This volume represents all that is excellent about the Usagi series. It is a lucky dip of stories meaning that you can’t predict what you will read about next. This is a beautiful blend of themes and subjects that offer much to the reader. There are traditional and modern tales, some with Usagi and other familiar characters and some without. There are things that take place in Usagi’s past and new characters whose relevance will only be explained in future issues. We learn more about medieval Japan and the ways of the samurai in a clear but non-patronising way.
The art is solid but without the impressive veneer we have seen in previous volumes sadly. If there is one theme that is getting old it is that of the friendly stranger that turns out to be an evil demon of some sort. This may be a staple of Japanese storytelling but we have become inured to the shock that such a revelation should instil in us.
The volumes are getting longer giving you more bunny for your buck which can’t be bad. Another Thumbs Up!
Tomorrow: Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 12 – Grasscutter – Stan Sakai