Anime Reporter takes a deep breath and reviews Volumes 15 and 16 of (Katekyo Hitman) Reborn!, the last volumes to be released in English by Viz media.
If you don’t know Reborn!, and you really ought to, then check out our take on the first two volumes here.
It’s absolutely in your best interests if you haven’t read the first 14 volumes not to venture any further. We’re waist deep in spoilers at this point.
Volume 15, (Targets 126-134), continues the Varia Arc, with Tsuna and Xanxus facing off in an all-out battle to claim the Vongola rings and secure their right to lead the Vongola family. The battle is an impressive one on many fronts, with the various guardians fighting it out to claim various rings and Tsuna doing everything he can to take Xanxus down. While the true extent of Xanxus’ power has yet to be revealed, it’s also true that the benefits of Tsuna’s training are still unknown at this stage so the battle should hold quite a few surprises for readers.
It’s not going to be a clean finish either. Regardless of the outcome, the Varia aren’t the type to just walk away without trying to obliterate Tsuna and co and things soon get a lot more complicated. When the Varia Arc rolls to a close, there is a very definite feeling that big changes are coming to the characters and that the future Tsuna planned for may not quite fit in with reality. It’s fitting then, that Volume 16 gives us a glimpse at what that future may hold.
Things seem to be quieting down, though there is still a sense that characters are living in the aftermath of the Varia-fight and coming to terms with its consequences. Fairly innocently, and as he typically does, Lambo pulls out his 10-year bazooka and, equally typically, misfires. Unusually, however, Lambo doesn’t hit himself. Instead the missile lands squarely on Reborn, who is promptly replaced with… nothing.
Given that the ten-year bazooka swaps a person with themselves from ten years in the future, Tsuna is fairly worried about what it means when no future version of Reborn appears and even more concerned when Reborn doesn’t return after the usual five minutes. Inevitably, Tsuna follows Reborn’s path, soon followed by some others, and learns that the future is a much darker and more dangerous place, even in just ten years. Foes and allies alike are on entirely unforeseen levels and despite all of his progress, Tsuna is more than out of his depth. Volume 16 ends as Tsuna is about to go toe-to-toe with a few adversaries who eclipse anything from his own time.
Volumes 15 and 16 are currently available in English from Viz Media. Viz Media also publish many other fine manga titles and series. To find out more about such titles, check out their website here. For what it’s worth, you could also send them a message, politely and respectfully pointing out how much you like Reborn! and showing support for the possibility of future publication of the later volumes in the form of an e-mail entitled “No, no, dear God, no. Why did it have to end like this?”.
Character Growth: 8
80% – “Taken Too Soon!” Reborn! Volumes 15 and 16 bring the Varia Arc to a close, showing just how far Tsuna has come as a leader and as a person since the series’ beginning. The Varia Arc sees Tsuna finally stepping up to take responsibility for his makeshift family while the following arc shows how far he still has to go and who he’ll become. It’s ironic and unfortunate that the volume which begins a storyline about the possibilities of the future and potential is also the volume when the English publication of the series was cut short. Volume 16 sees a great beginning to a new story, but it falls short of the ending this series deserves by about 26 volumes.
Two very good volumes, but no kind of ending at all.