Title: Hinowa ga CRUSH! Vol. 4
Author: Takahiro (Story), strelka (Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Publication Date: August 18, 2020
The fourth volume of Hinowa ga CRUSH opens up with the Tenrou Nation’s Ten Stars assembling. We get a nice introduction to each one of them before they are joined by the King of the Tenrou Nation: Zuou. They go over the political lay of the land and how they wish to conquer damn near all of it. They address the nations that are giving them immediate issues; however, they know that they will eventually conquer (or at least attempt to) the Soukai nation. That was pretty obvious from the onset of this series so that declaration shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone… especially since we just saw Yomihime try to do just that over the past two volumes!
The second part of the volume switches gears to the Soukai nation where Hisame is in the presence of the King, Sotetsu. He’s worried about pirates disrupting trade routes on the seas. Of course, Sotetsu talks about exterminating the pirates but wasn’t really serious about doing so just yet. Hisame takes his wish literally and volunteers for the job. Sotetsu weighs it over and asks him to carry out the mission. Hinowa, Akame, and her unit are assigned to help Hisame with the task of eradicating the pirates and recapturing Uminari Island. This brings us to a high seas battle and, in predictable fashion, they win. Hinowa; however, gets into an undersea battle with the leader of the pirates, Saiha. After besting and capturing her, Saiha becomes enamored with Hinowa to the point where she is willing to actually serve her!
The third part of the volume deals with Hisame’s goal of marrying Princess RInzu. Sotetsu announces the groom candidacy which involves placing Rinzu on a floating hut and having a race. The first one to reach her on the King’s sea turtles will win. You can even attack each other to make things even more interesting. I won’t spoil the outcome; however, the volume does end by teasing a tumultuous future for the two.
I like how the main story moved forward and then took a small break to wrap up, or at least define a major plot point, for one of the substories that they have been building to since the beginning. My only complaint about that aspect of the volume is that I felt it was done a little too soon. It seems as if one of the characters had their story microwaved to completion. Then again, this series, along with Akame ga Kill, never really built up things for too long so this does kind of align with the mangaka’s writing style.
Lots of new characters were introduced in this volume in the form of the Tenrou Nation’s Ten Stars. Of course, we already familiar with Yomihime and Kyoukotsu is dead so we’re already down to 8! Woo!
The first we are introduced to is Lord Gundari. He is the Leader of the Northern Army is a really rough and gruff-looking person. He seems to enjoy results but can also be a bit stern.
Next up is Nanahasu of the Guerilla forces. He is kind of the calm voice of reason between all of them and the one that really holds the forces together from a support standpoint.
Next is Amateru, Commander of the Eastern Army. She looks pure and innocent but she is an absolute monster. She wields a scythe and is completely sadistic to the bone. They compared her bloodlust to that of Kyoukotsu but with more battle prowess and tact. Definitely someone to watch out for!
Next up is Mizuchi of the Bodyguard Unit. Mizuchi doesn’t look like much but he is a bit tempered and has no problem talking down to the other members of the Ten Stars. The fact that they don’t threaten him when he does so speaks to his power and position within the group.
Then there is Akugetsu, the Strategist. He was the strategist for another nation but after they were conquered, he agreed to side with Tenrou and thus fell in favor with the King, Zuou. He is calm and collected as you would expect of someone like him.
Next is Shamon, the Diplomat Priest. So far, he is my favorite of the Ten Stars. He gets nations to bend to his will through conversation alone. He has a gilded tongue and certainly knows how to bend people’s minds with it. There are hints in his dialogue that he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty if the situation warrants it. I really love his attitude towards everything!
You don’t know it but I already introduced Kururiya form the Ninja Forces because he has been here the entire time just hidden between the written characters. By the way, you’re already dead. Nice knowing you.
And finally, we have Moegi, Commander of the Southern Army. She’s… uh… into men… like… a lot. In fact, she was late to the meeting because she was busy getting laid. She has a habit of picking the best men who has had sex with her and adding them to her personal army of muscle. She’s a bit eccentric but she has superior intuition!
Of course, we also need to touch upon King Zuou himself. I can’t really say much about him outside of the fact that he is just your typical king that wants to conquer everything. He’s a bit on the wild side but, at the same time, knows what he’s doing. He does seem a bit on the generic side because you’ve seen this archetype many times before. Given the way the mangaka writes these books, I don’t expect any of the people I’ve mentioned to live long!
Another great edition of Hinowa ga CRUSH! There was plenty of action, plot development, and character development. I did leave out one character’s development because it ended up taking up the entire last third of the volume and it would have spoiled the ending to the book. I’ll be sure to make a note to discuss it when I review Volume 5. I will say that I am happy for said character but we will see what the ominous message at the end of the volume truly means for them.
I’m liking the Ten Stars as the main enemy right now. It reminds me a lot of Esdeath’s Jaeger group from Akame ga Kill but on a bit of a grander scale. Since Kyoukotsu died, I wonder if they plan on replacing him with a tenth official member. There was even a hint that it is possible since the Ten Stars have replaced members before. I guess we will have to wait and see!
Hinowa kind of took a bit of a back seat in this volume which I’m fine with. We did get a bit of world-building here and because as such, the main character had to step back in order to peel back those layers. Still, it should be noted that her newfound friendship between herself and the former Pirate Captain Saiha seems a bit ominous. I can’t imagine Saiha just giving up like that and joining Hinowa so quickly. There has to be something else going on there but, perhaps, since her entire band of followers was wiped out, this was the only option for her to survive. Maybe it really is genuine after all?
We’ll see in the volumes ahead if that holds to be true. Until then, I will wait patiently for volume 5!
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press