Many of the previous volumes have dealt with serious events, dramatic revelations and intense characterisation. This volume takes a step back and the many tales here are lighter in tone. Many of them have a certain humour to them, often black humour, and like many traditional oriental tales the ending is fitting but seldom happy.
As the world shattering events have been put on hold there is an opportunity for more instructional tales as we learn more about Bushido and about humanity. Gen in particular is at his most compassionate and we get that rare glimpse into his heart of gold. Usagi on the other hand becomes more wayward having little respect for the law or for the Shogunate.
The pace slows right down and with no imminent danger we are able to see the beauty of the wonderful country Usagi travels through, the character of its people, and learn more of the nature of the heroes we have been following for longer than we can remember. This won’t be the most memorable volume you will read but it is one of the most perfectly told. The timeless tales within are the epitome of “the less is more” adage. It is unquestionably a Thumbs Up!
Tomorrow: Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 26 – Traitors of the Earth – Stan Sakai