In modern day Japan, opposing clans of ninja clash over secret techniques that have the power to change the face of the world. Miharu Rokujou is the heir to the strongest ninja art in existence known as the Shinra Banshou, resulting in several attempts on his life by various factions in an effort to gain the secret for themselves. Unfortunately, Miharu is apathetic to the whole situation, caring little about secret techniques and ninja arts, with his sole purpose being he wants to inherit his family’s store.
Conceived in 2004 by Yuhki Kamatani, Nabari no Ou has all the ingredients for a successful series, however with the release of volume 4, are they only now coming together. There is quite a bit that takes place within this volume that will leave new comers scratching their heads trying to make heads and tails of the multiple threads running throughout. From assassination plots to the introduction of new faces bent on taking down Miharu, the series kicks into overdrive fast.
Volume 4 also marks a major improvement in art. When compared to the first volume, it’s extraordinary at just how much of an evolution Kamatani’s style has undergone. The task of designing every character with a unique look has often proven difficult for many manga artists, usually resulting in characters bearing the same faces with clothes being the only way to distinguish one from another. Given the immense size of the cast Kamatani should be commended for her attention to detail in building her characters. Each one is easily distinguishable from the other from face to clothing.
Nabari no Ou volume 4 is exactly the shot in the arm the series needed before it risked losing its readers. Plot elements that have only been hinted at are finally coming to fruition and Miahru is beginning to come in to his own as main protagonist. Here’s to hoping the next volume can maintain the momentum.