Posted by: orenjo | April 17, 2010

House of Five Leaves 01

Song: “Sign of Love” by immi
I really like the animation, the backgrounds are super pretty. It reminds me a bit of Eden of the East’s OP. The song is nice and catchy but a bit mellow at the same time.

House of Five Leaves Episode 1: In Name Only

The series begins by showing a man tied up and hid under a building, with the silver hair man smoking. Then a flashback, in which the young lord Seinoshin is basically comforted by his caretaker, Yaichi. Seinoshin is the adopted heir of the family, but he believes his mother doesn’t approve of him because of a burn scar on his back, which she considers disgusting. Yaichi comforts him, telling him to have more confidence, since the scar on his back looks like a maple leaf. The flashback ends with a servant telling Yaichi that Seinoshin’s mother has given birth.

Returning to the present, the man in pink suggests to get a ronin (a masterless samurai) as a bodyguard, since the other side has as well. We are then introduced to Akitsu Masanosuke, who, due to his personality, is always let go by his masters. Akitsu refuses to take up labor jobs because he solely wants to work as a samurai. He watches a woman as she eats dango, but is frightened by the sight of her companion, the man in pink. The man in pink meets him and offers him a meal. While eating soba, the man in pink introduces himself as Yaichi, and asks Akitsu to be his bodyguard. After a little scuffle with some other ronin, Akitsu asks what kind of dangerous business Yaichi is dealing with. Yaichi then asks if he’s going to leave, but Akitsu answers by saying he’ll see a job through once he’s accepted it.

Yaichi leads Akitsu to the forest and there, they meet the source of the trouble. The man they meet has hired ronin to assault them, but Akitsu easily rids of them. Yaichi mentions that he’s actually pretty strong, Akitsu’s personality is the problem. Yaichi then speaks to the man, calling him dirty for bringing ronin along. The man gives Yaichi a large amount of money, asking for his son back. Yaichi assures him that his son will return soon. Afterwards, Yaichi reveals that his group, the Five Leaves kidnaps for money. He also wants Akitsu to join their group.

Akitsu returns home in shock. The next morning, the same woman from earlier (who is part of Yaichi’s group) comes to fetch him, claiming that he’s already accepted the money so he’s part of the group. His stomach growls and Yaichi treats him to another meal, Akitsu hasn’t used any of his money. They eat at Umezo’s, who’s also part of the Five Leaves. Yaichi invites Akitsu upstairs to drink. In the morning, Yaichi has already left, Umezo’s daughter talks to Akitsu, saying the Five Leaves started because of her.

Akitsu finds Yaichi again. It’s then revealed that the Five Leaves started because a man treated Umezo’s daughter terribly. Umezo, angered wanted to kill the man, but Yaichi suggested to kidnap instead. Thus they earned their revenge as well as considerable money so they continued to do so. Akitsu also learned that they sometimes kidnap those in troubled families. Yaichi, however, replies that he’s never thought of them as good deeds. Akitsu then shares his story. His sends his money back to his family to help repay his brother’s debt. He also wants to train in order to return to the government service. After complaining about Akitsu sharing his personal history, Yaichi offers him to work as part of his group again. He suggests for him to take his time and think it over. Akitsu remarks that he desires Yaichi’s composure, to be able to smile like he does. Yaichi replies, it’s not that hard once you realize that nothing’s stopping you.

Ahaha, this is a long summary. Well let’s say, a lot of things just happened! I really like the start of this series and will try to be somewhat consistent in blogging it. Seinoshin’s flashback makes me think that he’s our present day Yaichi and somehow decided to take his caretaker’s name. I really want to know more about Yaichi’s past and the other’s in the Five Leaves. The character design might be a bit iffy for some, but it’s unique and fits with the mood of the series. The backgrounds are all well animated, the bridge scenes are quite impressive. The voice cast is strong with present Yaichi voiced by Sakurai Takahiro and Akitsu by Namikawa Daisuke, who actually has a pretty deep voice. The set up of Yaichi as a bad guy (kidnapping is definitely bad right? haha), yet having such a past leaves a lot of room for character development yay~ I will continue to try finding the ending animation, it’s rather clever.


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