HomeComics/MangaMANGA REVIEW | "Mission: Yozakura Family" - Volume Nine

MANGA REVIEW | "Mission: Yozakura Family" - Volume Nine

MANGA REVIEW | "Mission: Yozakura Family" - Volume Nine

It’s mission time. The Yozakura Family have infiltrated Tanpopo on Skeleton Island. Stopping Kawashita’s Seed-Sowing Project is their top priority, but the spies have their hands full with the Nijibana Rainbow Flowers. As Volume Nine of Mission: Yozakura Family commences, the likes of Taiyo, Kyoichiro, Shinzo, and Kengo see what sort of madness that Kawashita is capable of.

Shinzo takes center stage in the first third, with his fight against Kurosawa. A former death row inmate, his lack of compassion for murder made him the perfect subject for Kawashita’s experimentations. Since then, Kurosawa has become a humanized weapon, using a special material that turns his whole body into the sharpest material imaginable. Just how does Shinzo handle this? Simple: keep on stabbing and slicing away until Kurosawa’s cell source is damaged.

Okay, it’s not simple in the slightest. In fact, this fight takes a lot out of Shinzo. There’s a lot of guessing as to where the source of Kurosawa’s powers is, with plenty of trial-and-error attacks to be had. However, Shinto’s determination is what keeps him in the fight, especially with his mentality when it comes to weapons. After all, a good weapon is meant for protection; a bad weapon — much like Kurosawa himself — is meant to cause anguish.

This seems to be the overall mentality of Mission: Yozakura Family as a whole. Yes, these spies are a violent bunch, but it’s all meant to protect Mutsumi. Even Taiyo, who was dragged into this whole thing, realizes this, making his need to keep on moving forward even more understandable. Basically, this is where we see this family as who they really are: human. They’re not cold-blooded killers; they’re protecting what’s most important to them: each other.

Kengo’s battle with Aonuma is a fascinating one. Using his skills, he’s able to bring about old memories of the Tanpopo member. They’re moments of weakness in the character’s life, the sort of downtrodden situation that Kawashita loves to take advantage of. From the flashbacks comes a tragic story revolved around Aonuma’s upbringing, as he dealt with abandonment, homelessness, and a freezing winter that left him nearly dead. It’s when Kengo pulls out the one person who actually cared for Aonuma from these memories when the battle meets its end, and the real source of Kawashita’s power is revealed: vulnerability.

Every member Nijibana Rainbow Flowers were victims of circumstance. Cast aside by society and pushed to the brink of death, each person fighting for Kawashita does so because they think they owe him their lives. However, a man who helps others and expects something big in return is by no means a good-natured individual; they’re just looking for puppets to play with until they get bored with them.

Nanao’s fight with Ai and Mizuki sees Kawashita’s wickedness in full swing. The young cat girl just wants to appreciate life for what it offers, but both Kawashita and Mizuki see her potential in the most vile of ways. At first, Mizuki seems monstrous, only for his reasons for wanting to see Ai thrive be more connected to a past trauma of his own. Perhaps he deserves a little sympathy, but even Nanao knows that empathy is out of stock for the likes of Mizuki.

Even with all of this madness happening, Mission: Yozakura Family doesn’t get to the big reveal from the previous volume. Fortunately, there’s a plethora of strong action and storytelling here in its ninth volume. Some members of Tanpopo come off as victims, whereas others are just as monstrous as Kawashita himself. With that being said, these moments do shine an important light on how one’s treatment in the past can lead those ostracized towards a world of darkness. If only there were people like the Yozakura Family early on in their lives. Many of them could’ve easily been their friends.


Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)