Fence Vol. 4: Rivals


Brianne Leber

My four volumes of Fence

Brianne Leber, Chief Editor

It’s finally happened! I’ve gotten my grubby little hands on “Fence Volume Four Rivals” by C.S. Pacat and Johanna The Mad. This graphic novel/comic is one of my all time favorites. The illustration, story line, diversity, and lovable main characters just set my whole heart of fire and the newest volume is no different.

“Fence” follows the story of Nicholas Cox, the illegitimate son of a retired fencing star. He is scrappy, untrained, but full of raw talent and speed. He is given a sports scholarship riding on his placement into the Kings Row fencing team. In order for him to secure his place, he needs to fence every fencer at King Row, including his rival Seiji Katayama.

The fourth installment takes place during the first team fencing practice competition in the series. We meet a whole new team on fencers and get a better look at our main characters’ fencing flaws. This might have been my favorite volume so far!

The series over all has always been a win. Every character is so lovable and you genuinely root for every member to win their bouts, even against your favorite character, cough cough Aidan. There is also a surprising amount of character interpersonal conflict outside of fencing.

Kyle Kane laughing after reading Fence (Brianne Leber)

When talking to my younger sister, Autumn Leber, about the comic, she said, “I love the book but I also hate it because it’s so suspenseful. I was like (she proceeded to make random suspense noises), you know?”

She told me that her favorite part of the comic by far is when “Nicholas and Seiji are bickering. It gives the book flavor.”

I also made my childhood friend, Kyle Kane, read “Fence Volume One” and he had a similar view. He thinks that “Seiji is the most enjoyable character.”

I also asked him about the art style and he responded, “It reminded me of anime. I am pretty neutral to the style. I wouldn’t say I loved it but it wasn’t bad.”

Overall I highly recommend this series! It is every thing you might want from a sports story, from the slow burn romance to the “and they were roommates” troupe. There is something for everyone.