Name: Lawrence Brenner
Title: Reborn! Volume 12 Prince Ripper
Author: Akira Amano
Publisher: Viz Media
Age Rating: T+ Ages 16+
Star Rating: 3.5
Reborn! contains all the things I love about a shonen action series. I always like the concepts in shonen series that make you want to stand up and cheer, at least mentally if you do not do it in person. This is a series that you can just enjoy and not have to really think about to enjoy it as you may have to do with some manga and anime series.
As I was reading this volume, I felt as if I was watching an episode of anime, this is how detailed the art of Reborn! is. If you really get into it, you may even start to hear a soundtrack in your head beyond just the character voices. Aside from just the main story I really like the humor added in the “Extra Chapter” and the “Haru Haru Interview” as it adds another humorous aspect to the characters that you can also see them being beyond their main function in the storyline. For example, if the character is a jerk in the main story, they continue to be a jerk in these appendix stories, it is just funnier.
One of the unintentional funny aspects of this volume that is not part of the story is the rating. It is rated T+ for teens 16 and older for “alcohol and tobacco use and graphic, realistic violence.” I can understand the alcohol and tobacco use aspect for the older teens, but the “graphic, realistic violence” is partially a stretch as while there is blood and violence, the way it is done is very over the top and typical in a shonen series, especially in the battles. Honestly, how realistic is someone is a battle between a guy who fights with knives versus a guy who fights with explosions from dynamite sticks that he wears all over his body? And they only injure each other doing this? (Of course, I am talking about the start of the battle, not the conclusion, as no spoilers from me either way.) Bonus points, the dynamite guy, is the good guy. Now thinking again, how realistic is this? This could only happen all happen in a shonen series. I am surprised they missed a “potentially” sexual situation in their rating, and this is pretty obvious when you see it.
As for the main story, we get a lot of what we love if we are shonen fans, lots of good fighting, battles of the good versus the bad, and a lot of good humor in to ease the tension. As stated the artwork is beautiful and if you are watching a full episode of anime, and it is a beautifully animated series at that. It makes you want to read more and read the next volume, not in month but right then and there. That is the mark of a great shonen series.
This is a perfect lunch manga as well. You can sit down with your lunch, have this in a bookstand, and read a fun story before you get back to work. And while working you can ask yourself, what would Hibari do? Get Reborn!