House of Five Leaves

I am a fan of Natsume Ono. So far I’ve read (and watched) Ristorante Paradiso, and I’ve started Gente, which is a sequel/prequel series. I also started not simple, but it is an exception to my interest in Ono; it is really, really depressing, and I haven’t been able to get very far in it.

I picked up the first volume of House of Five Leaves, and I am giddy! It has Ono’s signature art, as well as the same narration style that I am in love with. I won’t get into the story very much, but the main character is a timid ronin trying to make it as a bodyguard, which of course doesn’t work out. Just that alone is significant, and that is before the plot is applied. I am hooked on the story, to be sure.

The thing about Ono’s works is that there is this kind of sensuality that weaves its way through every part of it. I don’t say that lightly, it is simply not like that for most things I’ve read. I got a more intense sense of this when I read certain parts of After the Long Goodbye. However, in Ono’s works it is much more subtle and cathartic, which I always find helps me empathize with the characters. It also puts me in that anxious mode where the smallest bit of humor will cause me to laugh a lot. That definitely happened while I was consuming this volume.

Do yourself a favor, pick this up. It is mysterious, sexy, fun and beautiful. And it is probably a much better introduction to Ono’s works than Ristorante Paradiso. Unless you have a “gentlemen in glasses” fetish. I am not even joking.

The bummer thing is, volume two doesn’t drop until December 21. T_T