Wednesday, March 21, 2012
House of Five Leaves Review
House of Five Leaves is an Action/Drama anime based on the manga by Natsume Ono. The seven volume manga is from Shogakukan and licensed by Viz Media. The 12 episode series from director Tomomi Mochizuki is from Manglobe (Samurai Champloo, Deadman Wonderland) and is currently licensed by FUNimation, though with no English dub. It ran in Japan in April 2010.
Oh, where do I begin with this... this... animation? The art style of each character reminds me of L from DeathNote... but on crack… through a circus mirror… in a cave. This is because L didn’t have natural looking eyes and seemed kind of empty or make him look like he’s blind. House of Five Leaves has ALL of their characters with eyes lacking, or having huge, pupils, making it really weird. However, it makes it even more interesting as a whole because it’s only a small, yet extremely noticeable, part of the art style Ono used. If I could only use one word to describe it, historical is what comes to mind here. Every little thing about this anime is very detailed in it’s historical aspect. Character design, setting, color; even the music is historically accurate (even though for some reason, I swear, I heard some accordion in there). Every bit of it just works really well, making the series as a whole, technically anyway; really unique and interesting to watch, despite the Pinocchio style noses you also see constantly.
Of course, there’s no English dub so, we’re gonna be talking Japanese voice acting today. This cast is simply well done and well put together, making the story’s flow even better. Daisuke Namikawa (Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle) as Masanosuke was a perfect fit to the character because of the personality this samurai has. Yuya Uchida (Ghost in the Shell: SAC) as Matsukichi was a good choice as well. As for Umezou and Otake, Masaya Takatsuka (Level E) and Fuyuka Ooura (Umineko no Naku Koro ni) are ideal fits. Probably the most memorable role in the series is Takahiro Sakurai (Princess Tutu) as Yaichi. Certainly the veteran of the cast, Sakurai is the most ideal person for the role and was very enjoyable to watch!