By Leroy Douresseaux
December 13, 2012 - 11:33
|Itsuwaribito Volume 7 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.|
Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
Once upon a time, a child named Utsuho Azako told the truth. The result of such innocent honesty was the destruction of the village of orphans where he lived. Now, Utsuho is an unrepentant troublemaker and a self-professed “Itsuwaribito,” a crook that practices all illicit trades. Still, the teen wants to help people. Traveling with his talking tanuki, Pochi; a young physician who hates liars, Dr. Koshiro Yakuma; the refugee, Neya Multo; and the mysterious Hikae Nibyo, Utsuho helps others by telling lies.
As Itsuwaribito, Vol. 7 (Chapters 58-67) opens, Utsuho and company wrap up their adventures in Hokorai Village, where visitors are ensnared by illusions of the life they want. Utsuho and the gang must not only free themselves, but also the illusionists, who may be trapped by their own power. Also, the mysterious Hikae Nibyo, the guardian of the treasure, the Eyestone gem, is now part of Utsuho’s growing entourage.
Next, the adventurers’ continuing quest to find the fabled treasures known as the Kokonotsu brings them to the closed island of Utsuryojima. There, Lord Sakuma, grievously wounded in the deliberate burning of his castle, terrorizes his subjects. He demands the return of his stolen treasure, and the blame for the theft falls on Utsuho and friends. Now, they must face Sakuma’s protector, Kuroha.
THE LOWDOWN: The Itsuwaribito manga is like a samurai/ronin comedy for young readers. It is funny, witty, and even snarky, but there is lot of implied and depicted violence, so it is rated for older teens. It is a battle manga with an irascible character, Utsuho, who is in the vein of Naruto and who he is highly-likeable character. This young liar and thief doesn’t need to lie his way into readers’ hearts. Itsuwaribito is the kind of shonen manga that you only have to experience once to want to try it again.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Fans of ronin-type comedies may enjoy the Shonen Sunday Itsuwaribito.
Rating: A- /10