Taking a quick break from my recent Vertical kick (though you can expect to see them back in this slot next week), and eschewing my usual PotW source, Comicopia, I hereby name Natsume Ono’s House of Five Leaves as my latest Pick of the Week!
Unlike many others, I haven’t fully jumped on the Natsume Ono bandwagon (though I do like Ristorante Paradiso quite a bit), but this series… oh this series. It hits me in all the right ways, with its passive, conflicted protagonist and shaky moral center.
Here are a couple of quick quotes from my recent review on Off the Shelf, where I discussed both my love for the story’s “hero,” Akitsu, as well as the volume as a whole:
“He’s just about as lost as a person could be, and yet there’s a survivor’s instinct somewhere in there that keeps him living and makes him weirdly compelling, despite his limp personality. I can’t help liking him and it’s definitely not out of pity. Ono’s unique art style is especially poignant here, too, and I think that really helps develop the character … The story moves quite slowly, but that’s really not the point. It’s all about this strange, vulnerable man, and whether he can truly discover family in a bunch of morally ambiguous outlaws. I had a lot of difficulty stopping after the first volume. It grabbed me that strongly.”