Reborn!, known in Japan as Katekyō Hitman Reborn! (家庭教師ヒットマンREBORN! Kateikyōshi Hittoman Ribōn!?, "Katekyō" being a portmanteau of Katei Kyōshi and translated as Home Tutor), is an ongoing Japanese manga written and illustrated by Akira Amano. The plot revolves around the life of a young boy named Tsunayoshi Sawada, who finds out that he is the next in line to become the boss of the most powerful Mafia organization, the Vongola Family. As such, the Vongola's most powerful hitman, a gun-toting infant named Reborn, is sent to tutor "Tsuna" on how to become a respectable boss.
The individual manga chapters are serialized in Japan in Weekly Shōnen Jump. The individual chapters are collected and published in tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, with twenty-seven volumes released as of October 2, 2009. Viz Media licensed the series for an English language release in North America, shortening the series name to Reborn!. An anime adaptation of the series premiered in Japan on October 7, 2006 and it is still ongoing. It is developed by Artland and is airing on the television network TV Tokyo. Various video games based on the series have been developed, with several of them being for the Nintendo DS. Additionally, Hideaki Koyasu has authored two Reborn! light novels.
Reborn! has become one of the best-selling Weekly Shōnen Jump manga with several of its volumes becoming top-sellers in Japan. Reviewers from the series praised its use of comedy as well as the designs used for the infants characters. They also mentioned that though it has become more violent since volume 8, it has turned into a better shōnen series, praising the storylines and the fights.
The Reborn! story revolves around a boy named Tsunayoshi "Tsuna" Sawada, who is chosen to become the Vongola Family's boss due to him being the great-great-great-great grandson of the first Vongola boss, who had moved to Japan from Italy during his time. He is told by Reborn that he will become the tenth (Italian decimo) Vongola boss. Also, the other candidates for the position of the head of the Vongola Family have died. For these reasons, Tsuna is the only remaining heir. As such, Timoteo a.k.a. "Vongola IX", the current head of the family, sends Reborn, an infant hitman from Italy, to train Tsuna. Tsuna then unwillingly undergoes training from Reborn. Reborn's main method of teaching Tsuna is the "Dying Will Bullet", which will make the person be "reborn" with a stronger self intent on fulfilling his dying will. Through his experiences, Tsuna unconsciously becomes stronger and more confident, which ultimately makes him better suited as the Vongola Family's boss despite continuing to reject his Mafia inheritance. He also starts making several friendships such as his crush Kyoko Sasagawa.
Tsuna goes through many predicaments in his progress of becoming the Vongola boss including fighting against escaped Mafia convicts posing as Kokuyo Junior High students. Later, The Varia, Vongola assassin squad, claim the right for their boss, Xanxus to be the true Vongola boss, and start a competition to decide it. To defeat the Varia, Reborn recruits most of Tsuna's schoolmates to become the Vongola guardians: Hayato Gokudera, a dynamite expert who wishes to be his right-hand man, Takeshi Yamamoto, a baseball player who thinks the Mafia is a game, Ryohei Sasagawa, the energetic captain of the school boxing club, and Kyoya Hibari, the deadly head prefect. Lambo, a weak infant assassin who came to kill Reborn, and Chrome Dokuro, a girl who has a mental and physical link with the criminal Mukuro Rokudo, joins them as well. Later, after defeating the Varia, Tsuna and his friends are transported to the future where they must face the Millefiore Family, who are annihilating the Vongola. As Tsuna and the Vongola Guardians from his time fight the Millefiore they learn that Shoichi Irie, a comrade of Tsuna's future self, was the one who sent them to the future as the future Tsuna said they were the only ones who can defeat the Millefiore leader Byakuran. It is later revealed that Byakuran has gained knowledge from parallel worlds and that he wants to obtain all the Mafia rings in order to obtain a power similar to omniscience.
The Early versions of the series were published in seinen manga magazines, Reborn! first appeared in Weekly Shōnen Jump as a one-shot chapter in late 2003. The success of this chapter led Weekly Shōnen Jump to begin serializing Reborn! in mid-2004. The author Akira Amano has referred to the series and its characters as weird and mentioned that they changed the style of the manga in volume eight, but it would keep showing its weird style. When the serialization became 2 years long, Amano was satisfied with the length of the series and commented she wanted to continue writing the manga.
Written and drawn by Akira Amano, the Reborn! manga has been serialized in Japan's Weekly Shōnen Jump Volume 26 since May 31, 2004 and it is still ongoing. The individual chapters are also published in collected volumes by Shueisha, with the first volume having been released on October 4, 2004, and as of April 30, 2010, twenty-nine volumes have been released. The series has been licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media. Viz serializes the chapters in their monthly manga anthology Shōnen Jump Advanced and has also released them in volumes. The first volume was released on October 3, 2006 and as of July 6, 2010, sixteen volumes have been released. Reborn! is also licensed in German by Tokyopop, and in French by Glénat.
An official character book titled Katekyō Hitman Reborn! Official Character Book Vongola 77 was released on October 4, 2007 in Japan. It is based on the manga and covers the 77 incidents that happened since Reborn arrived at the Sawada household. The book also reveals profiles of major characters including birthdays and favorites. Short side stories not shown in the manga are also included, along with free color posters drawn by Amano. On April 2, 2010, it was released the series' first artbook titled Reborn Colore!
The series has been adapted into an anime series, and is produced by Artland and directed by Kenichi Imaizumi. It first aired on October 7, 2006 on the Japanese network TV Tokyo. Though the anime series has not been licensed for distribution outside of Japan, Funimation, on behalf of Japan's d-rights production company, exercised a power of attorney to remove fansubbed episodes of the Reborn! anime from the internet. Thus, to prevent copyright infringement, cease and desist notices were sent to fansub groups who were subtitling the series. On March 21, 2009, the anime-streaming website Crunchyroll.com began streaming subtitled episodes of the Japanese series in North America. New episodes are available within an hour after its airing in Japan.
As of May 29, 2009, a total of twenty-seven DVD volumes have been released in Japan by Marvelous Entertainment. The DVDs have secondary volume titles: the first eight volumes are "Bullets" which contains the first thirty-three episodes; the next eight are "Battles", and contains episodes 34 to 65; volumes seventeen and eighteen are "Daily Chapters", containing episodes 66 to 73; the next seven are the "Burn" volumes and contains episodes 74 to 101; and starting from volume 26, they are referred to as the "X.Burn" volumes. A DVD box containing the Bullet episodes was published in Japan on June 17, 2009.
All of the Reborn! music was composed by Toshihiko Sahashi. Each theme music has been released into a single or album by their corresponding performers. Three Reborn! OSTs (Original Soundtracks) have been released; the first soundtrack, Katekyō Hitman Reborn! Target 1 OST, was released in Japan on December 20, 2006; the second, Katekyō Hitman Reborn! Target 2 OST, was released in Japan on April 18, 2007. The third soundtrack was released on August 20, 2008. It includes two CDs that include songs used from episode 78 onwards in the anime. Most of the Japanese voice actors of the series have performed a song; all of them were gathered in a CD called Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Character Soshutsuen Album Bongorefamiry Sotojo - Shinukidekatare! Soshiteutae!, which contains ten tracks. Pony Canyon also released two volumes of Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Opening & Ending Themes, which contain the opening and ending themes from the series. Additionally, there have been various CDs that include songs performed by various characters such the Varia or Hayato Gokudera along with Takeshi Yamamoto.
Besides characters from the series making special appearances in Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars for the Nintendo DS (more prominently Tsuna, who can be chosen to fight aided by Reborn), there are six video games based solely on the series. The first one released was Katekyo Hitman Reborn! DS – Shinuki Max! Vongola Carnival!! on June 28, 2008 for the Nintendo DS. and three fighting games titled Katekyo Hitman Reborn Flame Rumble were subsequently released on the Nintendo DS With the latest game in the Flame Rumble series being released in July 2009. Katekyo Hitman Reborn DS: Fate of Heat, an adventure fighting game, was released for the Nintendo DS.
A PlayStation 2 game titled Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Dream Hyper Battle! was released on August 30, 2007, and the same game was released on the Wii on January 10, 2008. In contrast to the PlayStation 2 version, the one from Wii added characters from the fight between the Vongola and the Varia. Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Kindan no Yami no Delta for the Wii and PS2 was also released in Japan on November 20, 2008. Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Nerae was released for the PlayStation 2 on August 28, 2008, but unlike the other games it was from the adventure genre. Another Nintendo DS game entitled Hitman Reborn! DS : Mafia Daishūgō Vongola Festival! was released on December 4, 2008. On July 23, 2009, Katekyo Hitman Reborn! DS Flame Rumble X will be released for the DS. Also there were two releases for the PlayStation Portable, the names of the titles are: Katekyo Hitman Reborn!: Battle Arena and the newly released, Katekyo Hitman Reborn!: Battle Arena 2 - Spirit Burst. Both titles are side-scrolling arcade style fighting games that take place before and during the 10 Year arc. and Katekyo Hitman Reborn Kizuna no Tag Battle released in Playstation Portable and PS3, WII
Starting from September 10, 2007, after the recording of the episode for the following week, there is a radio show called ReboRaji! Bucchake Ring Tournament (リボラジ!〜ぶっちゃけリング争奪戦〜 riboraji! ~bucchake ringu sōdatsusen~?). The hosts for the radio are Hidekazu Ichinose (the voice for Hayato Gokudera), Suguru Inoue (the voice for Takeshi Yamamoto), and Rika Ishibashi (as the assistant). The show has brought in guests starting from the tenth episode. It has also hosted live audiences for the show during the Christmas break in '07, and also a couple of episodes near the end in Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo. The last episode of ~Bucchake Ring Tournament~ was aired on June 30, 2008. However, they restarted the radio show on July 21, 2008.
The current radio show name is ReboRaji! Bucchake Namimori Dong Dong (リボラジ!ぶっちゃけ 並盛Dong☆Dong riboraji! bucchake namimori Ding☆Dong?). The hosts are Hidekazu Ichinose, Suguru Inoue, and Toshinobu Iida (the voice for Mukuro Rokudo).
So far, three Reborn! light novels have been released by Shueisha. Written by Hideaki Koyasu and illustrated by Akira Amano, the novels were originally serialized in Jump Square. The first one, Hidden Bullet 1: Mukuro's Illusions (隠し弾1 骸·幻想 Kakushi dan 1 Mukuro·Gensō?), shows how the character Mukuro Rokudo took over Kokuyo High, and it was released on March 12, 2007. The second one, Hidden Bullet 2: X-Fiamma (隠し弾2 X-炎 Kakushi dan 2 X-en?), which recaps the mystery of Xanxus, was released on February 4, 2008. A third light novel, Hidden Bullet 3: Millefiore Panic (隠し弾3 ミルフィオーレ・パニック Kakushi dan 3 Mirufiōre・panikku?) was published on July 3, 2009. It is focused on the Millefiore Family as well as various members of the Vongola Family.
The Reborn manga has been highly popular in Japan, with the series having ranked as the tenth best seller of the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine as of 2007, a total of 7 million copies sold. During 2008, it increased to 15 million copies. During its second release week, the twentieth volume of the manga ranked as the third best seller comic in Japan. In 2008, the manga sold 3.3 million copies in Japan, becoming 4th best seller series from the country in 2008. In the first half of 2009, Reborn! ranked as the seventh best-selling manga in Japan, having sold over 2 million volumes. Volume 23 ranked fifteenth with 598,192 copies, and it was followed by volume 24 at the twentieth spot, which sold 554,920 copies. Additionally, the second light novel from the series became the third best selling light novel in Japan during 2008, having sold 106,229 copies. The DVDs from the anime have also been popular in Japan, sometimes appearing in the Japanese Animation DVD Ranking. The DVD box from the first season sold all its weekly copies during the week of its release.
Various publications from different types of media have commented on Reborn!. Carlos Santos from Anime News Network noted the first volume from the manga to have several episodic chapters in which the plot does not go to the important parts of the series and that the art was "downright messy and crowded", but noted the "volatile chemistry" between Tsuna and Reborn to be very likely. Popcultureshock.com noted the series to be aimed for girls due to the large number of male characters appearing in the chapters and mentioned the series has a good combination of artwork and humor, making jokes repeated gags very funny. A. E. Sparrow from IGN praised the artwork from the manga due to the "cartoonish characters exist alongside chiseled, well-sculpted figures" and liked how it jokes with the "Mafia concept" since most of it is comedy. In another review, Sparrow noted the series "is quickly becoming a great shōnen read in no small part due to this current storyline" and noted the manga evolved since the character start to grow up and the fights became more violent. Comicbookbin.com mentions that though they liked that the fights were well made and the comedy was still in the series, volume 8 of the manga becomes too violent and that its common reader may find it strange. The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper has noted Reborn! to have one of the highest number of cosplayers in Japan.
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- Shueisha's Official Reborn! Site (Japanese)
- TV Tokyo's Official Reborn! Site (Japanese)
- Official Reborn! net radio Site (Japanese)
- Reborn! (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Katekyo Hitman Reborn! (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Reborn! Episodes at Crunchyroll
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