Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 398 – Abandon All Hope
Jager isn’t screwing around, that’s for sure. It’s an understatement to say the good guys are driven into a corner right now, and at this point, I’m not even sure what Tsuna can do. It looks like he’s half-blind for the time being, which is only an added handicap in the face-off against the Vindice. This obviously isn’t a good thing since with Xanxus and Squalo seemingly down for the count, Team Good Guys need some serious divine intervention to get the ball rolling in their court again.
I’m not going to beat a dead horse by reiterating how disconcertingly weak the protagonists are turning out to be, as there still may be some sort of twist involved, most notably with Mukuro and his advanced illusions using Verde’s machine. I don’t quite buy Jager attacked and defeated the real deals just yet, even though there seems to be some evidence to suggest otherwise. It seems highly unlikely for Xanxus and Squalo to be defeated so easily even before the battle really starts – if Amano Akira wanted to emphasize how strong Jager was, he would be standing above the corpses of all the team members, hammering in the zetsubou through and through. But Mukuro is still standing, and his new skill is based around making illusions that are as realistic as possible: what is to say this isn’t an illusion? The fact Dino and Byakuran still remain as virtual non-entities in the battle is an indication things haven’t started in earnest (unless they’re so weak that the audience is just supposed to presume their imminent defeat. Please no). There’s also the fact the scenes of Xanxus and Squalo getting wounded were fairly explicit. I can’t recall the earlier arcs, but recently, Amano has gotten into the habit of “faking” the readers out; the more graphic a scene is, the more likely it is to be some kind of “trick”. As it stands now, there are too many variables to consider this a concrete development.
The timing of the battle is up in the air too, as while the battles against the lesser Vindice members can be assumed to have taken place over the course of 90 minutes, it’s not entirely clear where this round against Jager fits in the timeframe. I highly doubt only the last three minutes were allotted to such an important battle, and understanding when this battle is taking place plays an important part in guessing how big of a role Tsuna will have – this chapter has made it clear he won’t be taking part in the fight against the Jager until the very last minute. Assuming Dream Team began fighting before the last quarter, there’s obviously more to go since they have to hold out until Tsuna swoops in to save the day. If this fight started just as the Hyper Trio was helping Yamamoto and Gokudera, I’m going to have to question the logic of that development – what were they doing for the better part of 90 minutes? Talking? Having tea? I can’t imagine Dino playing exposition fairy lasted more than ten minutes, tops.
In any case, it looks like most of the answers won’t come until next week.
Note: Sorry for the delay! My posts for the next two weeks (at the very least) are also going to be a bit late due to moving – sorry about that!