Black Cat Volume 9: Showdown At The Old Castle

bc9Black Cat Volume 9: Showdown At The Old Castle 
Story and Art: Kentaro Yabuki
Release Date: 7th August 2002
Covers Chapters 76-84
Shonen Jump Advanced /Viz Media

When it comes to showdowns, you got to have it somewhere with that foreboding sense of atmosphere. Ghost towns, wastelands, old castles… you just got to do it. So here we have an old castle. Who’s old castle? Who cares, it’s just there for the showdown! 

bc9Black Cat volume 9 is a stream of chaos, the Chronos versus Creed’s group who have been meddling with nanotech is under way within the old castle. A non descript old castle just for the atmosphere. The battles which take place let the side characters have some time to shine, with lesser known Chronos members duking it out against werewolves and mutated swords. It’s an entertaining blast of action, though none of it feels particularly original.

It seems to be riffing heavily on series such as Cowboy Bebop and Hunter X Hunter, but without the style and tactics seen in those respective series.Creed’s group looks like a cheap knock off of the Phantom Troupe and Train’s story rubs closely against Spike’s. This is a bunch of established concepts thrown together, and while it works, it doesn’t provide any lasting memories once the volume comes to a close. It just scratches that comic itch with its explosive battles and gag wind downs.

Despite being a rather ‘me too’ manga, Black Cat still has enough character to keep it from being completely redundant. It’s the likeable guy at the pub with his influences on his shirt for all to see.

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