Tail of the Moon Vol. #05 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 1421508176
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Tail of the Moon Vol. #05

By Patricia Beard     June 13, 2007
Release Date: June 01, 2007

Tail of the Moon Vol.#05
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Rinko Ueda
Translated by:Tetsuichiro Miyaki
Adapted by:Tetsuichiro Miyaki

What They Say
Usagi is reunited with Hanzo, but Usagi's bliss abruptly ends when Hanzo's sister Suzune pays a visit and starts throwing ninja stars at the happy couple. Suzune won't accept Usagi as a potential sister-in-law if she can't evade her deadly attacks. Can Usagi survive Suzune's ninja offensive?

The Review
When we left Usagi in the last volume, her tender moment with Hanzo was disrupted by a shiriken delivered by a woman from Hanzo's past. Well, most readers probably guessed the identity of this person, who just might be Usagi's most serious obstacle to her future with Hanzo � his beautiful and talented sister, Suzune. One now knows why Hanzo is the way he is.

Suzune arrives in Iga after an absence of eight years with her five children (one set of triplets here). The reason for her return is unknown and she has not let the long absence prevent her from reasserting her influence with an iron fist. Of course, Usagi is deemed unsuitable as a wife for Hanzo and much of the volume is devoted to Usagi's attempts to be worthy of Hanzo in Suzune's eyes. Usagi being Usagi, things go badly. Suzune's treatment of Usagi is downright mean, but Usagi never gives up.

Ueda sensei is very skilled at imparting more information that mere exposition expresses. This is the especially true in this volume where we learn more about Mamezo. Ueda sensei has been more than quiet about such an important character. Sweet and loving Mamezo is placed in a life-threatening situation and Usagi shows her true mettle in saving and protecting him. Although we do not learn of Mamezo's life before Usagi (which I expect to be very important in the future), we do learn of the kind of relationship that Usagi and Mamezo have had, and see in this episode the depth of their attachment. This is what changes Suzune's mind about Usagi. And since Hanzo had declared Usagi his bride-to-be (I'm just reporting this, not explaining it), Suzune sees no reason for them not to marry now that Usagi has passed the housewifery skill test. Yes, she really did. But Hanzo is adamant that Usagi qualify as a ninja before they marry.

Usagi's recently gained plumpness has hindered her training, so upon hearing of Ieyasu's recent weight loss and assuming it to be related to an herbal remedy, she heads for Hamamatsu with Mamezo. On the way she is kidnapped by Hikaru, who has been ordered to bring Ieyasu's herbalist to Kouga. In Kouga, there are many sick and injured and no herbalists. Usagi willingly attends to those who need aid and provides recipes for medicines. On completion of her work with the sick, Hikaru has one more request of Usagi. And to assure Usagi's compliance, he has taken two prisoners - Mamezo and ...Goemon!

This volume has Ueda sensei's usual quick pace, lots of humor and quite a few dramatic moments. For those keeping track of the bishie body count, Usagi's radar picked up a handsome young man in Kouga, I expect to see more of him in the next volume. And, as extras, we get pages of Hanzo in different occupations. The series is great fun.


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