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: 312
- ISBN: 1-59307-504-9
- Size: Bunko
- Orientation: Right to Left
Path of the Assassin (aka: Hanzou no Mon) Vol. #03
By Matthew Alexander
May 10, 2006
Release Date: October 25, 2006
Path of the Assassin (aka: Hanzou no Mon) Vol.#03
© Dark Horse
Writer/Artist:Story by Kazuo Koike / Art by Goseki Kojima
Translated by:Naomi Kokubo with assistance by Jeff Carlson
Adapted by:What They Say
This volume continues Koike and Kojima's story of the famed ninja Hanzo Hattori and his trials and tribulations protecting the shogun-to-be, Tokugawa Ieyasu. Each page builds upon the relationship between the two warrirors and the women they love.The Review
Ieyasu keeps changing his name faster than P-Diddy (or whatever his name is now). Therefore, I'm just going to stick with Ieyasu from here on out. Anyways, the future ruler of Japan has finally gotten his love making under control and he's getting a little action on the side to boot. Hanzo is no slouch himself. He steals the innocence of a young ninja girl who afterwards swears her life and body to him forever.
So, overall our young duo is doing all right for them. Unfortunately, nothing stays simple for long. Intrigue within Ieyasu's camp and between them and Nobunaga's clan flares up as Nobunaga and Ieyasu's overlord, Yoshimoto, test each other's forces for weakness. Ieyasu volunteers for the dangerous mission delivering provisions to Odaka castle, making him a sitting duck for Nobunaga's forces. To make his life even more difficult, Ieyasu also volunteers to lead the attack against Marune Castle. This is great for Yoshimoto. If Ieyasu dies it is no big loss, and if Ieyasu succeeds then Yoshimoto will be in a very good position to face Nobunaga's forces with an advantage.
Fat and unskilled in battle, yet intelligent, will Ieyasu survive his mission and assault on Marune Castle? Will he prove himself in battle and finally silence criticisms from his clansmen? Hanzo has to fight and protect Ieyasu, so will his new woman be a help or hindrance on the battlefield?
Two good things increased the packaging grade for this volume. First, unlike the strangely blurred printing of the first two volumes, this volume looks crisp. Another thing is DH's continued use of 'Parental Advisory' stickers instead of printing the warning on the front cover as a couple other publishers have switched to towards the end of 2006. However, the art for this volume seems to be of lower quality. Character's eyes and faces are crooked which is unlike Kojima, so maybe he was rushed when he was working on this volume.