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Usagi Yojimbo Volume 9: Daisho Limited Edition

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More newly remastered, classic adventures of the rabbit ronin in a beautiful new edition! A samurai's sword is more than his weapon -- it is his soul. As such, he must prove himself worthy of possessing a daisho, a matched pair of swords. In his years as a warrior, fighting injustice and honing his spiritual and martial skills, Miyamoto Usagi has more than earned his sword More newly remastered, classic adventures of the rabbit ronin in a beautiful new edition! A samurai's sword is more than his weapon -- it is his soul. As such, he must prove himself worthy of possessing a daisho, a matched pair of swords. In his years as a warrior, fighting injustice and honing his spiritual and martial skills, Miyamoto Usagi has more than earned his swords. After braving many a battle and surviving tremendous bloodshed, Usagi continues his warrior pilgrimage. This volume finds him the reluctant participant in a duel for blood money and, later, enraged at the theft of his swords, Usagi pledges a new oath -- to track the leader of a roving band of brigands and retrieve his daisho.


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More newly remastered, classic adventures of the rabbit ronin in a beautiful new edition! A samurai's sword is more than his weapon -- it is his soul. As such, he must prove himself worthy of possessing a daisho, a matched pair of swords. In his years as a warrior, fighting injustice and honing his spiritual and martial skills, Miyamoto Usagi has more than earned his sword More newly remastered, classic adventures of the rabbit ronin in a beautiful new edition! A samurai's sword is more than his weapon -- it is his soul. As such, he must prove himself worthy of possessing a daisho, a matched pair of swords. In his years as a warrior, fighting injustice and honing his spiritual and martial skills, Miyamoto Usagi has more than earned his swords. After braving many a battle and surviving tremendous bloodshed, Usagi continues his warrior pilgrimage. This volume finds him the reluctant participant in a duel for blood money and, later, enraged at the theft of his swords, Usagi pledges a new oath -- to track the leader of a roving band of brigands and retrieve his daisho.

30 review for Usagi Yojimbo Volume 9: Daisho Limited Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    The story of Lady Hirano and Usagi hits you right in the feels. The main story following Usagi and General Fujii's conflict was great too. Sakai pulls from a lot of story tropes, but he does them very well. The story of Lady Hirano and Usagi hits you right in the feels. The main story following Usagi and General Fujii's conflict was great too. Sakai pulls from a lot of story tropes, but he does them very well.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Damn, this one story with Lady Hirano and Usagi hit me right in the feels. :( Superb drama mister Sakai, hats off. Enjoyed the Jei return and as always, Gen was a thrill. I love the hornless Rhino, the Gen-Usagi duo is pure gold! And a big thanks for reminding me why i respect and love Japanese culture. Your mini-interviews at the end of each album are little gems that complete the experience, the research behind each story is immense. Going on with the 10th vol!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alec Engerson

    Usagi Yojimbo has surpassed Swamp Thing and is now my favorite comic. It’s masterful story telling for all ages.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Madhurabharatula Pranav Rohit Kasinath

    Usagi Yojimbo, on the surface is a simple concept. Anthropomorphic animals in 16th century Edo Japan - with the narrative centering around a "Long Eared Samurai", a Rabbit - the eponymous Usagi of the title. Usagi,literally means Rabbit in Japanese and Yojimbo refers to "Bodyguard". Rabbit Bodyguard. It mixes several references to the Samurai films of Kurosawa with a deliberate homage to the great samurai swordsman Miyamoto Musashi while treading its own unique path. There really isn't another Usagi Yojimbo, on the surface is a simple concept. Anthropomorphic animals in 16th century Edo Japan - with the narrative centering around a "Long Eared Samurai", a Rabbit - the eponymous Usagi of the title. Usagi,literally means Rabbit in Japanese and Yojimbo refers to "Bodyguard". Rabbit Bodyguard. It mixes several references to the Samurai films of Kurosawa with a deliberate homage to the great samurai swordsman Miyamoto Musashi while treading its own unique path. There really isn't another comic like it on the stands and Sakai has been writing, plotting and drawing this gem for the past twenty five years or more - sticking to what must seem like a cutthroat monthly schedule. He makes it all look so easy which just proves - it probably isn't. Usagi is a Ronin - a masterless Samurai. He wanders the land on a Warriors Pilgrimage, honing his mind and his sword. A near master swordsman, Usagi practices a unique fighting style. His gentle demeanor, humble bearing and diminutive frame often leads his adversaries to underestimate him - to their detriment. The Kill Bill films of Tarantino center around the bloodshed unleashed by Samurai swords in the hands of a skilled wielder. The aesthetization of violence is a common theme with Tarantino and he repeatedly uses Japanese samurai motifs over the course of the two Kill Bill films. I enjoyed those films but they led me to expect the same within the pages of Usagi Yojimbo. The animal characters are mostly cute. I expected decapitated bunny heads and chopped feline limbs. Stories of the seamier side of human nature and war. Sakai delivers none of this; at-least, not in the way you would expect. The violence in Usagi Yojimbo is always tinged with regret. Usagi takes no pleasure in it, tries to avoid killing and maiming as much as possible and always resorts to defense. However, once you see the click of the sword, with the picture of Usagi flicking the blade from the scabbard it is almost certain that blood will be shed. The fight sequences are brilliant. Sakai takes his time, worrying less about space and more about the deliberate choreography of death. People are stabbed, decapitated and killed. Most of it is left up to your imagination with almost no blood. The graphics of the death continue to toe the line between humor and morbidity - the dead lie with their tongues lolling out and creative skulls paraphrasing the end of their appearance in the comic. It makes for excellent reading - the violence isn't cool, it isn't desirable and it almost always ends in tragedy for some character. This is age appropriate violence! A centerpiece to the entire saga and one of the major plot motivators is Bushido - the unrelenting and unbending code of the Samurai. It is a harsh discipline, focusing more on the tenets laid down by it than any sense of morality. There are several instances in the story where a common question asked is if a samurai retainer who serves an evil/corrupt lord is justified in rebelling against him. The answer is invariably no. No matter how evil/corrupt and insane your lord may be, no matter what criminal activities he may indulge in, no matter how depraved his tastes it is the duty of the retainer to follow him and remain Honorable. The concept of good and evil and self righteousness is almost done away with. Usagi is our hero just because he has the good fortune to have served under Lord Mifune, a great man just prior to his death in the Battle of Adachigahara. He seems to recognize this fact and I think this influences his approach to almost all his antagonists. Those who serve an evil lord win more respect from him than the evil lords themselves. Sakai, through his focus on the laws of Bushido manages to evoke an atmosphere of rigidity and sacrifice that makes the book quite unique at times. When Usagi's sweetheart is married off to someone else he fails to put an end to the wedding due to his loyalty to his lord - his duty forbids him from going away. The duty of a Samurai's wife is to her husband, this prevents his love Mariko from ever being with him. Honour and duty are cages within which our characters live their life. It is a harsh law that seems to hurt much more than helps but it is his adherence to this discipline that sees Usagi through his many encounters. He is unable to avoid direct challenges to a duel as a result - he must kill, albeit with regret, if he is to regain his honor. Usagi isn't a rebel. He doesn't seek to reform or buck the system. When a peasant begs to hold on to the swords of her lover, a samurai he is quite categorical about the right thing to do - the sword is the soul of a Samurai and doesn't belong with a peasant. In another episode he tells a peasant's son that there is no hope for him to ever become a Samurai. Any historical novel seeks to impose the character of a man of our times on someone dead years ago. Stan Sakai eschews this approach by depicting a man (rabbit??!) of his time in Usagi and making him a truly sympathetic character. This focus on honour and Bushido is not the only layer to this comic. There are several more. History lessens on the culture of Japan are interwoven into the narrative - be it pot making, kite making or the fashioning of a Samurai blade. An entire episode dedicated to seaweed farming was a highlight of the series and the Grasscutter arc elaborates on the major dieties of Japanese culture. This is a meticulously researched comic that isnt heavy handed with the historical details. It mixes humor, history, culture and pathos to make a wonderfully enjoyable comic. Rather than speaking about the artwork in the peripheral fashion I have employed so far I think I ought to come out and say it - the artwork is fascinating. It uses simple lines and expression to convey the message. At first glance it seems simplistic but as I trace my eyes over the artwork a wealth of detail leaps out. The grass bends gently with the breeze. The folds of Usagi's kimono float lazily around him as he jumps into the air. The Sword strokes are clear, easy to follow with the use of masterfully placed after images. Sakai is a master of the quiet panel. Several pages hold only movement, expression and silence, lending a wonderful quietude to the comic until a brutal explosion of action breaks the silence. Quiet panels fused with a silhouette are even more melancholy - it forms a space in which the contemplation of the character within the panel tends to wash over the reader himself. The artwork isn't simple. A lifetime of garish coloring and the bright but shallow palette of superhero comics seems to have robbed me of what little sense I possess. The black and white lines in Usagi are pieces of art I want to revisit forever. Like most successful comics, Usagi Yojimbo doesn't succeed through the strengths of the main character alone. Usagi has a wealth of peripheral friends and enemies who recur throughout the various stories. These plot points keep diverging and melding together seamlessly over the course of the volumes I have read. I am still about halfway through the entire run but so far the side characters are vibrant, well sketched and interesting. Gen, the bounty hunter, the crime solving Inspecter Ishida, the ex samurai turned priest Sanshobo. The women in Usagi's life are a fun bunch - his lost loves Mariko and Kinuko, his comrade in arms Tomoe and his antagonist/friend Chizu. Add to this his lion sensei - Katsuichi, his frenemy Kenichi and a pet lizard Spot, not to mention the blind swordspig Zato Ino, Sakai has amassed a wealth of characters who ought to see him drawing Usagi comics well into hist nineties. Usagi Yojimbo is to superhero comics what a glass of single malt is to spurious liquor. It is the very pinnacle of comic book art. I agree with an another reviewer who states that in the twenty five years he has been following Usagi, Sakai has yet to draw a single bad issue. I am not yet through the entire run and I must agree - the first issues are great though Sakai is still finding is feet. Seven issues in and you will be hooked till the end. This is an excellent comic, worth reading and proof that in the right hands the comic book has a significant advantage over the prose form. It should probably be the introduction to the world of comics - and I hope that those of you who havent yet started reading comics will avoid wading through a lot of garbage like i had to and start with Usagi Yojimbo. Believe me, its worth it. (5 on 5 stars)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bill Coffin

    This is a cumulative review of the 35 volumes of collected Usagi Yojimbo stories that have been published to date. They span a 37-year history, from the first published Usagi story in Albedo Anthropomorphic #2, across the first seven volumes published by Fantagraphics, across the next 24 volumes published by Dark Horse, and finally across the most recent three volumes published by IDW, bringing us to Usagi Yojimbo v35: Homecoming, published in 2021. This review does not include the volumes Space This is a cumulative review of the 35 volumes of collected Usagi Yojimbo stories that have been published to date. They span a 37-year history, from the first published Usagi story in Albedo Anthropomorphic #2, across the first seven volumes published by Fantagraphics, across the next 24 volumes published by Dark Horse, and finally across the most recent three volumes published by IDW, bringing us to Usagi Yojimbo v35: Homecoming, published in 2021. This review does not include the volumes Space Usagi, Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Usagi Yojimbo/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Collection, or Chibi Usagi: Attack of the Heebie Chibis. In a land very much like Japan, in a time very much like the early days of the Tokugawa Shogunate, when legions of samurai suddenly found themselves out of work in a war-torn land trying to get back to normal, a masterless samurai - a ronin - named Usagi Yojimbo walks the path of a student-warrior. He goes wherever fate takes him, living by his honor, his swordsmanship and by the grace of the friends he makes along the way. On his endless adventures, Usagi confronts wicked bandits, cruel tyrants, sinister assassins, and dire supernatural fiends. He often encounters humble folk plying their trade in an often cruel and harsh world (and along the way, learns a bit about their work, like brewing sake or weaving tatami mats). Along his way, he builds a vast cast of friends, allies and rivals, including the bounty hunger Gen, fellow samurai )and love interest) Tomoe, the ninja Chizu, the third Kitsune, the noble lord Noriyuki, the stalwart Inspector Ishida, and of course, Usagi’s own son (and chip off the old block), Jotaro. And just as well, he builds no small list of enemies, including the dire Lord Hikiji (the power-hungry lord who is the very reason why Usagi no longer has a master), the Neko and Komori ninja clans, the Koroshi league of assassins, and the demonic ronin Jei. Amid all this, Usagi strives to uphold the warrior ideals of bushido and find a sense of enlightenment on his journey. The stories are often funny, exciting, smart, sharp, tight, and occasionally touched with tragedy. They offer an informed look at medieval Japan, and pay no small number of homages to all kinds of cultural references both ancient and modern, as a reflect of Sakai’s own journey to connect with his personal heritage and honor it with his stories. They are simultaneously suitable for adults and kids alike - despite all of the carnage, Sakai never descends into gruesome detail, and yet, the many scenes of battle never seem so sanitized that they lost their gravity. The artwork is distinct and excellent. Sakai’s is a master of sharp lifework (as well as lettering), and since he writes, pencils, inks and letters every issue solo, there is a uniformity and consistency to Usagi Yojimbo that you just don’t find in many other comics or cartoons. Until the last few volumes, it is all B&W, but Sakai’s sense of depth as well as his supremely skilled panel composition, pulls you in so deeply that you forget if it’s in color or not. You are under Usagi’s spell from the first page, and along for the ride, however long it goes. To get an idea of the length, breadth and depth of how beloved an impactful Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo series has been, look no further than the introductions to each of the collected volumes published to date. There you will find a dazzling array of some of the finest talents in modern cartooning, who have a seemingly endless variety of ways to say how much they love Usagi Yojimbo, how impactful it has been on their own careers, and how great Stan Sakai has been himself as a goodwill ambassador for both cartooning as well as of the Japanese culture he so masterfully serves throughout his stories. For those who have not yet enjoyed these stories for the first time, a wonderful journey awaits you. Usagi Yojimbo was created during those days in the 80s when anthropomorphic martial arts characters were all the rage. And yet, Usagi Yojimbo stood apart almost immediately. He might have been a rabbit ronin in a world of talking, walking animals, but he never seemed to be drafting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or trying to comment on the martial-art zoo comic trend. From the beginning, Usagi Yojimbo, like its titular character, was determined to walk its own path, to be the best it could be, and to celebrate the things in life that are worth celebrating: devotion to one’s craft, honoring one’s family, upholding one’s obligations, serving one’s highest aspirations, accepting one’s limitations, and acknowledging one’s flaws. The stories are largely episodic varying in length from just a few pages, to an entire collection. They often are self-contained, but just as often reference slowly building meta plots, or serve an entire, novel-length story on their own. Everything is delicately interconnected, and yet, without such a heavy continuity that one can not simply pick up any of these volumes and begin reading without skipping a beat. Such is this series, endlessly accessible and friendly to beginners, and endlessly rewarding to long-time fans for whom earned narrative developments deliver terrific dividends. As with any series of this length, some moments in it won’t land as well with the reader as others. But there just are not that many lows with this - if you appreciate what Sakai is doing here, you’re likely to enjoy pretty much all of it. There are some volumes that really stand out, largely because they tell the biggest and most epic stories (v04: The Dragon Bellows Conspiracy, v12: Grasscutter, v15: Grasscutter II - Journey to Astuta Shrine, v17: Duel at Kitanoji, v19: Fathers and Sons, v28: Red Scorpion, v32: The Hidden, and v35:Homecoming all come to mind), but really, the entire catalog of worth enjoying on equal terms. It’s saying something indeed that the most recent volume of Usagi Yojimbo tells one of the most compelling and moving stories of the entire series. Some edges dull over time, but as a storyteller, Stan Sakai’s edge never does. Usagi Yojimbo has been hailed as one of the greatest independent comics ever. And it is. But it is more than that. It is one of the greatest comics, period. Read every volume. You will be glad that you did.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joseph R.

    More ronin rabbit tales from master storyteller Stan Sakai! The Music of Heaven--Usagi is pestered by a group of lizards he fed ages ago. They keep following him but now they are drawn off by beautiful music. A monk with a shakuhachi (a flute-like instrument) is wandering the same area and gets to talking with Usagi about music and transcendence. It's a fascinating tale that I found touching and rewarding. The Gambler, the Widow, and the Ronin--The gambler is a swindler from a previous story who h More ronin rabbit tales from master storyteller Stan Sakai! The Music of Heaven--Usagi is pestered by a group of lizards he fed ages ago. They keep following him but now they are drawn off by beautiful music. A monk with a shakuhachi (a flute-like instrument) is wandering the same area and gets to talking with Usagi about music and transcendence. It's a fascinating tale that I found touching and rewarding. The Gambler, the Widow, and the Ronin--The gambler is a swindler from a previous story who hires tough guys to fight and kill local champs. He takes bets on who will win and is wily enough to get people to bet on the wrong guy. In the previous story, he miscalculated that Usagi would fall to his own champ. Now he's come to the village where the widow of the dead champ is scraping by as a waitress at an inn. He doesn't know who she is but when Usagi shows up, the gambler realizes he can get rid of his current tough guy who is trying to drink all their profits. The character development for the gambler, the tough guy, and the widow is amazing for a short story. Sakai can tell a lot about his people just through visuals. The story is very satisfying. Slavers--A village is taken over by bandits led by General Fujii who forces the locals to bring in the harvest. After that, the bandits will sell off the goods and kill off the locals. Usagi runs across one villager who escaped from a group of bandits on their way to buy more rice wine. Usagi decides to help out but is caught in a trap by the bandit leader. The locals decide to help the imprisoned Usagi. They realize they have nothing to lose since the harvest is just about in. The battle goes well but the bandit leader escapes with Usagi's swords. Daisho Part One--After an opening explaining the art and spiritualism of Japanese swordmaking, Usagi hunts down the General to get his swords back. The trail becomes hard when the General crosses a rope bridge and cuts it down before Usagi (and the rest of the General's men) can make it across. Usagi follows information to a small town that was raided by Fujii's new gang. He helps in the town, so one of the townsfolk shows him the way to the bandits' hideout. The story stops there, a nice cliffhanger ending. Mongrels--Usagi's friend Gen comes to a town where another bounty hunter, the Stray Dog, is already hunting down the local bounty. After a respectful but tense conversation about the trade, Stray Dog buys Gen a drink and tells him to be on his way. Gen, of course, just sneaks after the other bounty hunter. Out in the wild they are about to fight when a third party shows up...Usagi and his villager guide going to the bandits' hideout! Daisho Part Two--The three fighters team up to go after Fujii. Gen and Stray Dog will split the bounty on Fujii while Usagi will reclaim his swords. The villager leads them to a temple in the mountains where the gang is just returning from a raid. The warriors wait till dark, assuming the gang will party too much and be easier to defeat. That part of the plan works but getting Fujii becomes more complicated when Stray Dog uses an unorthodox strategy to get what he wants. It's a great finish to the story, especially when the reader finds out why Stray Dog is so ruthless a bounty hunter. Runaways--Usagi wanders into a town where a procession is going through. The townsfolk have to make way for Lady Hirano. Hearing her name, Usagi remembers an early duty of his--escorting the woman to her marriage with Lord Hirano. Usagi had just received a letter from his father that Mariko (Usagi's childhood sweetheart) has married another. Usagi's boss sends him on the escort mission, assuming it will be easy work and time to sort things out. Unfortunately, the mission is attacked, leaving almost everyone dead. Usagi and the Lady Kinuko become runaways, trying to get Hirano. On the way, they follow a typical arc of feuding and falling for each other. Sakai deftly weaves in a myth about two stars who are separated by the Milky Way and only come together one night a year. The village Usagi and Kinuko travel through is having that one night festival, giving them a chance to bond. Sadly, things turn back to normal too soon. It's a melancholy story that is very touching and familiar. Nature of the Viper--An old fisherman discovers a corpse on the riverbank. When he investigates, the hand shoots up and grabs him. The fisherman is frightened but he takes the man home to help him recover. Turns out, the nearly dead man is a literally washed-up old villain of Usagi's (Jei, the semi-demoniac from Book 6). He tells the fisherman a tale similar to the old Scorpion and Frog tale. Jei has the same attitude toward the fisherman. It's a great cliffhanger ending for the book. This is another set of fine tales. Sakai tells the stories so well through images and character developments. Even familiar tropes feel fresh or personal. Highly recommended.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Unseen Library

    Reviewed as part of my Throwback Thursday series, where I republish old reviews, review books I have read before or review older books I have only just had a chance to read. It has been another good week of reading and reviewing for me, so I thought I would reward myself by doing a Throwback Thursday review of Daisho, the ninth volume in the outstanding, long-running Usagi Yojimbo series from one of my favourite authors, Stan Sakai. Daisho is an impressive and exciting entry in the series, which u Reviewed as part of my Throwback Thursday series, where I republish old reviews, review books I have read before or review older books I have only just had a chance to read. It has been another good week of reading and reviewing for me, so I thought I would reward myself by doing a Throwback Thursday review of Daisho, the ninth volume in the outstanding, long-running Usagi Yojimbo series from one of my favourite authors, Stan Sakai. Daisho is an impressive and exciting entry in the series, which unsurprisingly gets a five star rating out of me (full disclosure, every volume of this series is going to get five stars from me, it is just that damn good). This volume contains Issues #7-14 of the second run on the Usagi Yojimbo series, which was originally published by Mirage Comics (Issues #7 and #8 are only partially represented in Daisho as some stories from these issues were used in the prior volume, while a story from Issue #13 appears in the tenth volume that I will review next), and which has been collected into this volume by Dark Horse Books. This ninth Usagi Yojimbo volume is filled with several fantastic and creative stories that follow Usagi as he journeys across the land, getting into all manner of trouble and misadventures in this version of feudal Japan populated solely by anthropomorphic animals. Daisho serves as a significant inclusion in the overarching series, due to its connections to previous stories, and its introduction or resurrection of several key characters. To see the full review, click on the link below: https://unseenlibrary.com/2020/07/04/... For other exciting reviews and content, check out my blog at: https://unseenlibrary.com/

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cale

    Sakai uses Flashbacks to extremely powerful effect here in the story of Lady Hirano, showing just how Usagi has grown over the years, and the sacrifices he has made throughout his travels. But it's the story, about a Zen Monk and his Shakahuchi, which then has ramifications throughout other stories in the collection, that I liked the most. The introspective moments, and the gentle humor of the lizards, all just add to the power of the series, with favorite characters reappearing (and put to good Sakai uses Flashbacks to extremely powerful effect here in the story of Lady Hirano, showing just how Usagi has grown over the years, and the sacrifices he has made throughout his travels. But it's the story, about a Zen Monk and his Shakahuchi, which then has ramifications throughout other stories in the collection, that I liked the most. The introspective moments, and the gentle humor of the lizards, all just add to the power of the series, with favorite characters reappearing (and put to good use), and every story working. I can see why this series is a classic, and I'm glad to see it published in a way to make it accessible.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Scott Lee

    I can still tell I'm missing out having started well into the series, but this volume was easily as strong as the last, more so even. Sakai tells several stories that work powerfully toward establishing characters and emphasizing a careful consideration of the time period and culture in which he's embedded his story for all its anthropomorphic animal characters. It reminds me a lot of Rurouni Kenshin in feel, which is another Samurai series I love. I can still tell I'm missing out having started well into the series, but this volume was easily as strong as the last, more so even. Sakai tells several stories that work powerfully toward establishing characters and emphasizing a careful consideration of the time period and culture in which he's embedded his story for all its anthropomorphic animal characters. It reminds me a lot of Rurouni Kenshin in feel, which is another Samurai series I love.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Matej

    I've read a few single issues of Usagi in the past, but this hardcover was the first time I read a few in chronological order. The stories are interesting enough, they are usually short, spreading across one or two issues, and can be enjoyed, for the most part, without prior Usagi Yojimbo knowledge. The art is simple and effective, and at times surprisingly expressive for such simplicity. I've read a few single issues of Usagi in the past, but this hardcover was the first time I read a few in chronological order. The stories are interesting enough, they are usually short, spreading across one or two issues, and can be enjoyed, for the most part, without prior Usagi Yojimbo knowledge. The art is simple and effective, and at times surprisingly expressive for such simplicity.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    One of the things I love about the Usagi stories... he may be a lone wanderer but he isn't super-human (and, yes, I know he's a rabbit). He needs friends, compatriots, a community... and he shows kindness and restraint rather than hacking & slashing his way through every encounter. One of the things I love about the Usagi stories... he may be a lone wanderer but he isn't super-human (and, yes, I know he's a rabbit). He needs friends, compatriots, a community... and he shows kindness and restraint rather than hacking & slashing his way through every encounter.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Blindzider

    Another outstanding chapter. Love the bits of history, especially the one that details the making of a sword. Lots of action and a Shakespearean-like love story for Usagi.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    I don't think I can get tired of Usagi Yojimbo. While the dialogue definitely feels slightly dated, the series is just too charming and interesting to put down. I love the care and attention to detail Sakai pours into every frame as he delves deeper into feudal Japanese history, constantly expanding the feeling of discovery. This volume also takes an intriguing turn in his storytelling style. Typically, Usagi stories are one-offs, some as short as 3 or 4 pages, rarely connecting to any larger plo I don't think I can get tired of Usagi Yojimbo. While the dialogue definitely feels slightly dated, the series is just too charming and interesting to put down. I love the care and attention to detail Sakai pours into every frame as he delves deeper into feudal Japanese history, constantly expanding the feeling of discovery. This volume also takes an intriguing turn in his storytelling style. Typically, Usagi stories are one-offs, some as short as 3 or 4 pages, rarely connecting to any larger plot. But in this volume, events in the small stories led to the events in the larger stories, and the consequences of the larger stories were felt in the preceding tales. It's actually a very welcome change, as it makes Usagi's adventures begin to seem more important, like they're part of a continuing legend. I hope the story continues to develop in this way in later volumes.

  14. 4 out of 5

    E

    The Daisho storyline itself wasn't particularly interesting, though it brought Gen back into the fold and introduced Stray Dog, a compelling character; also, a didactic intermezzo about Japanese swordsmithing was very welcome. Sakai has also produced some great panoramas and his attempts at more intimate close-in fight scenes are fine, but easy to skim through—they're not quite 'there' yet. Daisho doesn't continue to describe an upward trajectory for the series. It's a little less than par with The Daisho storyline itself wasn't particularly interesting, though it brought Gen back into the fold and introduced Stray Dog, a compelling character; also, a didactic intermezzo about Japanese swordsmithing was very welcome. Sakai has also produced some great panoramas and his attempts at more intimate close-in fight scenes are fine, but easy to skim through—they're not quite 'there' yet. Daisho doesn't continue to describe an upward trajectory for the series. It's a little less than par with the best volumes that precede it, but still good in its own right.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alan Earhart

    The Daisho storyline was engrossing and had a sidetrack about making swords which was interesting. This collection also had the flashback story about Lady Hirano and how she and Usagi find themselves trapped by life. He discovered his love had married and he can't do anything about it. She being required to marry in order to bind two clans together. Then again, Usagi has the possibility of finding love again in the future while Hirano is forced into an arranged marriage so the situations aren't The Daisho storyline was engrossing and had a sidetrack about making swords which was interesting. This collection also had the flashback story about Lady Hirano and how she and Usagi find themselves trapped by life. He discovered his love had married and he can't do anything about it. She being required to marry in order to bind two clans together. Then again, Usagi has the possibility of finding love again in the future while Hirano is forced into an arranged marriage so the situations aren't the same.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Max

    Stan Sakai is nothing if not consistent. Daisho doesn't seem to add too much to the continuing story of Usagi, but didn't feel as fresh as some of the earlier books. Upcoming books suggest a larger story arc, which might breathe new life into the series. Always entertaining, always well drawn, but sometimes a little short. Worth it if you're already knee-deep in the series. Stan Sakai is nothing if not consistent. Daisho doesn't seem to add too much to the continuing story of Usagi, but didn't feel as fresh as some of the earlier books. Upcoming books suggest a larger story arc, which might breathe new life into the series. Always entertaining, always well drawn, but sometimes a little short. Worth it if you're already knee-deep in the series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Larry Wentzel

    I love this collection but I'll call attention to two parts in particular: This has a lovely, detailed sequence showing how samurai swords were made and prized by their owners. The two-part story where the young Usagi falls in love with a princess has an exceptional sequence where they hide in a town during a festival, and in practically every frame, a figure is watching them. I love this collection but I'll call attention to two parts in particular: This has a lovely, detailed sequence showing how samurai swords were made and prized by their owners. The two-part story where the young Usagi falls in love with a princess has an exceptional sequence where they hide in a town during a festival, and in practically every frame, a figure is watching them.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dru

    One thing I've never mentioned in my reviews of Usagi is just how historically accurate the book is. One of the best examples happens in this book. When Usagi's samurai swords are stolen, Sakai uses it as an opportunity to explain how exactly the swords are made. Another great volume with an extended story about slavers capturing a small town and Usagi's efforts to save them. One thing I've never mentioned in my reviews of Usagi is just how historically accurate the book is. One of the best examples happens in this book. When Usagi's samurai swords are stolen, Sakai uses it as an opportunity to explain how exactly the swords are made. Another great volume with an extended story about slavers capturing a small town and Usagi's efforts to save them.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tanti

    This rabbit ronin and his pals grew on me. I started reading the series from No. 8 but you don't need to read the series from No. 1 to enjoy Usagi's adventures. Stan Sakai has done a great job with this series and i'm looking forward to reading the entire series completely. This rabbit ronin and his pals grew on me. I started reading the series from No. 8 but you don't need to read the series from No. 1 to enjoy Usagi's adventures. Stan Sakai has done a great job with this series and i'm looking forward to reading the entire series completely.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    One of the best collections in the series, Daisho tells the story of Usagi's attempts to recover his swords from a bandit. Includes a fascinating sequence that explains how samurai swords were made in early 17th-century Japan. One of the best collections in the series, Daisho tells the story of Usagi's attempts to recover his swords from a bandit. Includes a fascinating sequence that explains how samurai swords were made in early 17th-century Japan.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Wright

    Besides being well drawn and action-packed, I enjoy the cultural lessons that these books contain. Daisho is full of interesting insights, from sword-making techniques to the Japanese festival of Tanabata Matsuri. Entertaining and educational, I'm loving the Usagi Yojimbo series. Besides being well drawn and action-packed, I enjoy the cultural lessons that these books contain. Daisho is full of interesting insights, from sword-making techniques to the Japanese festival of Tanabata Matsuri. Entertaining and educational, I'm loving the Usagi Yojimbo series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This one got a bit more intense then the average Usagi, but in an awesome way. The storyline with the slavers was in particular a bit on the hardcore side, but it was nice to see that side of Usagi as well.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Fira Nursya'bani

    Miyamoto Usagi`s gf is Mariko, but Mariko's leaving and then he`s fallin love with Princess Kinuko. We're like Shokujo and Kengyu who were separated by Amanogawa. We met in every Kasasagi birds spread their wings in seventh day of seventh month of the year. Miyamoto Usagi`s gf is Mariko, but Mariko's leaving and then he`s fallin love with Princess Kinuko. We're like Shokujo and Kengyu who were separated by Amanogawa. We met in every Kasasagi birds spread their wings in seventh day of seventh month of the year.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    If you have the misfortune of only ever getting to read one Usagi Yojimbo in your life, make sure it's Daisho. If you have the misfortune of only ever getting to read one Usagi Yojimbo in your life, make sure it's Daisho.

  25. 5 out of 5

    David H.

    Retroactive Review (12 Sep 2021): Please see my review of the series here under the first volume. Retroactive Review (12 Sep 2021): Please see my review of the series here under the first volume.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    Everything about this series is absolutely beautiful.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Allan

    Forbidden love at the end. :-(

  28. 5 out of 5

    Vasil Kolev

    This might be getting better.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kavinay

    It still blows me away that Sakai can find ways to deepen and expand Usagi's tales. I mean how many "Ronin Rabbit gets in a scrape" stories can you write? Somehow, Sakai always makes it engaging. It still blows me away that Sakai can find ways to deepen and expand Usagi's tales. I mean how many "Ronin Rabbit gets in a scrape" stories can you write? Somehow, Sakai always makes it engaging.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Some good stuff in here. Ends with the return of a familiar baddie. Looking forward to Volume 10.

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