Unfortunately (or fortunately?), Tsuna’s Ultimate Dying Will Mode didn’t go back to the boxer trend present in the beginning of the series. There were still plenty to be excited about though, as he seems to be putting the pressure on Bermuda already – almost too easily so. But realism was never a shounen strong suit, and if it means seeing someone, anyone, finally wound the ex-Arcobaleno, I’ll take the Super Saiyan power-ups if it means the plot will finally start moving.
I may seem pretty harsh on Reborn’s insistent spotlight on Tsuna and his requisite power-ups, but I find KHR!’s shounen tropes a lot easier to stomach than some of its brethren in the Jump! magazine. Perhaps it’s because it hasn’t been running as long, but plot proceeds fairly quickly with this series and the battles are never that long, and when need be, each character does get their time to shine both strength and personality-wise. Things certainly don’t feel as ADD with Amano Akira’s tendency to focus on one battle at a time and she gives the series a very clear goal: to make Sawada Tsunayoshi a worthy Vongola Decimo. The entire manga is built around that theme, so by having understood that, the clichéd events start to serve a specific purpose and become less annoying.
Bermuda sure didn’t last long, but we all knew that was inevitable. The biggest wtf-ery has to be the revelation of Uncle Kawahira as Checkerface of course, and this not only seemingly ties all the mysteries together, but probably really cements this as the final arc of Katekyo Hitman Reborn!. It’s always difficult to tell how much of the plot mangaka have planned out beforehand, and it’s especially been true for this series because of the tonal cacophany between the Daily Life Arc and the arcs that follow it (not to mention that drastic change in art style).
Uncle Kawahira has been the one great mystery of KHR!, and although I’m not sure if his inclusion in the arc was something Amano intended from the very beginning, it certainly does make for a rather interesting twist. An explanation on the Hell Rings might be nice too – Muroko, Fran, and even Genkishi from way back when have been confirmed to use them, but we still don’t have a clue as to what they are or how those characters even got into possession of them.
Another question to ask is just what Kawahira/Checkerface is; if he’s been around since Bermuda became an Arcobaleno, and taking into account the Vindice have been around for quite a while as well (during Primo’s time for sure), it becomes rather obvious that he’s not a normal human being.
In any case, intended or not, this is a rather nice twist to converge all the unanswered storylines together. Hopefully it’ll lead to a fitting conclusion for the series as a whole.
Note: Sorry for the delay – I’ve been sick for the better part of last week.