Yotsuba&!

Welcome to Kuriousity

News, reviews and features with a focus on manga, self-published works and a Canadian perspective. Enjoy fulfilling your Kuriousity!

SITE RETIRED - Thank you for the years of support and readership!

Posts Tagged Black Cat

Mini Review: Black Cat (Vol. 20)


Black Cat (Vol. 20) – Kentaro Yabuki
Published by Viz Media

Here it is, the twentieth and final volume of Kentaro Yabuki’s Black Cat. Not a bad length for a shonen series, a fair number of volumes but nothing obscene that invokes the thoughts of a never-ending cycle of recycled plot lines. I’d say Black Cat was just right.

That said, this final volume really took its shonen genre to heart with an epic final showdown between Train and Creed. Speed lines are all over the place as the two duke it out, gun to sword, pulling out all the attacks, special abilities and emotional-banter that twenty volumes have worked up to. Meanwhile, Sven and Eve continue their flunky battles, reiterating that they’re just as cool, if not more so (or easily more so in the case of Eve) than the story’s lead character.

The ending itself likely won’t surprise any readers accustomed to shonen clichés, especially the final attack exchanged between Train and Creed, but despite its predictability, the finale still offers a concrete resolution that neatly ties up any remaining loose ends. I was disappointed that prior fears regarding newly introduced, and quickly tossed again, side characters were proven true when they all garnered no further relevance past their short uses as fodder in previous books.

Also included in this wrap-up are some short flashbacks to Creed’s past, multiple amusing comics regarding the story’s creation, and a tidy epilogue that shows us where the lead cast are eight months later, including Eve sporting an adorable new outfit and hairdo that leaves me begging for a spin-off. Unlikely, but what can I say? I love that nano-machine enhanced little butt-kicker. She’s adorable and will be missed by this reader!

Sporting a pretty ‘this is obviously the final volume’ cover featuring a character collage and a whimsical looking Train, as well as some consistently admirable release work by Viz, Black Cat volume twenty brings the series to a regrettable, but still mostly satisfying, end with much of the same charm and action that carried readers on from volume one.

Review written May 8, 2009 by Lissa Pattillo
Book purchased in-store from Chapters


Mini Review: Black Cat (Vol. 19)


Black Cat (Vol. 19) – Kentaro Yabuki
Published by Viz

In true shonen style, the final confrontation the second half of this series has been leading up to, continues on for yet another volume. Good or bad thing?

While my fondness for the lead characters is often enough to easily cancel out annoyance at repetitiveness, in this particular volume the majority of page time went to the fight between the Chrono Numbers’ leader, Sephiria Arks, and the series’ top-honcho bad guy, Creed. Yes, you both look cool and have some neat attacks, and are doing the usual bad and forth banter with expected snark, but I was still never attached or invested enough in either of the characters to make this showdown all that interesting.

In a book that really played itself on this fight, I was still more interested in the, albeit short, scenes that take us back to the title three: Train, Sven and adorably kick-butt little Eve. The remaining bad guys pull out some more surprises to hold them up but they’re determined to make sure Train has the final confrontation with Creed so they can settle old scores. It’s too bad though that old fears of mine have come true and all secondary characters have suddenly become completely obsolete (and absent).

But don’t get me wrong, sure I didn’t really care a whole lot about the big fight scene in this, but said fight scene was still pretty cool and finally seeing Train face to face against Creed once again was more exciting than I thought it’d be. Kentaro Yabuki’s fantastic artwork can be most credited for this (as well as having a really awesome cover image). At the end of the book is a short story showing how Train and Sven met, a fun little bonus for sure, and also helped ease the bit of disappointment I held for lacking character time in the rest of the volume.

The end of Black Cat is in sight and as much as some of these recent volumes have sagged a bit on my interests, I’ll still be heartbroken when it’s all over.

Review written March 16, 2009 by Lissa Pattillo
Book purchased in-store from Chapters


Review: Black Cat (Vol. 18)


Manga-ka: Kentaro Yabuki
Publisher: Viz
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: January 2009

Synopsis:
“Train and Eve are drawn into a bizarre illusory world controlled solely by the Doctor’s warped imagination. Train finds himself confronting doppelgangers of Kyoko and Saya. When the two women that should love him the most try to kill him, Train is left in a terrible predicament!”

The race is still on to make their way to Creed, battling through countless faceless henchmen and more than one of Creed’s upper-level Tao warriors. This volume brings a long awaited confrontation between the lead characters and the evil Tao doctor whose fascination with nano-technology makes the young Eve his next target.

Read more…


Review: Black Cat (Vol. 17)


Manga-ka: Kentaro Yabuki
Publisher: Viz
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: November 2008

Synopsis:
“The final stage of the battle begins! Now that Train and the Sweepers have reached Creed’s hideout, there is no turning back. But for Train, it’s not about avenging Saya’s death anymore. He’s risking his life to capture Creed as a member of the Sweeper Alliance.”

No surprise after the last volume’s pace that volume seventeen is brimming with action. What remains of the Sweeper Alliance forges their way to Creed’s estate, determined to see him defeated once and for all. But before they can finally face him, more of the powerful members of Tao resurface to cause problems and it takes every one of the characters, major and minor, to make it through.

Read more…


Review: Black Cat (Vol. 16)


Manga-ka: Kentaro Yabuki
Publisher: Viz
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: September 2008

Synopsis: “Train and River put aside their differences as they face off with Shiki, one of the most powerful members of the Apostles of the Stars. Shiki is determined to show that the Tao is the ultimate form of power, and he’s going to take down Train, his friends and all of Chronos to prove it!”

Black Cat continues its bout of stereotypical badguy-to-badguy fight scenes in this sixteenth volume as the characters battle their way through enemies to find Creed. Train and his partner-by-circumstance, the punching machine, River, are this volume’s star players. After defeating their last opponents, they now find themselves matched against the powerful member of the Tao responsible for stranding them all here on the island in the first place.

Read more…


Review: Black Cat (Vol. 15)

Black Cat (Vol. 15)

Manga-ka: Kentaro Yabuki
Publisher: Viz
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: July 2008

Synopsis: “Train and the Sweeper Alliance make it to Creed’s island hideout. However, the Apostles of the Stars are ready and waiting for them. Separated from the others, Eve must finally do battle on her own when confronted by Leon, the wind master. She has the powers she needs to win, but does she has the heart?”

A sudden attack on their ship in volume fourteen has left the newly formed Sweeper Alliance separated and trapped on Creed’s island. Following an expected shonen-story path, the enemy members of the Apostles of the Stars are now hunting them down before they can reach the island’s castle. In this fifteenth volume, Train, Eve and River find themselves under the first attacks.

Read more…


Review: Black Cat (Vol. 14)


Manga-ka: Kentaro Yabuki
Publisher: Viz
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: May 2008Synopsis: “Glin, a mysterious information broker, is forming a Sweeper Alliance in order to destroy Creed and the Apostles of the Stars. He invites Train, Eve and Sven to join their group. But even if this motley crew can locate the Apostles’ hiding place, will they be able to survive the perilous journey to get there?”

Starting the book off with a bang, Train must finish his battle against fellow sweeper, River, in exchange for information about finding Creed. Both Train and River are given the information by Glin, an informant with a mysterious history, who plans to form a team of the best sweepers in order to defeat Creed. Eve and Train need to work together to decipher the information and join up with this new group. Meanwhile, Sven continues his training to master his eye’s abilities to glimpse the future so he’ll be of help when the great battle finally comes about.

Read more…


Review: Black Cat (Vol. 13)


Manga-ka: Kentaro Yabuki
Publisher: Viz
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: March 2008

Synopsis: “After surviving another attack by the Apostles, Train and his partners agree that they have to eliminate Creed. At Sven’s urging, Train finally reveals the details of his past: the nature of his relationship with Saya Minatsuki, the reasons for his quitting the Chrono Numbers, and the cause of his violent hatred of Creed.”

A good portion of Black Cat volume 13 is a flashback to Train’s days as an assassin for the organization Chronos. Befriended by a kind, lively sweeper named Saya, Train begins questioning his morals and is soon unable to perform murder as efficiently and without question as he once did, much to the anger of his superiors. When Creed, another member of Chronos, takes it upon himself to fix the problem, Train’s will for vengeance against the man is given stark backing.

Read more…


Take me back to the top!