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House of Five Leaves Episode 4

May 9, 2010

Episode four of House of Five Leaves sees this series continue in the same sedate pace that has permeated the show thus far, beginning with a glimpse of how Matsu and Yaichi first met – A scenario which certainly explains the former’s role when it comes to keeping an eye on potential and recently visited targets for the group.Aside from that, this episode sees Masa still feeling more than a little guilty about his role in the kidnapping of young Yutaro, although once again any guilt doesn’t seem to be deep enough to make him argue too earnestly when it comes to getting paid, either the boy’s family or by Yaichi. The cash looks set to be rolling in for our naive samurai however, as Yaichi secures him a new job as promised working as a bodyguard at the brothel at which Yaichi resides, making for a rather awkward time of things for the socially inept Masa as he finds himself surrounded by flirtatious women.

It seems however that Masa only has eyes for one thing at present, and that’s finding out more about Yaichi – Something which he tries to do with no real success, although he does at least appear sharp enough to have pinned down that Yaichi carries out the work that he does for reasons other than money alone; a theory which has Yaichi cursing Masa’s ability to notice this despite his rather dim exterior.

The longer this series goes on, the more difficult it’s becoming to read what House of Five Leaves’ modus operandi is – Yaichi is obviously a big part of the centrepiece of the series, but as we still know nothing about him that isn’t much help, while the rest of the characters are at least slowly unravelling but without any real progression in terms of any kind of wider plot. I can only assume that this series is setting itself up to be almost entirely character-driven, but if this is the case it’s going to need to start throwing us some juicier morsels sooner rather than later – While it’s still oddly engaging watching Masa clumsily going about his business, this can only take the show so far before we need something a little meatier to hold our interest. Somehow though, I still have a strange intuition that it’s going to do just that when the time is right.

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