Path of the Assassin (aka: Hanzou no Mon) Vol. #02 -

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Mania Grade: A-

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Dark Horse
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 311
  • ISBN: 1-59307-503-0
  • Size: Bunko
  • Orientation: Left to Right

Path of the Assassin (aka: Hanzou no Mon) Vol. #02

By Matthew Alexander     November 08, 2006
Release Date: August 30, 2006

Path of the Assassin (aka: Hanzou no Mon) Vol.#02
© Dark Horse

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

What They Say
It's not easy being Hattori Hanzo.

If he's not teaching Leyasu, the young future shogun, how to love, then he's behind the scenes, teaching Leyasu how not to die in case of a momentary lapse of protection.

If you thought you had a tough job, try taking a pudgy, protected youngster, and making him into the leader who will unite Japan under his single rule.

From the creators of Lone Wolf & Cub comes a series about two young men bound to a nation's potential future at a time when Japan was in transition from a warlike feudal state into an era of bureacracy and infighting.

The Review
One day Motonobu will change his name and become Tokugawa Ieyasu, but for now he is a young Lord trapped by politics and experiencing growing pains as the head of his clan and as a new husband. Motonobu's most personal problem is his wife's hunger for sex. It's not love between these two locked into a political marriage, but just a physical act and one that Lady Tsukiyama can't seem to get enough of. But instead of being happy with his situation, Motonobu lives with the constant knowledge that he can't satisfy his wife's needs as well as the last man that bedded her. This knowledge burns in Motonobu's belly day and night. So as usual he turns to his trusted suppa, Hanzo. Hanzo suggests Motonobu refuse to lie with his wife and act like he is sleeping around in hopes of building some passion in Lady Tsukiyama's heart.

Motonobu's love life is a rather small problem when he learns of his Overlord Yoshimoto's plan to determine whether Motonobu is truly subservient. Motonobu is living away from his clan as a political prisoner. Knowing Nobunaga will attempt to attack one of his holdings, Yoshimoto orders Motonobu to return to his clan's home and pay respects to his ancestors. If Motonobu sides with Nobunaga, then Yoshimoto will crush him. If Motonobu does nothing, then Yoshimoto will test his loyalty in another way.

Using his spy Hanzo, Motonobu learns of Yoshimoto's plan and against his heart and that of his clansmen, Motonobu refuses to side with Nobunaga. Yoshimoto is pleased and for another test he sends Motonobu and his clan to attack an enemy castle. This is Motonobu's first true battle and all he can think about is his wife's insatiable bedroom appetite. Luckily, Motonobu pulls himself together enough to initiate a plan using Hanzo, and all his talents, to sneak in and set fire to the enemy castle. Will Hanzo and Motonobu succeed? Will Overlord Yoshimoto accept Motonobu as a loyal vassal and award him more freedoms? Will Motonobu ever figure out the correct way to satisfy a woman?


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