Creator: Akira Amano
Publisher: Viz
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genres: Action, Comedy
RRP: $7.99
Reborn! v2
Reviewed by Michael Aronson

“Reborn has set his sights on a new recruit for the Vongola Famiglia and prepares a rigorous initiation rite. But when deadly beauty Bianchi fixes Reborn in her romantic crosshairs and swears to kill anyone who stands in the way of their impending love affair, it’s Tsuna whose life is in danger!”

Viz’s Shonen Jump Advanced line continues to impress with the addition of the most insane collection of characters thrown together in a single series since . . . you know, I’m not sure there’s been a precursor for this kind of formula, at least not to the fever pitch of madness that Reborn reaches.

You see, Reborn is a guy who belongs to a mafia family. What role he plays in the family, I’m not entirely sure, but he’s recruited teenager Tsuna to become the tenth generation boss of the family and attempts to train him. No, I don’t understand what kind of “training” a mob boss requires, or why an outsider would be recruited, but the premise itself is ludicrous enough that you just run with it. Oh yeah, and Reborn looks like a two-year-old but has the intelligence of a thrice-lived expert in all fields and can pull out any kind of weaponry he needs at a moment’s notice.

The story is actually Tsuna’s, who’s somewhat of a passive and reactionary character. He usually solves all the problems in each chapter with a deus-ex-machina bullet to the gut shot by Reborn that empowers Tsuna with Deathperation. As wacky as that sounds, it meshes with the zany mood of the story and it’s only Tsuna’s submissive personality that hurts the material.

Otherwise, the wacky world of Reborn is further embellished with even more oddball characters. Gokudera is Reborn’s right hand man who has absolute faith in his leaders and will support their plans no matter how impossible or absurd. Bianchi is a master of poison cooking and former flame of Reborn’s who feels threatened by Tsuna’s involvement and tries to repeatedly kill him. Lambo is an oddity, the same build as Reborn’s stature, who appears out of nowhere to kill Reborn, is always foiled, and then is transformed into his deadbeat self from ten years in the future.

You know, none of it really makes sense, but it consistently stays true to its own weirdness and becomes entertainingly unpredictable. Sometimes Japanese weirdness can be very cool.

16 February 2007
O-Parts Hunter v2

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