AUTHOR: Stan Sakai
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PUB DATE: July 10, 2012
The Usagi Yojimbo comic book series was created by Stan Sakai back in 1987. I recall the rabbit samurai appearing a few times in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, so when I saw Volume 26 was available to review on NetGalley, I was eager to review it.
Set during the early 17th century in Japan, the human characters are replaced by animals. Usagi is heavily influenced by the Japanese cinema and is partially based on the famous swordsman Miyamoto Musashi.
Each book basically consists of short narrative stories that are based on Japanese history and folklore. Occasionally, the plots are also inspired by mythical creatures. The artwork is drawn to give respect to the period style, including the clothes and weapons. There are stories that influence Japanese arts and crafts, such as kites, swords, pottery, etc, resulting in a Parents’ Choice Award in 1990 for adding educational elements.
Volume 26 consists of Usagi and Kami of the Pond; Cut the Plum; Traitors of the Earth; What the Little Thief Heard; The Hidden Fortress; A Place to Stay; and The Death of Lord Hikiji. Bonuses include Story Notes; Groo vs. Usagi: Who Would Win?; Cover Gallery; and Author Bio.
I enjoyed each back & white illustrated tale of Usagi and I got introduced to some clever Japanese mythology. Usagi fans will love Usagi Yojimbo Volume 26: Traitors of the Earth.