Title: Hinowa ga CRUSH! Vol. 5
Author: Takahiro (Story), strelka (Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Publication Date: June 8, 2021
The fifth volume of Hinowa ga CRUSH opens up with the planning of Hisame and Princess Rinzu’s wedding; however, as one would expect in a series such as this, things will never go smoothly. This is because the Tenrou nation is mounting another attack and this time, they are bringing their entire forces… including Tenrou Nation King, Zuou!
What made matters worse is that after Waniba lost to Hisame and, therefore, lost his chance at marrying Princess Rinzu, he turned his back on the Soukai nation and assassinated Lord Shion, their top strategist. After defecting to the Tenrou nation, Waniba handed Shiranui castle over to the Tenrou nation. One by one, the castles around the nation either easily fell or instantly surrendered.
The last stop was Nagisa castle. If it falls, so would the Soukai nation. A massive-scale battle breaks out and while I won’t go into the details to avoid spoilers, the battle takes up nearly the entirety of the volume. There is glorious bloodshed and plenty of deaths. I’m sure if anyone has read the prequel series, Akame ga Kill, you know what to expect in terms of battle length and character attachment.
One interesting twist was that the elder shows up with a medicine for Akame, stating that it can temporarily suppress her curse! Akame receives the medicine right after a massive pivotal moment in the battle. It seems next time, the winds of battle are about to change!
The biggest development in this volume came with Waniba turning against the Soukai nation. He became blinded by a promising future that was never guaranteed. If he succeeded in helping King Zuou capture the Soukai nation, he would be made commander of the Tenrou’s navy. All of this spawned from the loss he suffered to Hisame to win Princess Rinzu’s hand in marriage. His jealousy and anger got the better of him and all it took was one promise of a glorious future to cement his decision and his actions.
Hisame got some time to shine in this volume and we saw just how much of a badass he can be on the battlefield. He went up against a platoon commanded by Mizuchi, one of Tenrou’s Ten Stars, and nearly cut all of them down, including Mizuchi himself before Zuou interfered. Hisame is definitely very capable on the battlefield… especially for being so young. Plus, throughout the volume, it’s mentioned that he had gotten stronger all thanks to his love for Princess Rinzu. I guess love can have that effect on some people.
We also got to spend some quality time with Moegi… another member of the Ten Stars who decides to spare all those who surrender based on whether or not if they can satisfy her sexual desires. Most men end up dying from “over-stimulation” but sometimes she will be a bit forgiving if she was pleasured enough. I know it was meant to be taken seriously but all I could think of was the Death by Snu Snu episode of Futurama!
We also got a good glimpse at King Zuou. He is as ruthless as you would imagine him to be. He’s the kind of man where if he wants something, he takes it without question. One of the reasons why he wants the Soukai nation to fall is because he wanted Princess Rinzu to be his 5th bride. He also believes that because of her singing, he can use that to boost the morale of all of his troops which would render his army unstoppable. He’s more than just a ruthless killer, though. He has tremendous battle sense and is a bit of a strategist himself. He is like Shion and all of Soukai’s top commanders all rolled into one, making him a very powerful foe.
Until he’s cut down by Akame in one slice. I mean, that hasn’t happened but… let’s be real. That’s kind of been the history of this series and Akame ga Kill. You know it’s coming.
The action in this volume was long-lasting and very engaging. While the battles were short, Takahiro was able to tell a fantastic story throughout the entirety of it. The best part is that the battle isn’t over yet and we’re looking to reach the climax (calm down Moegi… not that kind of climax) next volume. Seeing how both nations react to the battle has been interesting. With the majority of the Ten Stars on the battlefield alongside the King, it really gives the impression that the enemy is truly unstoppable. Of course, Akame is our main character and she just received a nice piece of plot armor from the elder so I would assume this is going to end up swinging back in favor of the Soukai nation pretty soon.
Yes, some characters have perished in this book but I will let you all discover which ones did. Still nice to see that Takahiro carried over the tradition of “don’t get attached to any character on either side of the fence” in this series as anyone and everyone can die at any moment’s notice.
The only downside to this kind of storytelling is that you, as a reader, become numb to death. When you expect it out of a series, it takes away the shock of seeing it happen. When someone on the bad side dies, you cheer but when someone you like on the good side dies, instead of crying or feeling depressed about it, you’re left with a reaction akin to “Welp…” or “Figures it would be him/her…” There is little shock or surprise to it.
If I had a complaint about this series and the prequel, it’s that. Treating death as a non-impactful plot point. Funny enough, though… as much as I have a gripe with it, it doesn’t stop this from being a fantastic read. Does that mean it’s not all that bad, to begin with?
My other complaint: I’ll never see a grown man pork a manta ray ever again.
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press.