Black Cat Volume 6: The Price Of Happiness

Black Cat Volume 6: The Price Of Happiness
Story and Art: Kentaro Yabuki
Release Date: 29th December 2001
Covers Chapters 48-57
Shonen Jump/Viz Media

It has been a long time since I delved into the world of Black Cat. A tale of assassin agencies and bounty hunters, I remember it being a rather entertaining read, before stopping at volume 5. The reason I stopped was because sometimes that happens. You might buy a comic magazine every week, but then suddenly stop. It just happens. Some recent gifts from possible shelf inspection have brought forward some new volumes though and I go back to following Train, Sven and Eve on their bounty hunting adventures.

Volume 6 covers one main story plot point, the decision on whether main character Train, The Black Cat, and his buddy Sven should allow the human weapon Eve to carry on tagging along. She may be able to form weapons from her body, but she is just a little girl thrown into the world of crime fighting. After an incident involving a gun man called Durham injuring her to lure Train out for a gunfight, the doubts arise and Sven decides she should stay behind.

This brings about a mission in which Sven can only think about what he’s done. The story is rather standard comic book fare, but the clean art and pacing make it an enjoyable romp. After reading much more manga since last jumping into Black Cat, it comes up a little short on offering anything original or stand out, but there are far worse manga to read.

The manga also has a number of plot lines bubbling nicely in a corner, outside of the gangs little missions. The evil organisation name is the Apostles of the Stars, and they aim to rule by destroying a number of corporations. Each character has a unique appearance and abilities, and the gunslinger Durham who faces Train at the start of the volume is one of them. Unfortunately for him, he is treated as a plot point, a warm up and trigger to the events which unfold. It is hard to say how much of a threat they will pose down the line, but their appearance early help build up hype. The leader Creed is certainly a bit harsh on failures.

While it remains rather cliché and simple in the art, Black Cat remains an entertaining read. Keeping it simple means it doesn’t really fail in aspects such as poor pacing and scruffy design, though hopefully the cat will bear its fangs down the line.


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