Semi Spoilers Ahead The House Of Five Leaves is very underappreciated for what its worth. It had something that made it unique from an average samurai story it doesnt focus on the action aspect but rather on the storytelling. It may sound uneventful but as the story progress one may find themselves hooked to the beautiful narrative as it unravels the details that delicately holds it together. Story and Characters One needs patience in able to divulge themselves into the story. Each episode looks simplistic but carries a heavy narrative that drives the viewers to submerge into the settings and characters. It has this ability to turn dull events into something interesting through the dialogue and storytelling. The show puts the viewer in different point of views without straying away from the protagonist to understand all characters thoroughly. It is important because they are the pillars to the story. The characters present themselves with mystery at first then slowly the narrative unravels their inner psyche and show a totally different motif making one question their judgment and knowledge about them. It is quite exciting. It makes one wonder is what theyre doing right or wrong? Who can you trust? All the questions one might have isnt directly answered but instead gives one an idea to make an answer. I think thats the beauty of it. The Five Leaves consists of an impressionable leader a shop owner a craftsman a retired geisha and later joining them the protagonist a jobless samurai. Each of them have unique characteristics background and beliefs. Despite their differences they manage to work together and perform successfully. The show did great presenting the characters in each of their own way and their relationship with each other. Out of all the characters Yaichi is the most intriguing. He is very mysterious and does not like to talk about himself. This is where our protagonist Masa comes in. He being curious about Yaichis background gathered information through different ways and slowly fits the puzzle that is a big part of the story. Through his journey learning about Yaichi he also learns about the other characters stories that is in one way connected to Yaichi. What do they do? Well the Five Leaves commit illegal activities the main being kidnapping for ransom to make money. It may sound like its action packed but remember what I said in the beginning? Their missions mostly consists of information gathering rather than fighting. But that doesnt exclude action from the series. The show definitely have action that are just perfect for the story. What makes these moments way more intense is that since the show is story driven it shows the importance of the scenes and adds tension. Stealing kidnapping is very symbolic in the show. Its not just to make money its connected to things that will later be revealed to the viewer. Like I said the show will make one question their own judgment about what is right or wrong. Despite their savage ways the characters are realistic and it complements the simplistic atmosphere of the show. Art and Animation The people are divided when it comes to the art. It is quite unique. If youre one of the people who doesnt sit well with the art let me say this. Please overlook it and give it a chance. The art does not dictate the story. In my opinion the art beautiful and is quite fitting. The art is heavy yet light at the same time. The heaviness represents the deep narrative carry while the lightness shows the again simplistic and relaxing part of the show. An example of heaviness is their eyes. The gloomy look hints that there is more to them than what they seem and pulls in the viewer. An example of lightness is the settings/background going back to what I said about the atmosphere simplistic and relaxing. The animation is stunning. The fluidity of the movements complemented the art very well. 220 These two aspects were able to deliver the story beautifully. Sounds The show uses beautiful traditional Japanese music to represent the current era they live in. Using the instruments they were able to create a story that is filled with emotions and complexity. It complemented the narrative and animation quite stunningly. One of my favorite OST from the show is Listening from this one can truly feel the sorrow hidden by the enticing tune. Conclusion The House Of Five Leaves embraces the art of storytelling without leaving out the other aspects that makes a show great. It is very detailed and I find it very impressive how the story/show is able to put together intensity and simplicity. Although it is understandable that it is not for everyone. Some may find it dull but thats completely subjective. If you liked Mushishi or Samurai Champloo I recommended this.
85 /100
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