Katekyo Hitman Reborn or more popularly known only as “Reborn” is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by none other than Akira Amano, the same man who is responsible for the exquisite character designs of Psycho Pass.
It first made its debut back in April 2004 and was later serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump. On November 2012, Katekyo Hitman Reborn manga ended with 42 tankobon volumes together with the help of Viz Media, one of the renowned English publishers in the country.
It wasn’t long after its debut that Reborn hit the television industry with its anime adaptation under the direction of Kenichi Imaizumi.
Together with Artland Studios and Viz Media, Katekyo Hitman Reborn made its grand debut on October 2006 on several TV networks including TV Tokyo and Animax to name a few. The anime series ended last September 2010 with 203 action-packed episodes.
The story revolves around a young boy; Sawada Tsunayoshi, a hapless youth who remains unpopular, has no friends, and is desperately in love with a girl in his class.
Tsuna is failing in his class and suffers from low esteem issues. Tsuna’s rather insufferable life takes a turn for the worse when his mom decides to hire a tutor to help Tsuna with school.
Much to the surprise to both of them, the tutor turns out to be a baby named “Reborn”, an infamous hitman in the underworld and claims to be a member of the Mafia.
Turns out, Tsuna is actually the great-great-great-great grandson of the first Vongola boss, an Italian mafia boss who came to Japan back in the day. The current head of the Vongola Family, Timoteo a.k.a “Vongola IX” sends in Reborn to train Tsuna into becoming the next Vongola boss, Vongola X.
Thus begins the unnerving training both physically, mentally and emotionally into becoming somewhat deserving of the position as the next Vongola head.
Reborn uses the infamous “Deathperate Bullet” also known as the Dying Will Bullet, which can make a person hit with it to be reborn into someone with a much stronger intent on fulfilling his dying will, hence the name.
So when hit with the Deathperate Bullet, even the underachieving and clumsy no-good Tsuna unconsciously becomes physically stronger, more confident and more willing to complete the last regret they had, all qualities befitting of a mafia boss.
Sawada Tsunayoshi is the 14-year old who later finds out that he is the one single heir to the prestigious Vongola Family, an infamous mafia group which originated in Italy. Due to his rather severely low self-esteem and lack of talent in any activity, he has been known as “No-Good Tsuna”. As the succeeding mob boss to a big mafia family, such traits isn’t tolerated hence his training with an infant hitman named Reborn begins. For the most part, Tsuna rejects his position and tries his best not to do anything that has to do with the mafia. He is the bearer of the Sky Ring.
Reborn is the Arcobaleno of the Vongola Family who was sent by the previous Vongola boss, Vongola IX, to train Tsuna into becoming a fine mafia boss. No matter how strongly he feels about a situation, Reborn always keeps a straight face and handles all and every situation as calmly as possible. Since he isn’t really an official member of the Vongola Family, he isn’t allowed to interfere in battles although he is allowed to defend himself should he be targeted at. Despite his rather cute form as a baby, he is as deadly as hell when it comes to a fight since he was actually a very famous hitman back in the day. Reborn is the bearer of the Yellow Pacifier of the Sun.
Katekyo Hitman Reborn has been highly popular in Japan even ranking as the tenth best seller of the Weekly Shonen Jump back in 2007.
As of 2008, a grand total of 15 million copies have been sold worldwide. A light novel series has been written by Hideaki Koyasu and illustrated by Akira Amano entitled as “Katekyo Hitman Reborn: Hidden Bullet” which started publishing last March 2007.
The light novel still continues today with 5 volumes published so far by Shueisha.
A number of similar titles to Katekyo Hitman Reborn comes to mind including Jormungand, Gungrave, Black Lagoon, and the sensationally epic Baccano would fit the category when it comes to the mafia concept of a show. You can also try Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan which might be quite similar to Katekyo Hitman reborn since both main characters try their best to reject their position as the next mafia boss to their family.
Other similar anime to Katekyo Hitman Reborn would be Jormungand