Samurai Executioner (aka: Kubikiri Asa) Vol. #08 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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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: 317
  • ISBN: 1-59307-277-5
  • Size: Bunko
  • Orientation: Left to Right

Samurai Executioner (aka: Kubikiri Asa) Vol. #08

By Matthew Alexander     October 11, 2006
Release Date: January 01, 2006

Samurai Executioner (aka: Kubikiri Asa) Vol.#08
© Dark Horse

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

What They Say
Spring is a season of rebirth, of new life springing forth, a time of cherished blooming and delightful scents. But for Kubikira Asa, there is no spring delight. The Edo-era samurai crime drama by Lone Wolf and Cub creators Koike and Kojima continues down its path of heinous crime and diligent, bloody justice.

Spring may come to the innocent, but to those condemned to lose their heads to Asa's sword, it will be their last.

The Review
Yamada is kind of like Dirty Harry. Whenever some thug snaps and starts killing wantonly, the police call in Yamada Asaemon the Samurai Executioner. But Yamada is so calm and self-assured that sometimes he doesn't even need to resort to violence to take out the bad guys. The story 'Pockmarks', points out the human obsession with 'pretty' things and people. In this tale, a low level samurai with a pock-scarred face goes on a killing rampage in a brothel when he discovers his favorite whore has been cheating him. She turns out to be a two-faced gold digger, so he goes crazy and kills nearly every woman in the brothel. Luckily, Yamada shows up before everyone girl is killed and with only a few words he shows the samurai the error of his ways. The samurai admits his error and commits seppaku with Yamada acting as his second.

In 'Okashiratsuki', Koike returns to the young policeman Kasajiro from an earlier volume. Yamada taught Kasajiro how to place an innocents life first when making an arrest. Kasajiro is a likeable character and he is newly married to a beautiful young woman named Shinko. She is having problems accepting her joyful life because she feels guilty for the death of another woman. Yamada tells Shinko that everyone must live for their own life. His words help her accept her place in the world, which allows Shinko and Kasajiro to move past the rut they have been stuck in. There is no beheading's or murders in this story, but it was nice to revisit secondary characters.

I really enjoyed the longer formatted stories of earlier volumes more than I did the short tales of volume eight. These shorter stories had good lessons, but I missed the development of Yamada's character. However, this volume is still a worthwhile read. I did give the Text a lower score because there were a couple of misspellings, otherwise the Art and Packaging remained of the same quality as earlier volumes.


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