Rin and Doa embark on a desperate rescue attempt deep under Edo Castle, but might end up needing rescue themselves!
Writer/Artist: Hiroaki Samura
Translated by: Dana Lewis
Adapted by: Dana Lewis
What They Say
The time for reconnaissance, planning, and waiting is over! Rin and Doa, desperate to be reunited with their friends (or even reassured that they're alive), take their first bold steps in penetrating Edo Castle's defenses and foiling Kagimura's foul "immortality" experiments!
A trip to an old doctor, a chance encounter with a high-strung peasant, and an appearance by a strange, all-new Itto-ryu warrior combine to make this volume an important series of encounters in persistent Rin's quest to find Manji and Isaku - and in her own growth as a warrior! The "Badger Hole" is a dank passageway that leads to an underground tunnel system beneath Edo Castle.
Determined to save Manji and Isaku, Rin and Doa embark on a desperate plan to infiltrate Edo Castle via a series of tunnels known as the Badger Hole. Rin isn't even certain that the tunnels actually do lead to the castle, but she's determined to make the attempt anyway. Even with Doa's help it isn't going to be easy - the tunnels are well-guarded, they need to find a guide, and there are an unknown number of guards inside that they need to get past to have even a chance of finding the two men. To even up the odds, Hyakurin plans a diversion to distract some of the guards and hopefully lure the key players in the immortality experiment out.
The infiltration is far from easy. They're barely through the gates of the tunnel when they're first discovered, but they manage to make their escape deeper into the tunnels, and even find a reluctant guide to assist. Unfortunately, merely dodging the guards isn't enough, and the girls fall prey to a tricky trap, and end up in the hands of a sadist.
It's hard to find enough good things to say about this series. It's simply one of the best manga series out there, bar none, and the string of awards it's picked up on both sides of the water is ample testament to that. If you're not reading it, you should be - the presentation is top-notch, the translation is excellent, and the sound effect replacement and cultural/translation notes should be the industry standard. This is a series that should be on every manga reader's shelf - highly recommended.