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House of Five Leaves

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Title: House of Five Leaves  
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Subject: Bee Train, Nippon Ichi Software, Takahiro Sakurai, Viz Media, Noitamina, Daisuke Namikawa, Tomomi Mochizuki, Manglobe, Immi
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House of Five Leaves

House of Five Leaves
Cover of the first volume as released by Viz Media.
Genre Action
Written by Natsume Ono
Published by Shogakukan
English publisher United States Viz Media
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Ikki
Original run 20062010
Volumes 8 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Tomomi Mochizuki
Studio Manglobe
Licensed by Canada United States NIS America
United Kingdom Beez Entertainment
Australia New Zealand Siren Visual
Original run April 15, 2010 July 1, 2010
Episodes 12 (List of episodes)
Anime and Manga portal

House of Five Leaves (さらい屋五葉 Sarai-ya Goyō?) is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Natsume Ono and serialized in Shogakukan's seinen magazine Ikki. The series began in 2006, and has been collected into 8 volumes by publisher Shogakukan. The manga was licensed for distribution in North America by Viz Media.

The manga series was adapted into a twelve-episode anime television series by Manglobe. The anime aired in the noitaminA timeslot on FujiTV. The anime has been licensed by Funimation as a part of their deal with Fuji TV that allows them to simulcast series from the noitaminA block. This agreement allows Funimation to show the anime on their website at the same time it airs in Japan, and then at later times on the same day on both Hulu and YouTube. NIS America has licensed the series for DVD release in 2012.


Rōnin Akitsu Masanosuke is a skilled swordsman, but his personality often causes him to be let go from his job. One day he encounters Yaichi, the leader of a group calling itself "Five Leaves" and takes a job from him as a bodyguard. Though he is worried about the intentions of the group, he feels there is something more to the group and agrees to work with them.


Akitsu Masanosuke (秋津政之助 Masanosuke Akitsu?)
Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa
Masanosuke is a skilled swordsman hailing from a prominent family. He is very shy and despite his incredible talent, he is often fired because of his shyness around other people. He left home because he initially felt he didn't belong in his hometown. He works with Fives Leaves after Yaichi hired him as a bodyguard; however he was unaware of the group's illegal activities, which involved kidnapping. He admires parts of Yaichi's carefree personality and even idolizes him somewhat, but is curious about his leader's past. Eventually, during the course of the series, Masanosuke sheds parts of his shyness and becomes more mature than he was in the beginning, which by example is shown when he comforts a depressed Yaichi after he finds him alone in a graveyard. In the beginning Masanosuke was found by Yaichi at a shrine, who offered him rice balls. Towards the end of the anime, it is Masanosuke who assumes Yaichi's position, offering his friend the same rice balls.
Yaichi (弥一?)
Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai
The charismatic leader of the "Five Leaves." A mysterious person, he dislikes telling about his own past and lives in a local brothel, protecting and flirting with the women working in there. Distinguishable by his light colored hair and his tanned skin, he is often seen smoking a pipe. At the beginning of the series he is calm and carefree, seemingly living life to the fullest and intent on living in only the present, as he says to Masanosuke. He even does him a favor by recruiting Masanosuke into the Five Leaves gang at the point where he is at his weakest socially (because he is very shy) and financially. His reasons for befriending the samurai at first was because he was so naive, but over the course of the series Yaichi has a sort of falling out with him because Masanosuke was "annoying. Yaichi eventually becomes the subject of Masanosuke's personal investigation of his past, something Yaichi has long repressed.
It is revealed through flashbacks that Yaichi was actually born as "Seinoshin", a young child who was adopted into a prominent Japanese family, but was rejected by his adoptive parents. As a result he became quiet and withdrawn, with a family servant named Yaichi and Yagi, another heir from another family, as his only friends. He was kidnapped by a bandit named Jin, and believed that Yaichi will protect him but was told that Yaichi was the one who arranged his kidnapping, traumatizing Seinoshin. When he grew older Seinoshin worked under the moniker of "Sei", a bandit and a merciless killer who during this time (under implication) killed his old servant Yaichi and dumping him in a well for betraying him. But then for reasons unknown Sei betrayed his old gang by selling them out, and fled to Edo where he became "Ichi", forming the Five Leaves gang with a woman named Otake, a woman he paid out of bondage from a brothel.
When Yaichi's past catches up to him, he stumbles into a graveyard and mourns at his servant's tombstone until morning, when Masanosuke arrives and comforts him. In the anime, he is last seen at the shrine where Yaichi found the samurai in the beginning of the series, accepting the offer of odango and coming to terms of closure with himself.
Voiced by: Yuya Uchida
Once a lone robber he is now a member of Five Leaves as a spy and gathers information about their targets. He creates metal hair ornaments for women as a business to generate money outside of the Five Leaves gang. Calm and collected, Matsukichi usually does his job, but once he has a goal he doesn't stop until he achieves it, making others think he is reckless. It is revealed that Matsukichi works for the Five Leaves because he is indebted to leader Yaichi, who in the early days saved him from a group of pursuers who caught him trying to steal money as a sneak thief. He also stole money in order to support his wife and son, who he never knew he had, when the son was injured.
Voiced by: Masaya Takatsuka
Owner of a tavern where the members of Five Leaves meet and discuss their plans. Umezou was a former criminal and member of a notorious gang of robbers, but he wanted to take leave and fortunately the gang leader was kind enough to let him go. After that Umezou got married and had a daughter named Okinu through his deceased wife, who died from an illness. Umezou had since left his criminal ways to care for his daughter alone. He is quite overprotective of Okinu as he holds grudges against anyone who makes her cry, and his gruff manner seemed unfriendly to those who first meet him. At first he is not accepting towards Masanosuke because of his timidity and "soft heart", but gradually warms up to him.
Otake (おたけ?)
Voiced by: Fuyuka Ooura
Otake is the local geisha of the Five Leaves. She is revealed as having used to work in a brothel until Yaichi paid her way out of bondage. Out of gratitude, she then began working together with Yaichi and formed Five Leaves, which she also named. Cool-headed and sultry, she is among the first of the Five Leaves gang to accept Masanosuke upon his first arrival. She later moves into Masanosuke's old apartment because she wanted a place of her own to live in, and later is accompanied by a cat that used to visit Masanosuke frequently.



Written and illustrated by Natsume Ono, House of Five Leaves is serialized in Japan in Ikki magazine by Shogakukan. The series will be ending in the September issue of the magazine, which is to be released on July 24, 2010.[1] The series is published in North America by Viz Media as part of their Ikki imprint.[2] The series is released online on their Sigikki site and then published in book format. It is also licensed in Taiwan by Taiwan Tohan Co[3] and in France by Kana.[4]

Volume listing

No.Japan release dateJapan ISBNNorth America release dateNorth America ISBN
1 July 28, 2006[5]ISBN 4091883265September 21, 2010[6]ISBN 1-4215-3210-7
2 February 28, 2007[7]ISBN 9784091883520December 21, 2010[8]ISBN 1-4215-3211-5
3 August 30, 2007[9]ISBN 9784091883704April 19, 2011ISBN 1-4215-3212-3
4 April 26, 2008[10]ISBN 9784091884152September 20, 2011ISBN 1-4215-3213-1
5 November 28, 2008[11]ISBN 9784091884282December 13, 2011ISBN 1-4215-3214-X
6 April 30, 2009[12]ISBN 9784091884640March 13, 2012ISBN 1-4215-3542-4
7 February 25, 2010[13]ISBN 9784091884992June 12, 2012ISBN 1-4215-4201-3
8 September 30, 2010ISBN 9784091885296September 11, 2012ISBN 1-4215-4202-1


The anime series of House of Five Leaves was produced by Manglobe and directed by Tomomi Mochizuki, and aired on the noitaminA time slot on Fuji TV.[14] The series began on April 15, 2010, and ran for 12 episodes.[15] On April 16 Kouji Yamamoto, the Editor-in-Chief and script writer for the series, apologized to the staff via his Twitter account for the low rating for the first episode.[16] The episode's TV rating in Japan was 1.5%, a third of what many series in the noitaminA timeslot earn.[17]

The anime has been licensed for streaming by Funimation as a part of their deal with Fuji TV that allows them to simulcast series from the noitaminA block. This agreement allows Funimation to show the anime on their website at the same time it airs in Japan, and then at later times on the same day on both Hulu and YouTube.[18][19] The anime has been picked for a UK release by Beez Entertainment.[20] NIS America has licensed the series for North American home video release in 2012.[21]

Episode list

The opening theme is "Sign of Love" by immi, and the ending theme is "all I need is..." by Rake.

# Title Airdate
01 "In Name Only"  April 15, 2010
Masterless samurai Masanosuke Akitsu' life is changed after a chance encounter with Yaichi, who offers the timid swordsman a bodyguard job and invites him into the mysterious world of the Five Leaves. 
02 "Make Love to Me"  April 22, 2010
Masanosuke begins to grow more comfortable within the world of the Five Leaves, but despite his efforts to learn more about Yaichi, the gang leader remains a riddle. 
03 "Gradually Get Him Involved"  April 29, 2010
Thanks to Yaichi, Masanosuke's found a job as a bodyguard at a rice wholesaler. The work is steady and the samurai hopes to keep the position for a long time - but the situation might be too good to be true. 
04 "Sure Does Get Carried Away"  May 6, 2010
Masanosuke gets hired as a bodyguard at the brothel where Yaichi lives. If he can keep from getting fired, he'll be able to send his family some money - and maybe learn more about the elusive leader of the Five Leaves. 
05 "It'll Be Fine"  May 13, 2010
Masanosuke recuperates from an illness at the Elder's house, where he is encouraged to leave the world of the Five Leaves behind. The samurai also learns the reasons behind Umezo's involvement with the gang. 
06 "Consider Yourself Fortunate"  May 20, 2010
Masanosuke's still healing at the Elder's house, and while Umezo occasionally visits to check up on him, Yaichi remains reluctant to make an appearance. Meanwhile, Denshichi investigates the source of Senkichi's funds. 
07 "Thoughtless of Me"  May 27, 2010
Masanosuke's back in Edo after recovering from his recent illness, but the samurai finds he still has problems when a tough adversary from the past challenges him to a new face-off. 
08 "Deeply Indebted to Two People"  June 3, 2010
When Matsukichi hears that Kiku-ya's owner is having problems, his decision to try to help out results in even bigger troubles. Masanosuke and Umezo's growing concerns lead them to investigate. 
09 "Come to Rescue You"  June 10, 2010
Masanosuke sets out to rescue Matsukichi and settle the matter of the stolen wooden tags. Meanwhile, Sachi, Masanosuke's little sister, is on a mission of her own after running away from home. 
10 "A Dirty Stray Cat"  June 17, 2010
Yaichi's strange behavior is becoming a concern for people at Katsura-ya. Meanwhile, Masanosuke learns more about Yagi's past following a graveside visit. 
11 "Pardon Me"  June 24, 2010
Masanosuke begins to understand what motivates Yaichi to keep kidnapping, even when the rest of the gang sees no need. Hoping to learn more of Yaichi's past, Masanosuke visits Elder. 
12 "Already Wasted"  July 1, 2010
Yaichi joins Yagi for a drink, where they reminisce about the past and old friends. Later, tensions escalate after a confrontation between Jin and Yaichi leads to a confession about the kidnapping. 


Further reading

External links

  • Official anime website (Japanese)
  • Official VIZ IKKI Page
  • Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
  • Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
  • on Hulu
  • Vol 5 review -(ANN)
  • vol 8 review -(ANN)
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