This is a very interesting volume. Sakai is either directly channelling the spirit of Akira Kurosawa or completely ripping him off. One of the stories is almost a direct retelling of the film Yojimbo. But as he has been retelling Japanese literature for 15 volumes then we shouldn’t start getting all uppity.
This is a very creative volume however. In one of the stories several characters talk directly to the reader, looking right at you as they do so and recounting the time they met the ‘long eared samurai.’ This is an excellent technique not often seen in comics.
The art is also particularly imaginative in this volume both in terms of the panel layout, taking on almost a feng shui orderliness, bringing real beauty to the page, and the expertly drawn content.
The focus shifts away from Usagi in this volume and we see the struggles of Chizu Gen and Kitsune amongst others. Certainly a memorable read and definitely a Thumbs Up!
Tomorrow: Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 17 – Duel at Kitanoji – Stan Sakai