Manga Review: Tears of a Lamb Volume Four

Tears of a Lamb Volume 4 is a manga with the story and art by Banri Hidaka. CMX holds the North American rights to distribute the manga in the United States. The fourth volume of the series was published in the United States in 2009. The English adaptation, which is presented as an “unflipped” release, was adapted and translated by Sheldon Drzka. Tears of a Lamb is rated “T” for teens.

Tears of a Lamb Volume 4
Written by: Banri Hidaka
Publisher: Hakusensha
English Publisher: CMX
Release Date: November 18, 2008

In this volume, we get to know a new character introduced at the end of Volume 3; it turns out he is Kei’s cousin, Shinogu. During one of Kei’s conversations with Kanzaki, we learn a little more about what happened after the accident that involved Suwa and Kei. Kei also throws a surprise birthday party for Kanzaki. Next is the school athletic meet, where, unbeknownst to Kei, Suwa is visiting Saito and watching the events. This is followed by Kanzaki discovering that Suwa has dropped by his apartment for an unexpected visit. Kanzaki ends up having to keep that visit a secret from Kei, which starts to add some tension and strain for Kanzaki to deal with.

About halfway through this volume, six months have progressed since the beginning of the series. Hidaka has made some subtle changes in the designs of some of the teenage characters to reflect this passage of time. Outside of that, though, this volume has the look a reader has come to expect from this series. I also noticed that Hidaka also seems to be relying on some of the manga tropes that she had really backed off on in Volume 3. However, how Hidaka utilizes these tropes really helps to emphasize what’s going on. One of my favorites is how Hidaka uses a lightning background, combined with the expressions on the faces of Shinogu and Rion, to depict how much they dislike each other when they first encounter each other at the beginning of this volume.

What I’ve really been appreciating about Hidaka’s writing style is that she reveals just enough new information in each volume of the series to keep the reader satisfied, yet leaves enough details unanswered to make the reader want to read more to find out what other information will be revealed in the next volume. In a lot of ways, it’s like peeling away the layers of an onion; just as you peel away one layer, you discover there’s a new layer waiting to be peeled back. When I reached the end of this volume, I really wanted to be able to read Volume 5 to find out what information, twists, and turns will be revealed. If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous three volumes of Tears of a Lamb, then I think you will enjoy this volume as well.

I wrote this review after my older daughter checked out a copy of this manga volume through the King County Library System.

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