Thursday, February 10, 2005

Lone Wolf & Cub

Genre: Comics & Graphic Novels
Author:Goseki Kojima & Kazuo Koike
This is an epic about Ogami Itto and his toddler son Daigoro, who are choosing the path of hell in their mortal lifes. Itto, a highly skilled swordman and a shogun's second, became an assassin-for-hire right after his son was born in a gruesome situation. Itto, known latter as The Lone Wolf, should agree with the motivations of anyone who hires him before conducting the assassination; thus the stories are mostly valued by the morals at that time (the setting was the Edo period in Japan). Sword skills and craftmanship, conspirations and trusts, anger and passions, and many more, are expressed superbly in these series.
The beginning needs a bit of getting-used-to, to get into the atmosphere of that era. Once the readers are caught in the scene, the pace begins to vary, yet is still enticing. Towards the end, the suspense factors are accellerating, until the climax at the end of the story. Anyone who follows the saga from the beginning to the end would be emotionally moved by the final episode of these series.

Indeed there are countless brutal images, but the contents, the detailed artworks and the flow of the stories are just perfect! If there's any flaw, I think it's the behavior of Daigoro which sometimes seems surreal for a child of his age. However, all in all, these series can give you new perspectives of humanity and spirits of a true warrior.

Lone Wolf & Cub
Goseki Kojima & Kazuo Koike
(C) Dark Horse, 2000
ISBN# 1569715025

1 comment:

  1. Is it really? I think it's actually the real power of the series. Surreal for a child his age? Today, in this world, yes. But for a child raised in the bloody road of meifumado, his behavior looks normal to me. He cried in sorrow seeing his savior killed, he smiled in joy knowing his father brought him mikan oranges, he laughed when given new straw hat, new straw sandals, new cloak, he wept when his puppy Chiro was killed by an arrow.

    It is really Daigoro strange behavior, a perfect combination of tough and vulnerable, that made the story alive. Well, at least that's my opinion. Others might think differently.