Lone Wolf & Cub Vol. #05 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Dark Horse
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 286
  • ISBN: 1-56971-506-8
  • Size: Bunko
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Lone Wolf & Cub Vol. #05

By Matthew Alexander     September 06, 2006
Release Date: January 01, 2001

Lone Wolf & Cub Vol.#05
© Dark Horse

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Story by Kazuo Koike Art by Goseki Kojima
Translated by:Dana Lewis
Adapted by:

What They Say
This volume contains five powerful, classic tales of the assassin Itto Ogami, the Lone Wolf, as he continues his journey.

The Yagyu clan, fearful of the growing legend surrounding Lone Wolf, has decided to protect itself by sending its own assassin after him, and later pit the greatest swordsman of a rival clan against him. Also, Lone Wolf must face the leader of a bounty-hunting gang who seeks revenge against Ogami for slaying his young lord years ago, and a master gunsmith who values the art of warfare above all else and will change his life forever.

The Review
Lone Wolf & Cub is for the most part an episodic series with an underlying conflict between Itto and the Yagyu Clan responsible for Itto's path on the assassin's road. In this volume the storyline returns to the main conflict as the Yagyu Clan Chief decides it is time to have Itto killed off. To accomplish this, the Yagyu Clan sends their best assassin to dispatch Itto. This man has already defeated Itto once in a sanctioned battle by the shogun, so there is a fair amount of tension built into their duel. Perhaps Itto recognizes his inability to defeat his challenger, but since he is a ronin and an assassin Itto uses any means necessary to gain victory. By using a less than honorable tactic Itto manages to get the upper hand.

The Yagyu Clan has lost to Itto once again and now the authorities are beginning to question whether or not the Yagyu played a part in Itto's fall from grace. To determine the truth behind the matter, the police force sends their best swordsman/decapitator/blade tester, Asaemon out to dispatch Itto. This works to the Yagyu's advantage so they sit back and wait to see who will walk away from this duel between decapitator's, Asaemon or Itto. This story is an interesting introduction to Asaemon's position as the official criminal decapitator and blade tester for the shogun and the character type for Koike's other story 'Samurai Executioner'.

My favorite story in this volume was 'Black Wind'. This story shows Itto's compassion as he spends his time planting rice in a peasant village. For anyone of aristocracy or the samurai class to stoop to the level of manual labor is unheard of, but Itto is paying retribution for the death of an innocent by his actions. During an assassination, Itto accidentally caused the death of a female bystander. In her dying breath she wished she could return home and help with the planting of he rice. So Itto has made his way to a peasant village and with each small bunch of rice he plants there is one of the girls' hairs wrapped with the rice plant. Aside from Itto's compassion, which helps keep him a likeable character despite his quest as an assassin, I enjoyed seeing the way Daigoro reacted to this predicament. Daigoro seems quite happy watching his father performing a task to create life instead of squash it.


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