old-timey terminology which I attempted to use in trivia a few weeks later, but apparently I did not learn enough because I totally got the question wrong. Oh welllll.
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: related-books
This is my review on the whole series of this manga. It is a must read for anyone interested in manga. quite different from what I had seen before, the art work and story line is a sweet deviation from traditional manga. I was completely taken by how these few minimal lines can express such huge amount of human emotions.
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
Normally I love reading samurai stories but for some reason, I just found this story boring. Akitsu didn't strike me as a particularly useful samurai while the "Five Leaves" gang seemed dull and uninteresting. Oh well, maybe I will have to re-read this manga when I am not so tired and I am more receptive to the slower pace of this manga.
I really like this series so far. It has an interesting art style and I love the main character is very sweet and humble and also abit of an underachiever. For a samurai story it doesnt have alot of action though that`s not nessesarily a bad thing as it makes up for it in plot and character relationships. ...more
Oct 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Nothing really grabbed me about this one. It's the quiet tale of a Samurai with a cripplingly low self-esteem. His lack of assertiveness allows him to be drawn into a circle of criminals who have taken a liking to him. It's definitely a different take on Samurai. But perhaps a little too quiet for me.
May 17, 2011 rated it liked it
The story of ronin, who is less than intimidating, as he's recruited into a criminal organization. The story was original but I felt lost at times with who was talking or what was happening on the page.
Oct 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
Not a bad story, but it didn't grab me. The main character is too passive to be interesting. If I didn't already have the second volume from the library, I wouldn't bother continuing with the series. And I still may not.
Mar 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: manga, teen
This book is on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2011 list, but I wonder if the slow plot would appeal to many teens. I'll give the second volume a go because I like the main character and his struggles.
May 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
I liked this at first, then it seemed to be the same thing over and over again, ...

... awww a sweet hearted ronin,

awwww he is vexed because he is so sweet hearted


Jun 13, 2014 rated it liked it
enjoyed the story enough. However, the layout/design of the speech bubbles made it difficult to tell who was talking. Will checkout the next volume
Alexander Case
Dec 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: anime-manga
Interesting manga. While the plot had some interesting turns, I wasn't too impressed with the main character's lack of agency.
Aug 25, 2010 rated it liked it
reviewing for ICv2
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Natsume Ono made her professional debut in 2003 with the webcomic La Quinta Camera. Her subsequent works not simple, Ristorante Paradiso, and Gente (a continuation of Ristorante Paradiso) met with both critical and popular acclaim. In 2009 Ristorante Paradiso was adapted into a TV anime series. Her current series House of Five Leaves (Saraiya Goyou), also adapted into a TV anime series in 2010, is ...more

Other books in the series

House of Five Leaves (8 books)
  • House of Five Leaves, Vol. 2
  • House of Five Leaves, Vol. 3
  • House of Five Leaves, Vol. 4
  • House of Five Leaves, Vol. 5
  • House of Five Leaves, Vol. 6
  • House of Five Leaves, Vol. 7
  • House of Five Leaves, Vol. 8