From the back cover:
Train’s mortal enemy Creed summons his followers, the Apostles of the Stars, and sets his grand scheme in motion. Creed plans to launch a global revolution by attacking a summit between world leaders and the executives of Chronos. But if the police and secret service can’t stop Creed, does Train have any hope of taking him down?!
This volume, despite its status as the fifth in the series, is full of exposition for what I can only assume will be a fairly involved story arc. Creed gathers his forces—including a few characters that haven’t been seen previously—and carries out a deadly attack on a world summit, ensuring the whole world sees his group as enemies. Chronos mobilizes its “Numbers,” commanded by a young woman, and wants to hire Train on to help them to go after Creed.
So far, Chronos seems to be forgiving Train’s treachery because he is useful to them, and this is twice now its emissaries have approached him as a sweeper rather than as an assassin. I personally find plotlines of the “temporary alliance” variety to be a lot of fun—like the fabulous Kyoto arc in Rurouni Kenshin—and will be interested to see whether there comes a time when Chronos turns against Train again.
Meanwhile, while this is going on, an imposter is posing as the Black Cat and, though Train is personally okay with this, he ends up having to step in and protect the fellow when another gunslinger decides to challenge him. This is kind of a lightweight subplot, but it was just the right length to be amusing and not tiresome. I also really liked the way the rival gunslinger, Stamper, is drawn. He’s one of the more facially realistic manga characters to appear in the series so far.
There was something that bothered me, though. In early volumes, Train is seen dispatching his enemies with little regret. Now, though, he tells Lugart, “And if I can spare the life of my enemy, I’ll do that too… even if the bounty is offered dead or alive.” I wonder whether someone objected and wanted him to fit more easily into the mold of “the hero that doesn’t kill” or something. I don’t own the volumes to compare, but this certainly doesn’t seem to’ve been his philosophy from the beginning!