Anime Reporter sings like a canary, squeals like a pig and snitches like a snitch to bring you all the info on Reborn!, (Katekyo Hitman Reborn! in Japanese), manga volumes 05-06. These two volumes span chapters, (also known as ‘Targets’ for this series), 34-51. If you haven’t come across this charming little manga series before, I can only highly recommend it and steer you towards our reviews of Volumes 01-02 and Volumes 03-04 and advise you that this review might spoil a few plot details that you might prefer to discover for yourself during the series.
For anyone up to date or unafraid in the face of spoilers, we press on!
Volume 05, (targets 34-42), continues the Daily Life Arc, keeping the focus of events on Tsuna’s social and athletic failures as he learns new skills and gains valuable and much more talented allies and friends. Individual storylines are pretty short, lasting for one or two targets each. While some of the very short storylines may appear as filler material, it’s easier to see a developing pattern over entire volumes and arcs, of Reborn subtly shaping Tsuna and his comrades, developing and encouraging (many would say “manipulating”) him into the man he may well need to be one day. The first storyline of the volume introduces a strange young chap, Fuuta, who has an incredible ability and fascination; rating. Fuuta is capable of instantly and accurately assessing someone’s skills in any variety of areas just from seeing them in action once. He uses his skills to rank thousands of Mafia members meticulously in terms of anything from upper body strength to ambition to possibly even ‘most likely to become an anime reporter one day’.
Fuuta’s skills are of incredibly strategic value to many players in the mafia world and it’s soon up to Tsuna and friends to keep him out of harm’s way, despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that Tsuna is ranked dead last in terms of ability and bravery. After the plot to keep Fuuta out of the clutches of less honourable mafiosos, the plot moves neatly onto a particularly stressful Valentine’s Day before landing on a very enjoyable and action-heavy wee tale, lasting more than a couple of targets.
The words “snowball-fight” fall clumsily short of the chaos that unfolds. Reborn has picked some teams based on his in depth knowledge of Tsuna and their assorted comrades. The heavyweight-version of capture the flag with a shape-changing chameleon in the place of a flag is glorious and a hell of a lot of fun to read.
The remainder of these volumes is divided into two main blocks of stories. The first deals with the return to school as a second year and the revelation that Tsuna may not be the only future mafia boss in his class. We’re introduced to Naita Longchamp, the budding 8th generation leader of the Tomaso family, who’s just about as much the opposite to Tsuna as he could possibly be. Arrogant, aggressive and very heavily deluded in his own favour, Naito nonetheless manages to make for some very interesting storylines and he’s one family leader who’s at least on Tsuna’s side, whether Tsuna wants him there or not. Naito has already begun assembling his own family, (that’s ‘family’, wink, wink), and it’s hard to say who the most bizarre member of the bunch is. It’s interesting to see their parallels with the 10th generation Vongola family so far and it really makes Tsuna’s situation feel like it belongs to a larger world, with its own traditions.
The most noteworthy plot following this in Volume 06 sees our beloved organised-criminals in waiting heading to Mafia Land, a glorious resort, amusement park and haven designed exclusively for Mafia families. Tsuna isn’t there to relax though, he has some steep training ahead of him, unless things go wildly wrong. This story arc also raises just a couple of questions about Reborn being… well, exactly the way he is, and some of his old comrades may shed some light, or just further questions, on the subject.
Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Volumes 05 and 06 are currently available in English from Viz Media. To tell Viz how much you love Reborn and would love to see more of it published in English, or possibly just to check out their many fine manga titles, check out their website here.
Sudden Reborn Disguise Montage!
Plot Development: 8
Humourous Style: 8.5
Entertaining Package: 9
84% – “Explosive!” – Volumes 05 and 06 expand the world of Katekyo Hitman Reborn! to new levels and manages to maintain its phenomenal humour and bizarre tones while developing and growing in scale.