Utsuho, Kuroha, and a rebel army all descend upon the Capital, turning the town into a bomb just waiting to be lit!
Story & Art: Yuuki Iinuma
Translation/Adaptation: John Werry
What They Say
Can a Liar lead a life of Good?
Utsuho’s truthfulness as a child resulted in an enormous catastrophe, and he decided to lie from that day forward. Raised in a village of orphans by a monk, Utsuho is an unrepentant troublemaker. The monk eventually inspires him to help people, but there’s no way Utsuho’s going to lead an honest life! Instead, he’s going to use his talents for mischief and deception for good!
Still seeking the Kokonotsu treasures, Utsuho arrives in Sasaka, a country with a peculiarly troubled history that turns out to have involved one of his companions. Meanwhile, Kuroha seizes a moment to share some personal history, revealing what’s really behind her rivalry with Utsuho to find the Kokonotsu!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Neya has been acting weird ever since the group made it to this new town. She won’t talk about it, but it doesn’t take the other long before they learn about the past of this area. An old woman confronts Utsuho and the others and recants the tale of how the village and previous ruler fell to ruin. The previous ruling family died out with the exception of one girl left to rule. She indulged in the finer things and taxed the citizens to the point they had to revolt. Everyone was killed, but the princess had a body double and the old woman is convinced the princess escaped and she believes that Neya is that princess! Could Neya be the princess hiding all this time? Or is Neya the body double?
Most of this volume is centered on Yakuma’s return to the royal palace and the Capital. While easily forgotten in all the focus on kokonotsu treasures, Yakuma’s whole reason for leaving the Capital was to find a cure for someone in the royal family. I have to think this is a bittersweet return for Yakuma. He may be glad to be home, but disappointed in himself for returning without a cure and asking for the kokonotsu treasure kept at the palace. Despite his inner turmoil, it turns out he has returned at an important point for the royalty. There is an assassination plot and rebel army forming in and around the Capital, and the palace guard is woefully under-staffed and likely unable to defend against a full assault from the rebels.
Yakuma quickly offers his and the others services to ferret out the rebels and protect the palace. But while all this is taking place, Kuroha has entered the Capital. She sees the potential chaos the rebels will create as a perfect opportunity to sneak out with the kokonotsu treasure. Add to that mix the arrival of Choza and Uzume have also arrived at the Capital in hopes of finding Kuroha and convincing her to take them back as comrades. Oh, and add to that the fact that the psycho Iriya, and Utsuho nemesis, has joined the rebel faction. Mix all these elements into the same town with all their opposing goals and something major is going to happen a lot sooner than later!
This volume really got me feeling good about this series again. The end game seems to be near with all the various factions coming to the Capital at the same time to find the kokonotsu treasure that is housed under the royal family’s care. That wasn’t anything special, but getting the truth behind both Neya and Kuroha’s childhood was well worth the price of admission. These revelations were tough for both girls and it helped me connect to both of the characters much more than anything that has led up to this point. Kuroha breaking down and admitting the truth behind her past was a great piece of character development for her. This finally broke down the wall of indifference many readers have had for her seemingly heartless character. Not every shonen story gets a piece of storytelling like this, so this gives Itsuwaribito a thumbs up in my book.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: C
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: A-
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: December 10th, 2013