House of Five Leaves Episode #05 -

Anime Review

Mania Grade: B-

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  • Audio Rating: NA
  • Video Rating: NA
  • Packaging Rating: NA
  • Menus Rating: NA
  • Extras Rating: NA
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • Running time: 23
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: House of Five Leaves

House of Five Leaves Episode #05

House of Five Leaves Episode #05 Review

By Chris Beveridge     May 13, 2010
Release Date: May 13, 2010

House of Five Leaves
© Fuji TV
What They Say
Masanosuke recuperates from an illness at the Elder's house, where he is encouraged to leave the world of the Five Leaves behind. The samurai also learns the reasons behind Umezo's involvement with the gang.

The Review!
Some things start in simple ways as we see the origins of the House of Five Leaves.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The House of Five Leaves group is one that has worked well together for a bit now and they seem like they've been like that for awhile. The episode opens with a nice, if short, look on the past when the group first came together from different areas to pull off a simple job that involved no real risk. Once that worked out, and they all realized that they blended well with each other even with their diverse personalities, it was decided to formally start working together in order to make a bit of money. A simple origin to be sure, but sometimes that simplicity works best in conveying what it's really all about.

Masanosuke is still off his game from recent events and is spending his time at the Elder's house where he's working through the injury. It seems like Masanosuke is always engaged in some form of downtime as he spends most of his days listening to others with little real action or work on his part. What learns during all of this is more about the past and the less than pristine nature of some of them, such as Umezo who ends up surprising him just a little bit. There's a lot of focus on old gang politics and relationship material here as the elder deals with the arrival of an old member, a picklock, who has a grievance about not getting the help he needed in getting out of the gang when Umezo got plenty.

There's a nice focus on Umezo throughout this as he copes with what he learns while also keeping his distance from Masanosuke before the events unfold. Masanosuke continues to be a very off-putting charcter and even Umezo has a hard time getting angry about thigns with him because Masanosuke has a look about him that seems to say plainly that he's ignorant about the basic realities of the world. The core cast of the show is really kept out of the picture for the most part but it sticks to the kind of relaxed and calm style that we've seen in the first four episodes. The darkened real world nature of the series is still its strongest point, as is the way it's slowly (too slowly?) weaving its tale. There is something about the show that continues to be intriguing, but it's also a show that can be a challenge to watch because of its pacing.

In Summary:
The House of Five Leaves is still a show that I'm unsure about. It has a really nice sense of style and it's definitely working its pacing as it wants, but the story itself hasn't really won me over at this point. I like the characters overall and the designs certainly stand out in a way to keep me interested in it visually, but the story is moving along in a way that doesn't draw you in. I'm not expecting an epic plot or anything, but even a character driven show needs a little more oomph than this to make sure you're coming back week after week. Not in action or anything, but just enough to make you want to see what's going to happen next. That hasn't happened yet, though I'm still relatively enough enjoying the show as a whole. But it's not a show that demands it be watched the minute it airs.

Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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