The NZA Posted September 24, 2002 Share Posted September 24, 2002 This is, by far, the finest series ive read in a while. The series was written in the 70's in Japan by Kazuo Koike, who spent a great deal of his lifetime researching Edo period Japanese history, wish shows in every story. Handling the art is Goseki Kojima - "With his unique style, Kojima created a new form of expressive visual interpretation for the graphic storytelling medium, and established for himself a position as a master craftsman with his groundbreaking work on Lone Wolf and Cub." The art is stunning; silent landscape shots can go on for pages and manage to captivate as much as the well-choreographed action scense, which are also plentfiul. A brief synopsis: Itto Ogami was the former Kogi Kaishakunin (Shogun's executioner, an extremely revered title) and carried out his duties honnorably until his family was slaughtered, with his only son Daigoro making it out as the sole survivor. Ogami comes to discover it wsa not a random attack, but rather an elaborate plot to have his entire clan dishonored, and decided to take his only son along with him down the assasian's road to hell. The plot moves at a unique pace: one can read books of self-contained assasination stories, all incredibly detailed and cleverly written, until stumbling across a piece of the puzzle behind Itto's downfall. Without spoiling anything, ill say this much: by the time you reach a volume of double digits, Itto is facing down entire armies on his own - and this is anything but a superhero book. Its amazing how every time you think you have a feel for the book & know where its going, it still manages to surprise. Dark Horse now publishes these volumes monthly. They weigh in around 300 pages each (with a japanese dictionary in the back for words that translate rough, as well as supplemental history for those interested) and each voulme costs less than ten dollars..its one of the best deals in comics these days. The entire saga is told across 28 volumes, as yet unfinished in translation - volume 25 comes out tomorrow (woo hoo!) and the series finishes in late December. I havent seen a series in which what Warren Ellis said about the artistic possiblities of comics more clearly illustrated. Mind you, this is a violent series and perhaps not always for the squemish, but it'd be a damn shame to let that scare you off - visually, historically, in its writing & portrayl of bushido (the way of the samurai) - this thing's a materpiece. The only downside is that to keep the series as cheap as it sells for, its printed in traditional small manga voulmes, which can be hard on the eyes at first, but i managed to read it even while recovering from eye surgery so its not impossible, anyway. Aside from local comic shops, i recommend Ebay and Half.com to find early volumes. Here's a really well-done fan site with more details, visuals, and links to buy the books. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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