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Janny-Cats' Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Manga Review

Katekyo Hitman Reborn!

Katekyo Hitman Reborn! manga Review

The Reborn! story revolves around a boy named Tsunayoshi "Tsuna" Sawada, who is chosen to become the Vongola Family's boss. Timoteo, a.k.a. "Vongola IX," the current head of the family, sends Reborn, an infant hitman from Italy, to train Tsuna. Tsuna unwillingly undergoes training with Reborn.

Tsuna goes through many predicaments as he progresses, including fighting escaped Mafia convicts, a rival group of Vongola assassins and rival mafia families. Through his experiences, Tsuna becomes stronger and more confident.

Contributed by: shika-ma-ryuu

Story & Playability

Most consider Katekyo Hitman Reborn to be a manga without too many expectations or twists, a comic meant to be read during a lazy summer day without too much effort. But I beg to differ seeing as I've already re-read most of it more than twice. Reborn is a good example of a story that gets better and better as you read, so I heartily recommend it to those that have the patience to pay attention all the way through.


--Story--

Like many shonen Japanese comics, KH Reborn contains a lot of action as well as comedic parts. There are currently 3 arcs, the first being a "casual" day to day life and the rest action-packed little stories. Most fans prefer to skip the first arc since they say it's too boring and pointless. But think of this from the mangaka's point of view. If you want to write a story with likeable characters you have to add details about their life, the way they interact with others and so on. Those of you that have played The Longest Journey will notice the similar technique: the creator "forces" you to see a portion of the protagonist's life in order to understand him/her, grow to like them and maybe even relate to their story.

The story starts off somewhat slow, the Vongola clan characters are introduced at a steady pace and major action events come up only when needed. After most of the characters are presented, the mangaka tells the story of how everyone becomes entangled in the protagonist's story: some of them choose to stay near the hero in order to protect him, because they are friends or simply because they want to escape the dullness of everyday life.

The arcs that follow change the feel of the manga almost completely. The comedic parts become less and less frequent and a predominantly serios tone rests over everything. Villains pop up, but aren't revealed completely at first, as if to add a little mystery to the whole story.

I don't know how the other fans see it, but after the second act started I found myself oddly concerned about the character's situations. Seeing them get hurt or lose started to pull my heart strings. I think this is why reading the first daily life arc is important, it gives you time to start feeling for the characters. Sure, the stories could use a little more work, but they're overall enjoyable to read.

The battles are rather impressive since they go beyond showing off a character's sword skills. The characters each have their own weapons and they range from fists to tonfas and specialized gloves. The fact that katanas aren't the only weapons used in the manga is a breath of fresh air.

The mangaka tries to explain certain phenomena with the help of physics, and I have to say that it work wonderfully. Gokudera's techniques that regard using explosives are minutely explained and, even though they're not always realistic, these details add a pleasant pause between battles.


--Characters--

There are many characters that appear in the manga which guarantees that there is always one for everyone to like. Little is known about the characters that appear in the third arc, so I'll just cover the most known ones.

Tsuna - Our protagonist really isn't a person who you'd expect to save the day. Tsuna represents every teen's inner fears, he's constantly scared of being rejected, he fears disappointing anyone, getting on anyone's bad side or taking action by himself. But once he realizes that he has friends to support him, Tsuna gradually becomes more and more confident and feels that he is ready to stand on his own two feet.

Reborn - The eponymous character of the manga is Tsuna's teacher and famous hitman. Though he's often busy training Tsuna, Reborn sometimes steps back and lets the other characters take the spotlight while he carefully plans everything from the shadows. He's one of the most emotionless characters in the story, a trait that makes Reborn a mystery from start to end.

Gokudera - He is the first character that joins Tsuna's mafia family and swears to always protect him. The character takes pride in his skill for handling bombs and aspires to become the hero's right hand man.

Yamamoto - The character is probably the most clueless one from the entire manga as he thinks everything is a big joke. He joins the Vongola clan because he wants to have fun and be with his friends. He is often either too realistic or too optimistic for his own good.

Hibari - He is one of the most popular characters in the manga for the simple reason that he remains a complete mystery to the Vongola clan. Hibari is head of the school's Disciplinary Committee and takes pride in keeping the institution clean and organized by use of violence. This emotionless character has only one weakness that only few know, but you'll have to read the manga in order to find out.

Mukuro - The villain from the second arc appears along with his gang in Tsuna's school and proceed to bring down the strongest students in the city. The character's hairstyle has triggered a running joke among the fans that associate him with a pineapple.

Rating: 7

Graphics

--Art--

The art changes considerably throughout the manga, from edgy lines and clear artwork to a somewhat more blurry style in order to fit in with the new action-packed storyline. I personally prefer the first arc art style, but the mangaka is more or less forced to show a clear discrepancy between the world that Tsuna was used to and enemy territory, so the change in art style is needed.

The manga does a great job at showing its characters and, unlike the anime, they appear more curvy, so the panels don't look dull but very dynamic. The characters look like real people, the teens look like they're supposed to, so it's easy to distinguish one from an adult. The only thing I've had trouble with is understanding everything the mangaka tries to portray when she draws an explosion or smoke. It is often too blurry to make out, but other than that I can't find a reason to complain.

KH Reborn is one of the few Japanese comics that I can read at a fast pace. The panels are placed nicely and there isn't usually that much text to read, leaving the pictures to tell the story.

Rating: 9

Sound

No sound, obviously, since I'm talking about a manga. But I find it that listening to metal or rock works well with the manga, so unless you prefer silence when you read a manga, try it out. (I don't get why I have to rate sound when I'm talking about manga, but I'll give it an 8 in order to keep the balance going).

Rating: 8

Fun

--Homor--

Homor is always present in the first arc, anything from characters falling to getting embarrassed in front of the class is used. Most jokes relate to Hibari's unimaginable and ridiculous amount of strength or Tsuna's clumsiness. Even Gokudera feeling sickly at the sight of his sister is used as a reocurring joke and creatively inserted into the story.

The next arcs use humor in a more dynamic manner as a way to switch from one scene to another or suddenly change the serious tone. Gokudera carelessly bringing out a pack full of food when both Tsuna and he are in serious trouble is an example that comes to mind.

--Enjoyability--

What really peaked my interest in the manga was the large amount of lovable characters, one more silly or mysterious than the other. I have to confess that the story wasn't really to my taste at first, but reading such a manga filled with witty and unique characters was enough to keep me going. I think I've read all of the existing chapters in less than 4 days and it really impressed me.

It may not be the most clever manga out there, but certain scenes are witty since they combine logic and physics. So the manga certainly has potential to reel you in immediately. For a while it made me look forward to it more than a new Bleach chapter, and that's saying something.

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

7.83 (good)

Reviewed by Janny-Cats, Mar 13, 2009

Comments

  1. davidh01 Mar 14, 2009

    As I said in your last review, I was looking forward to your next submission. You've given another very good review here.
    One point, though, about the "Audio" section for any manga: what you could do is focus on the dialogue and the written "audio" parts. Take a look at this thread http://forum.minitokyo.net/t43545 for some ideas. For example, if you brought a local-language or English-language version, how did the dialogue meet your expectations of the characters and the story. If you're using a scanlation, how does their work meet your expectations (or not as the case may be). You might want to look at some of my manga reviews to see how I addressed the "audio" issue - (http://reviews.minitokyo.net/1350/read-die, http://reviews.minitokyo.net/1375/azumanga-daioh).

  2. beryl0402 Mar 15, 2009

    i can't believe there's only katekyo hitman review. i'm watching this series now and it's really awesome. there are quite alot of meaningless episodes but they're always very funny. and when it gets cool it's really cool. love this anime!

    merged: 03-15-2009 ~ 05:11pm
    takeshi is my fav character :)

  3. figure-09 Apr 03, 2009

    I love this anime!

  4. SukiLovesAnime Apr 10, 2009

    I love it so much! XD

  5. chumbariwap123 Apr 23, 2009

    good review, i love this anime :D

  6. arifffahdlanbinamin Apr 24, 2009

    i read this manga

  7. K-A-W-A-I-I Jul 18, 2009

    I really like this anime but its just so hard to continue reading it!
    becuase it is sooo long i just keep quitting and then coming back to it a few years later.
    But i really do love the drawings. I saw that the farther into the anime, the pics changed and the characters looked better by the episode~

  8. ResonantSoul Jul 23, 2009

    I might have t keep reading. |D

  9. shochand18 Jul 25, 2009

    Good review! ^^
    I read this manga then i see anime.
    It's really so great. I like so much graphic, sound and music.

  10. Sakura-Dust Jul 27, 2009

    Good review, you managed to get your point across.
    It's really true how the manga changes so much. At first it was a silly, even moe looking manga and it changed to such extents.

    Quote: This emotionless character has only one weakness that only few know, but you'll have to read the manga in order to find out.


    I carefully read the manga and I didn't find any weakness to Hibari XD

  11. Onlyrockman Aug 15, 2009

    Read the manga, might try out the anime

  12. SchRita Aug 23, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  13. ShadowNeo Aug 26, 2009

    I love Hibari K. ! Thanks for the review!

  14. Rodrigo0010 Sep 03, 2009

    Very good. Thanks for the review!

  15. Sanisa Sep 21, 2009

    Cool review

  16. weaponxshinta Oct 07, 2009

    I also love this series because of its humor and uniqueness. This is my first encounter of a mafia-based manga and anime storyline. I love the art and the animation. The soundtrack in the anime series goes quite well too. Nice review. ^_^

  17. Warpten29 Oct 18, 2009

    this i s a good anime review!

  18. SchRita Oct 28, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  19. rukasu04 Mute Member Nov 10, 2009

    Nice

  20. SchRita Dec 22, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  21. Sanisa Feb 24, 2010

    Thanks for the review! Nice ^__^

  22. SchRita Aug 27, 2010

    Nice review.

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