By Stan Sakai
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Format: Softcover, 6 x 9, black and white, $15.95
Dewey: 741.5 SAK or FIC SAK
Subjects: Comics and comic books, etc.
Reviewed by: Library Journal
Usagi is a ronin (a masterless samurai) and an expert swordsman, wandering the roads of feudal Japan and occasionally hiring himself out as a bodyguard (yojimbo). He's also a rabbit-man with tall floppy ears (tied in a topknot, naturally). Since 1985 writer, artist, and three-time Eisner award winner Sakai has been chronicling Usagi's adventures in this highly acclaimed series. (The first seven volumes were published by Fantagraphics, the remainder by Dark Horse.) After the heavy action and drama of the previous volume (Grasscutter II-Journey to Atsuta Shrine), the series takes a breather in this 16th volume, which features several short stories. Sakai's storytelling skills are masterly, and his black-and-white art is clear and highly accomplished. With strong characters, a complex story line greatly influenced by Japanese history and legend, and a blend of action, drama, and comedy, this series occupies a space halfway between Lone Wolf and Cub and Carl Barks's classic stories of Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge and should appeal to many fans of both. And though this is not manga (Sakai is American), manga fans should enjoy it as well. The series is highly recommended for all collections.
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