Gate 7 Volume 4 Manga Review

ゲート セブン Volume 04
Gate 7 Volume 4

–> PURCHASE FROM YES ASIA! (Japanese Tankoubon)


Gate 7 Volume 4 (CLAMP Hiatus)Highlights from this volume start with Hana defeating a tiger spirit entity, which then wants to come with them, becoming small by touching Chikahito. Iemitsu peeks in on the developments with the Urashichiken thanks to bound Sugi-hime, twin of Tachibana. Sanada gets a visit Mitsunari and Sakon, who announce their intention to join the Tokugawa faction. Spirit entities start showing up at the Urashichiken. Hana helps Sanada at the daycare while at Chikahito’s school, a girl named Aoi transfers in, whom Iemitsu identifies as his sister. When Chikahito finds himself in an envelopment, Hana, Sasuke, and Saizou race to his aide, as Chikahito is attacked by a dragon.

For this fourth volume of the Gate 7 series, things are becoming more interesting in terms of the story, so naturally, the series gets put on indefinite hiatus. But don’t worry, CLAMP makes sure to advertise their other series, Drug & Drop, which was formed from the Legal Drug manga, which itself went on hiatus for several years. However, I’ve already ranted about the hiatus stuff, so I’ll move on.

CLAMP take a page from their xxxHOLiC series after Hana defeats the tiger spirit thing by having it shrink down thanks to touching Chikahito. It gets big when it has to for fights.  It works, but it is a little “been there, done that.”

Iemitsu was already established as an evil character, but seeing his treatment of Sugi-hime just added to that evil side. The juufu cursed robes that bind her had blood splatters on them, which adds to the sinister nature. It makes me wonder if this is the result of Mitsuha consuming humans.

Aoi’s arrival in this (and she too is another historical figure) adds another interesting element. She looks pure, sweet, and innocent, but she’s just as evil as Iemitsu. It would have been interesting seeing her in this.

Hana continues to be wicked-bad by kicking arse whenever required. It is frustrating that CLAMP refuses to assign a gender to Hana.  Having Hana face a dragon to protect Chikahito and it be seemingly unfazed by Hana’s attack was an interesting turn. Too bad we won’t be seeing more of this for the foreseeable future.

I’d kinda like to discuss more about the story, but the fact that Gate 7 is on hiatus, I find that there’s not a lot of point. After all, it may be years, if ever, before the series resumes.  Yes, the series is very dense and tough to get into initially, more so for Western readers unfamiliar with Japanese history and lore. However, CLAMP appeared to be getting into the swing of things with this fourth volume being much more interesting and engaging for me.

On the Dark Horse side of things, William Flanagan does his usual good job at not assigning a gender pronoun to Hana. The Japanese honorifics are retained, which is always a good thing. There are seven pages of translator notes, which is totally awesome.  It is jarring to shift from a pure left side to right side reading, as each page is divided into two columns. Fortunately, on two page spreads, Dark Horse doesn’t go completely off key and try to shift the reading to a left page-right page thing. There are a few pages of fan art, and then some artwork from CLAMP that is clearly designed to be in color, but sadly is only grayscale here.

This was a really good volume for me, but since Gate 7 is not on hiatus, it all feels like a complete waste of my time and money. But never fear, CLAMP recently announced they are bringing Tsubasa back to life. *_*

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