Anime Reporter picks up where the world of Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, (that’s just Reborn! to English-readers), left off, with Volumes 09-10 or Targets 71-89 of manic, mafia manga mayhem.
If you’re reading a review this far into a series, you really should expect some spoilers for earlier material. Why not check out the first Reborn! review here?
Volume 08, (reviewed here), left off in the middle of a face-off with the decoy version of Rokudou and Volume 09 sees the odds turning against our beloved Mafiosos. We’re given some in depth knowledge about the real Rokudou and the origins of not just him, but his peculiarly powered followers too. Unfortunately, by the time Tsuna is finished taking down the fake Rokudou, the final Dying Will Bullet is used and the real showdown is still to come.
The real Rokudou draws mysterious powers from different levels or states that he claims to have gained from various reincarnations. In truth, he proves to be not just the most powerful foe thus far in the series, but also the darkest, providing a level of violence and intensity that the series had previously avoided. Ultimately, he’s a villain well written because, in some ways, he might not be seen as a villain at all. That’s all I’ll say about the remainder of the Kokuyo Arc, other than that it’s most definitely something fans of the series should check out.
After the first two chapters of Volume 10, we’re out of the Kokuyo Arc and into the Varia Arc. The Daily Life Arc was fun and games, the Kokuyo Arc upped the ante and now it’s time for the main event. The Varia Arc will continue all the way into Volume 16 of the series, the last Volume to be published in English before Viz Media put the publication on hiatus.
The Varia Arc kicks off with all manner of surprises and mysteries that it just wouldn’t be fair to go into in detail. To name just a few; a young stranger with an oddly formal dialect and a Dying Will Flame to match Tsuna’s is in town and he’s not alone. Hot on his trail is a skilled and determined swordsman with a mission in mind. I can’t/won’t tell you who you’re supposed to be rooting for but all of this is only the beginning.
We’re given some fresh glimpses at Tsuna’s family life before his Family-life intervenes. It seems that young Tsuna is no longer the uncontested heir to the Vongola throne. Another candidate, the fierce and violent son of the Ninth is out for Tsuna’s blood to claim the title of the Tenth. Reborn manages to buy them some time before they settle their dispute in the traditional Mafia custom- Best of Nine Death Match! Okay, maybe not certain death-match, but potentially. Tsuna, (i.e. Reborn), must assign eight guardians to serve as part of his family and fight to earn him the title of the Tenth. Tsuna has come through a lot and has just about begun to accept his role as the new leader of the Vongola and, more than that, he wants to protect his allies’ hopes and dreams.
Before the fight proper kicks off, Tsuna and co. have a hell of a lot of training to do, honing their skills and taking themselves to new levels in the hope of survival and victory. There’s so much to fight for and so much on the line. While many of Tsuna’s appointed guardians are clear from previous stories, there are more than a couple of wild cards thrown into the mix and there’s a lot of action to catch up on.
Reborn Volumes 09 and 10 increase on the already increasingly action heavy and darker storylines of the previous volume. Until now, Reborn! has been giving us more and more reasons to love these characters. We’re about to see them pushed to making/breaking point.
Reborn! Volumes 09 and 10 are currently available in English from Viz Media. To check out some more of Viz’s great titles and to tell them how much you love this one, check out their website at viz.com and maybe even send them a message telling them that we’re all waiting for Volume 17!
Plot Development: 9
World Building: 9
High Stakes: 9
Character Development: 8.5
87% – “Holding Nothing Back!” – The kid gloves have well and truly come off as Reborn! evolves from a light-hearted, cartoonish tale to a heart-pounding, full-on crime-war saga. This needs to be read.