House of Five Leaves

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House of Five Leaves
House Of 5 Leaves VIZ US 1.jpg
Cover of the first volume as released by Viz Media.
さらい屋五葉
Genre Drama
Manga
Written by Natsume Ono
Published by Shogakukan
English publisher United States Viz Media
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Ikki
Original run 20062010
Volumes 8 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Tomomi Mochizuki
Studio Manglobe
Licensed by Canada United States NIS America
United Kingdom Beez Entertainment
Australia New Zealand Siren Visual
Network Fuji TV (Noitamina)
Original run April 15, 2010July 1, 2010
Episodes 12 (List of episodes)
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

House of Five Leaves (さらい屋五葉 Sarai-ya Goyō?) is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Natsume Ono and serialized in Shogakukan's seinen magazine Ikki. The series began in 2006, and has been collected into 8 volumes by publisher Shogakukan. The manga was licensed for distribution in North America by Viz Media.

The manga series was adapted into a twelve-episode anime television series by Manglobe. The anime aired in the noitamina timeslot on FujiTV. The anime has been licensed by Funimation as a part of their deal with Fuji TV that allows them to simulcast series from the noitaminA block. This agreement allows Funimation to show the anime on their website at the same time it airs in Japan, and then at later times on the same day on both Hulu and YouTube. NIS America has licensed the series for DVD release in 2012.

Plot[edit]

Rōnin Akitsu Masanosuke is a skilled swordsman, but his personality often causes him to be let go from his job. One day he encounters Yaichi, the leader of a group calling itself "Five Leaves" and takes a job from him as a bodyguard. Though he is worried about the intentions of the group, he feels there is something more to the group and agrees to work with them.

Characters[edit]

Akitsu Masanosuke (秋津政之助 Masanosuke Akitsu?)
Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa
Masanosuke is a skilled samurai hailing from a prominent family. His father is deceased, and his mother continues to live at their estate. He is the eldest child and son of his family, with a younger brother and sister. He resigned from his position on the advice of his uncle when his Shogun expressed his desire to let him go. He left his hometown and settled in Edo, the captial of Japan before its renaming. He is very shy and despite his incredible talent he is often fired because he is "not threatening." It is also difficult for him to fight in front of a crowd. Due to his pride as a samurai, he often refused work that he believed was below his station. He was hired by Yaichi as a bodyguard of the Five Leaves during the transactions of ransom money. He was at first unaware of their illegal activities, and when he he found out he was unsure if he should continue in their employment. Since he is in need of money, both to live on and to send home, he decides to continue to work for them. He was also curious about Yaichi and his past. Although he sometimes idolizes Yaichi's carefree behavior and philosophy, he is also aware that Yaichi harbors a dark past. Despite eventually learning of what Yaichi has done, Masanosuke still desires to stay by his side.
Masanosuke has the habit of speaking his mind, often times without thought or reading the atmosphere, which sometimes causes others to lecture him. As the series progresses he is shown to become more mature and comfortable with himself. He is able to be calm or persistent, and is always earnest in his actions. By the end of the series, he is able to set aside his pride to keep what he holds dear, and is confident in his purpose.
In the anime he left home because he initially felt he didn't belong in his hometown. He and Taichi first meet at a shrine while Masanosuke is exhuasted from hunger. Yaichi offers him rice balls, while in the mange he offers him dango. After Yaichi's past is revealed, he stumbles onto the same shrine, with Masanosuke being the one to offer food and comfort.
Yaichi (弥一?)
Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai
The leader of the "Five Leaves." A mysterious person, he dislikes talking about his own past and lives in a local brothel, protecting and flirting with the women working in there. Distinguishable by his light colored hair and his tanned skin, he is often seen smoking a pipe. At the beginning of the series he is calm and carefree, seemingly living life to the fullest and intent on living in only the present, something he expressed to Masanosuke. He initially hired Masanosuke to scare off other bodyguards during a ransom transaction, but let him join the Five Leaves because he found Masanosuke "interesting." Later on he states that he finds the samurai "annoying," and begins to avoid Masanosuke. Due to his mysterious but carefree personality, Msasnosuke has become interested in learning about his past, something which discomforts him. After his former gang comes after him he attempts to disband the Five Leaves and becomes reclusive.
It is revealed through flashbacks that Yaichi was actually born as "Seinoshin", a young child who was adopted into a prominent Japanese family, but was rejected by his foster mother. As a result he became quiet and withdrawn, with his only friends being a family servant named Yaichi and Yagi, another heir from another family. He was kidnapped by a bandit named Jin on the direction of his foster mother, who had recently given birth to a son. The bandits were to kill him, but Jin instead told him what was going on and let him decide to return to the estate and face death or to simply run away. He initially refused to believe any of it and believed that his servant Yaichi would protect him. Jin stated that the servant participate in the kidnapping, which traumatizing Seinoshin. He eventually decided not to return to the estate and instead joined the bandits under the moniker of "Sei the Drifter." Before the events of the story, he sold out the other bandits in an unexplained event, which later lead them to come after him.
In the anime he is said to have become a merciless killer who (under implication) killed his old servant Yaichi and dumping him in a well for betraying him. But then for reasons unknown Sei betrayed his old gang by selling them out, and fled to Edo where he became "Ichi", forming the Five Leaves gang with a woman named Otake, a woman he paid out of bondage from a brothel. When his past catches up to him, he stumbles into a graveyard and mourns at his servant's tombstone until morning, when Masanosuke arrives and comforts him.
Matsukichi
Voiced by: Yuya Uchida
Once a lone thief he is now a member of Five Leaves as a spy, gathering information about their targets. He creates metal hair ornaments for women as a business to generate money outside of the Five Leaves gang. Calm and collected, Matsukichi usually does his job, but once he has a goal he doesn't stop until he achieves it, making others think he is reckless. He reveals to Masanosuke that he works for the Five Leaves because he is indebted to Yaichi, who saved him from a group of pursuers who caught him trying to steal money. At one point he stole money in order to support his wife and son, who he never knew he had, when the son was injured. During a break-in, he was injured and discovered by the master of the estate, who offered to listen to his reason for stealing.
Umezou
Voiced by: Masaya Takatsuka
Owner of a tavern where the members of Five Leaves meet and discuss their plans. Umezou was a former criminal and member of a notorious gang of robbers, but he wanted to leave. Fortunately the gang leader was kind enough to let him go, but it was mostly because his skills were not needed and his departure wouldn't affect the success of their activities. After that Umezou got married and had a daughter named Okinu through his wife, who later died from an illness. He is quite overprotective of Okinu as he holds grudges against anyone who makes her cry, and his gruff manner seemed unfriendly to those who first meet him. At first he is not accepting towards Masanosuke because of his timidity and "soft heart", but gradually warms up to him. He joined the Five Leaves at first to get revenge on a man who wad been harnessing Okinu, but has continued in order to help another man pay bribe money.
Otake (おたけ?)
Voiced by: Fuyuka Ooura
Otake is the local geisha of the Five Leaves. She is revealed as having used to work in a brothel until Yaichi paid her way out of bondage. Out of gratitude, she then began working together with Yaichi and formed Five Leaves, which she also named. Cool-headed and sultry, she is among the first of the Five Leaves gang to accept Masanosuke upon his first arrival. She later moves into Masanosuke's old apartment because she wanted a place of her own to live in, and later is accompanied by a cat that used to visit Masanosuke frequently.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Written and illustrated by Natsume Ono, House of Five Leaves is serialized in Japan in Ikki magazine by Shogakukan. The series will be ending in the September issue of the magazine, which is to be released on July 24, 2010.[1] The series is published in North America by Viz Media as part of their Ikki imprint.[2] The series is released online on their Sigikki site and then published in book format. It is also licensed in Taiwan by Taiwan Tohan Co[3] and in France by Kana.[4]

Volume listing[edit]

No. Japan release date Japan ISBN North America release date North America ISBN
1 July 28, 2006[5] ISBN 4091883265 September 21, 2010[6] ISBN 1-4215-3210-7
2 February 28, 2007[7] ISBN 9784091883520 December 21, 2010[8] ISBN 1-4215-3211-5
3 August 30, 2007[9] ISBN 9784091883704 April 19, 2011 ISBN 1-4215-3212-3
4 April 26, 2008[10] ISBN 9784091884152 September 20, 2011 ISBN 1-4215-3213-1
5 November 28, 2008[11] ISBN 9784091884282 December 13, 2011 ISBN 1-4215-3214-X
6 April 30, 2009[12] ISBN 9784091884640 March 13, 2012 ISBN 1-4215-3542-4
7 February 25, 2010[13] ISBN 9784091884992 June 12, 2012 ISBN 1-4215-4201-3
8 September 30, 2010 ISBN 9784091885296 September 11, 2012 ISBN 1-4215-4202-1

Anime[edit]

The anime series of House of Five Leaves was produced by Manglobe and directed by Tomomi Mochizuki, and aired on the noitamina time slot on Fuji TV.[14] The series began on April 15, 2010, and ran for 12 episodes.[15] On April 16 Kouji Yamamoto, the Editor-in-Chief and script writer for the series, apologized to the staff via his Twitter account for the low rating for the first episode.[16] The episode's TV rating in Japan was 1.5%, a third of what many series in the noitamina timeslot earn.[17]

The anime has been licensed for streaming by Funimation as a part of their deal with Fuji TV that allows them to simulcast series from the noitaminA block. This agreement allows Funimation to show the anime on their website at the same time it airs in Japan, and then at later times on the same day on both Hulu and YouTube.[18][19] The anime has been picked for a UK release by Beez Entertainment.[20] NIS America has licensed the series for North American home video release in 2012.[21]

Episode list[edit]

The opening theme is "Sign of Love" by immi, and the ending theme is "all I need is..." by Rake.

# Title Airdate
01 "In Name Only"   April 15, 2010
Masterless samurai Masanosuke Akitsu' life is changed after a chance encounter with Yaichi, who offers the timid swordsman a bodyguard job and invites him into the mysterious world of the Five Leaves. 
02 "Make Love to Me"   April 22, 2010
Masanosuke begins to grow more comfortable within the world of the Five Leaves, but despite his efforts to learn more about Yaichi, the gang leader remains a riddle. 
03 "Gradually Get Him Involved"   April 29, 2010
Thanks to Yaichi, Masanosuke's found a job as a bodyguard at a rice wholesaler. The work is steady and the samurai hopes to keep the position for a long time - but the situation might be too good to be true. 
04 "Sure Does Get Carried Away"   May 6, 2010
Masanosuke gets hired as a bodyguard at the brothel where Yaichi lives. If he can keep from getting fired, he'll be able to send his family some money - and maybe learn more about the elusive leader of the Five Leaves. 
05 "It'll Be Fine"   May 13, 2010
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. 
06 "Consider Yourself Fortunate"   May 20, 2010
Masanosuke's still healing at the Elder's house, and while Umezo occasionally visits to check up on him, Yaichi remains reluctant to make an appearance. Meanwhile, Denshichi investigates the source of Senkichi's funds. 
07 "Thoughtless of Me"   May 27, 2010
Masanosuke's back in Edo after recovering from his recent illness, but the samurai finds he still has problems when a tough adversary from the past challenges him to a new face-off. 
08 "Deeply Indebted to Two People"   June 3, 2010
When Matsukichi hears that Kiku-ya's owner is having problems, his decision to try to help out results in even bigger troubles. Masanosuke and Umezo's growing concerns lead them to investigate. 
09 "Come to Rescue You"   June 10, 2010
Masanosuke sets out to rescue Matsukichi and settle the matter of the stolen wooden tags. Meanwhile, Sachi, Masanosuke's little sister, is on a mission of her own after running away from home. 
10 "A Dirty Stray Cat"   June 17, 2010
Yaichi's strange behavior is becoming a concern for people at Katsura-ya. Meanwhile, Masanosuke learns more about Yagi's past following a graveside visit. 
11 "Pardon Me"   June 24, 2010
Masanosuke begins to understand what motivates Yaichi to keep kidnapping, even when the rest of the gang sees no need. Hoping to learn more of Yaichi's past, Masanosuke visits Elder. 
12 "Already Wasted"   July 1, 2010
Yaichi joins Yagi for a drink, where they reminisce about the past and old friends. Later, tensions escalate after a confrontation between Jin and Yaichi leads to a confession about the kidnapping. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ "House of Five Leaves Manga to End in July in Japan (Updated)". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 26, 2010. 
  2. ^ "House of Five Leaves". Viz Media. Retrieved June 18, 2010. 
  3. ^ "House of Five Leaves" (in Taiwanese Hokkien). Tohan. Retrieved June 20, 2010. 
  4. ^ "House of Five Leaves" (in French). Kana. Retrieved June 20, 2010. 
  5. ^ "さらい屋五葉 1" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  6. ^ "Viz Media . Products . House of Five Leaves volume 1". Viz Media. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  7. ^ "さらい屋五葉 2" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  8. ^ "House of Five Leaves, Vol. 2". Simon and Schuster. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  9. ^ "さらい屋五葉 3" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  10. ^ "さらい屋五葉 4" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  11. ^ "さらい屋五葉 5" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  12. ^ "さらい屋五葉 6" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  13. ^ "さらい屋五葉 7" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  14. ^ "House of Five Leaves Manga Gets TV Anime Green-Lit". Anime News Network. November 24, 2009. Retrieved June 18, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Simulcast Partnership with Fuji TV for noitaminA Block". Funimation. April 15, 2010. Retrieved June 18, 2010. 
  16. ^ http://twitter.com/koji8782/status/12265343858
  17. ^ "House of Five Leaves Writer Apologizes for Low Ratings". Animevice. April 19, 2010. Retrieved June 18, 2010. 
  18. ^ http://www.hulu.com/house-of-five-leaves
  19. ^ http://www.youtube.com/show/houseoffiveleaves?s=1
  20. ^ "Manga UK Adds Haruhi Film, 2nd Season, Haruhi-chan". Anime News Network. 2010-10-31. 
  21. ^ "NIS America to Release House of Five Leaves on DVD". Anime News Network. Retrieved 3 December 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]