No. 21: Black Cat

By Kentarou Yabuki

black cat 1

Genres: Action, Adventure, Mystery, Comedy, Shounen

Status: finished

Before I talk about Black Cat, let’s briefly discuss about the artist. Kentarou Yabuki illustrated two famous series of manga in total, Black Cat series and To Love-Ru series. To be honest, while I wholeheartedly loved Black Cat, I strongly dislike To Love-Ru, because it is nothing but the mandune story of one horny guy and a bunch of alien big-boobs-girls …

It is hard to imagine  how the same author could draw two works so different in both style and quality.

Anyways, enough with my rants …

Synopsis:

Train Heartnet, also known as “Black Cat,” was an infamous assassin for a secret organization called Chronos … until he abandoned that cold-blooded existence to live on his own terms as an easygoing bounty hunter. But is Train’s past as far behind him as he thinks? (Source: Viz)

Probably the biggest question at this point is, why did Train abandon his assassin career?Well, that’s what you need to find out for yourself!

One things that this manga definitely doesn’t lack is … flashbacks. While a multitudes of flashbacks in Naruto anime is disastrous, memories of the past resurfaced in Black Cat help explain the motives of the major characters as well as help readers understand the events happening in the present. Even more importantly, these flashbacks are sentimental enough that they elicit all kinds of emotions from readers (at least I was close to tears at some time).

Black Cat 3

The story itself is almost without any plot holes in the first half of the manga, though it does deteriorate in quality somewhat during the latter half, which is why Black Cat is ranked only at 21st place. But rest assured, Black Cat has a good plot structure, excellent pacing, and a satisfying conclusion.

The characterization in Black Cat is even more memorable. Under the pen of Mr.Yabuki, Train, Sven, and the-psycho-antagonist-whose-name-I-can’t-reveal, and many others become real people. Most notably, Train’s heart and soul metamorphosed throughout the entire manga, turning from a cold-blooded killer to a person with strong compassion.

Black Cat 2

Special Note: for people who prefer anime to manga, I discourage you guys from watching Black Cat anime. Both anime and manga in general have advantages and disadvantages, but in this case, manga is clearly superior.


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