Wednesday, March 2, 2011

4th Manga Recommendation: "Black Cat"

by Matt Clark

Black Cat
by Kentaro Yabuki
2000 - 2004 in Japan.
All 20 volumes published in the USA by Viz Media.

Our protagonist is turning over a new leaf.  Sure, his chest still bears the number XIII, and his gun still glints black and gold... But Train "the Black Cat" Heartnet has left the assassin's life, and the world organization of Chronos, far behind him.  Chronos wants world peace, or so they say.  Train just wants a light-hearted existence.  But his new life as a bounty hunter, or "sweeper," is abruptly derailed when an old partner, Creed Diskenth, raises revolt against Chronos.

      This is typical shonen manga at its best.  Creed makes an interesting villain... His hate for Train is fused with love, in the fashion of Shakespeare's Iago/Othello dynamic.  Creed sees Train as his god... until his god becomes "soft."  Feeling that his idol has betrayed him, Creed goes mad in an attempt to win Train back to his side.  Black Cat features exhilarating fights to keep readers thrilled, as well as endearing characters to keep readers invested.