Title: Hinowa ga CRUSH! Vol. 8
Author: Takahiro (Story), strelka (Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Publication Date: July 18, 2023
We have arrived at the final volume of Hinowa ga CRUSH. Hinowa decides that in order to execute her plan, they must first curry favor with the king of Tsutsuji, Jinkai. They hold an audience with him and convince him to let them have the abandoned land in the south in exchange for 80% of their profits. Seeing how their goal is his assassination, they agree to his ridiculous proposal.
While under the guise of freak slayers, they trained their army and began to gain the trust of the people in the surrounding villages. Soon, they all saw Hinowa as a kind and gentle ruler, much like a mother. Tobari also ends up testing their general, Gyoudo, but gets bested in only one blow. This allows her to concoct a plan to enact her revenge.
While Jinkai and his forces are out in battle, Hinowa executes her plan. She sends some of her members to deal with Jinkai’s top generals while she leads a rebelling into Tsutsuji Castle, overthrowing it. After the castle is overthrown, Hinowa joins the battle and confronts Jinkai herself. As one would guess, Jinkai dies and Hinowa takes over the Tsutsuji nation. The series wraps up with Hinowa stating that the journey is just beginning and that Zuou of the Tenrou nation swears to conquer Tsutsuji, leaving the series open for possible continuation.
Overall, the series was pretty good. As a sequel to Akame ga Kill, all of the things you would expect are here. Quick, short battles, your favorite characters dying at a moment’s notice right down to the Teigu (Meiho) weapons and danger beasts (freaks). I liked that the same things from the first series were present under different names because it added culture to the world. Just like different nations on Earth refer to the same thing by different names, it gave the world of Hinowa ga CRUSH that little something extra. Calling them the same things would have made them familiar to the readers but it wouldn’t make sense from the standpoint of the characters. Little details like this go a long way!
I thought that Hinowa was a great protagonist. She filled Akame’s role pretty nicely although Akame did have a pretty decent part to play. While I understand that this is a sequel series focused on Hinowa, I kind of wish we got some more of Akame in the final volume outside of the top half of a single page. Her story is still unfinished and that kind of bothers me because I like to have closure at the end of a series.
That also means the ending also disappointed me as well. Of course, I’m not a manga editor working in a giant manga corporation like KADOWKAWA so I don’t get to see the popularity surveys nor take part in the discussions about which series should continue and which should be canceled but it was quite evident that there was a lot more story to tell and things just got cut off before we could get there. In the end, this is a business, and if a series isn’t making money, as a business you cut it loose… even if it is to the chagrin of the fans of the series. It really is a shame as I really enjoyed Hinowa ga CRUSH and wanted to see it get its proper ending.
A lot was left on the table… Zuou was never dealt with, Rinzu never enacted her plan, Hinowa only conquered one nation and never fulfilled her goal of uniting the world, Akame never finished her journey. In lieu of that, we are just left with a broad, open ending that could spawn a third series or it’s just left up to our imaginations to piece together what happened. Given how quickly this series ended, I’m guessing it’ll be up to us to draw our own conclusions.
But who knows? Maybe one day interest will rekindle and we’ll get more Hinowa ga CRUSH. Stranger things have happened in this world.
The bottom line is that if you loved Akame ga Kill, then you’ll love Hinowa ga CRUSH. Rushed ending aside, it continues everything you loved from the first series while placed in a whole new setting with new characters that you can quickly latch onto. For what it was, it was a great series but the ending is going to subtract quite a few points because an ending is always paramount, and, sadly, for reasons unknown or beyond our control, a paramount ending was robbed from us.
Final Score: 3 / 5
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press.