Volume four of Natsume Ono’s wonderful House of Five Leaves manga finally leaves the anime behind. A new potential leaf appears for the gang of kidnappers — a go-between, who offers his negotiating services to kidnap victims’ families to negotiate with the kidnappers. Meanwhile, on the sly, he’s part of the kidnapping gang. Or that’s his proposal, at least.
But Masa is the only member of the gang who takes a liking to him. Yaichi, in particular, does not like the fellow — a case of like repelling like, as it develops.
The series is starting to take a darker turn, and Yaichi, in particular, reveals more about the darkness in his nature and his willingness to betray old comrades. Future volumes promise to skirt tragedy.
If you’ve been waiting for new material, or if the anime left you curious about Yaichi’s true nature, now might be a good time to start in this series. If you’ve been reading the series all along, I think you’ll find that Natsume Ono has decided to step it up a notch.
It’s still slow, with little action, but you can feel the tension building. Something is going to happen soon.