Behind the Scenes: Volume 5 manga review
By Leroy Douresseaux
August 11, 2019 - 15:12

Viz Media
Writer(s): Bisco Hatori, John Werry
Artist(s): Bisco Hatori
Letterer(s): Sabrina Heep
ISBN: 978-1-4215-9828-4
$9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK, 192pp, B&W, paperback
Rating: T (Teen)

Behind the Scenes Graphic Novel Volume 5 cover image

Rated “T” for “Teen”

Ranmaru Kurisu is an 18-year-old who blames himself for everything.  As an outcast from a village of fisherman, Ranmaru is not crazy about people and is not crazy about being around them.  He is now a first year student as Shichikoku University (“Shichi U”), and while he initially planned on trying to find a group into which he could fit, he is back to being his old isolated self.  Then, fate brings him into contact with “The Art Squad.”

As Behind the Scenes!!, Vol. 5 (Chapters 22 to 27) opens, the Art Squad finds itself caught up in the Shichikoku “Halloween Parade.”  Well, it's really Ruka Enjoji who loves designing costumes and make-up, but her generosity has somewhat infuriated Art Squad president, Ryuji Goda.  And that's bad because Ruka has a crush on Goda, and she might have misunderstood something harsh he said to her.  Meanwhile, other members of the squad find themselves dealing with unrequited feelings – from friendship to acting.

[This volume includes a glossary.]

THE LOWDOWN:  I am a movie fan with an interest in the film-making processes, so I am attracted to the Behind the Scenes!! manga.  I like that creator Bisco Hatori also goes beyond film making to look at the lives of the characters.

Behind the Scenes!! Graphic Novel Volume 5 uses the creation, skills, science, and art of costumes, make-up, and theatrical sets as vehicle to deal with various characters' unrequited feelings.  The “Halloween Parade” plot dominates this volume, but when the students of the high school, Kokuto School for Girls, ask for help, all the themes in this volume coalesce.  This is probably the best volume of this series yet.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Bisco Hatori's work will want to try the Shojo Beat title, Behind the Scenes!!

8 out of 10

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