Path of the Assassin Vol. #09 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Art Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 17 & Up
  • Released By: Dark Horse
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 300
  • ISBN: 978-1-59307-509-5
  • Size: Bunko
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Path of the Assassin (aka: Hanzou no Mon)

Path of the Assassin Vol. #09

By Matthew Alexander     October 06, 2008
Release Date: February 27, 2008

Path of the Assassin Vol.#09
© Dark Horse

Contains nudity and lots of sex.  In fact, it seems like there has been more sex in the last few volumes than the first six volumes combined.

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist: Kazuo Koike / Goseki Kojima
Translated by: Naomi Kokobu
Adapted by: Naomi Kokobu

What They Say
The world of samurai and ninja isn't just killing, politics, intrigue, and action. It's also about family, spirit, love, and sex. If there were ever a volume of Path of the Assassin that could be entitled "the sex volume," this would probably be it. Not just the act of sex, but the feelings, doubts, methods, results, and politics of sex.

The results can mean a son or daughter fated to the politics of advantage and danger. The doubts can lead to an unfocused mind. The methods can be a result of doubt, but can be their own distraction as well. The feelings can be good, bad, and ugly. And all of these elements amount to the politics of sex.

However, if you fear that all this talk of sex means this volume of Path of the Assassin lacks the the expected swordplay, gushing blood, and drama, please don't worry. Rather the sexplay only provides a framework for those standards, making for an oddly exciting volume of this samurai/ninja tale of conquest.

The Review
With all the action of the last volume cooling off in volume 9, I find myself giving my lowest Content grade of this series.  The author spends much of this volume focusing on a new character named Mitsuhide, a wandering samurai with a perverted sense of justice.  Upon discovering a group of bandits raping a woman in the woods, Mitsuhide kills the men and rescues the woman, kind of.  He makes love to the woman before killing her, claiming his samurai spirited cleansed her and now she can die a pure woman.  WTF?

Mitsuhide believes he should be the second-in-command under a great warlord.  Along those lines, he is talented with the sword and quite the sharpshooter with his handgun.  He visits one warlord after another, declining to serve them all when they only offer small regiments of men for his command.  Eventually he realizes Nobunaga will become the most powerful, so he seeks him out.  Through trickery, Mitsuhide convinces Nobunaga that he can help deliver the country’s rightful Shogun, Yoshiaki, who is hiding in priesthood.  If Mitsuhide can successfully deliver Yoshiaki to Nobunaga, he will be rewarded the leadership of 10,000 Nobunaga men.  It seems Mitsuhide chose wisely, but what about the reader? 

Unfortunately, this volume bounces around so much that it has little flow.  The focus revolves around Mitsuhide, but it also brings in the birth of Hanzo’s first child, Baldy Rat’s successful acquisition of Shigeharu’s services, the assassination order on Ieyasu, and Ieyasu’s successful control of his wife’s bad attitude through oral sex.  While the story bounces around a lot, Ieyasu’s sexual antics with his wife are plenty funny.  Since she is so insatiable, he tries and succeeds to control her through oral sex.  It works so well that she begins follow Ieyasu’s wishes like a little puppy, even to the point of endorsing her son’s marriage to Nobunaga’s daughter.  The only problem is he feels nauseas whenever he eats sushi.  We’ll just have to wait and see how the next volume pans out, hopefully with better transitions between storylines. 


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