Samurai Executioner (aka: Kubikiri Asa) Vol. #03 -

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Mania Grade: A-

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Dark Horse
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 316
  • ISBN: 1-59307-209-0
  • Size: Bunko
  • Orientation: Left to Right

Samurai Executioner (aka: Kubikiri Asa) Vol. #03

By Matthew Alexander     October 04, 2006
Release Date: January 01, 2005

Samurai Executioner (aka: Kubikiri Asa) Vol.#03
© Dark Horse

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

What They Say
In this volume, we're treated to three fantastic stories of amazing weapons skill, both on the part of Asa and those around him.

Witness, for the first time in this series, a duel between two great samurai, in the slow, contemplative tradition. Observe Asa's extremely precise sword stroke. And read a charming story of a young peace officer who practices the use of his specialized weaponry to the point of utilitarian, life-saving perfection.

The Review
I enjoy reading the Lone Wolf and Cub series by the same artist and writer because there is an underlying conflict and a reason for the series main character to become an assassin. I wasn't quite sure I would like Samurai Executioner because after the first volume it seemed like a story about an unfeeling and inhuman guy that decapitates prisoners. However, the third volume has made the samurai executioner, Yamada, a much more likeable character. His reason for living is a true belief in justice and to bring judgment to criminals in the most painless way he can. This means he must be incredibly skilled at cutting so death is instantaneous, showing he does have a lot of compassion for his fellow man.

A beautiful young woman comes to live with Yamada while she waits for him to test a sword for her. Since Yamada must wait for an execution to test the sword, the woman might have to stay with him for some time. While they await the sword test, the woman tries to befriend Yamada. However, Yamada refuses to eat with her or even carry on a conversation. When the woman finally breaks down the wall between them, Yamada admits he refuses the company of women because he does not want children and desires that his clan's position as Executioner, end with his death. I really appreciated the depth this adds to Yamada's character.

Another story in this volume focuses on a young police officer tormented by his inability to save the life of a woman a criminal was holding hostage. The policeman is obsessed with increasing his skill so this will never happen again. The policeman begs Yamada to provide training. Yamada agrees, but he really just gives the policeman a task and a bit of a riddle. The policeman attacks the problem with gusto and eventually deciphers the true meaning behind Yamada's words. I enjoyed this story because it focuses on another aspect of feudal law enforcement and shows that Yamada has more to offer to society than just an executioner's sword.


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