Another battle between the Hori women and a Spear of Aizu may finally leave some of the women bleeding or worse.
Writer/Artist: Masaki Segawa
Translation: Gemma Collinge
Adaptation: Gemma Collinge
What They Say
Revenge is sweet - even for the nuns of the Hori clan who have sworn to avenge their slain sisters. Trained in the lethal samurai arts, they have taken down all but three of the terrible Aizu Seven Spears who were responsible for the slaughter. The women have tracked one, Kat' Akinari, to his hideout - but he's called in some serious support. A deadly showdown is imminent!
Akinari has consistently proved to be a slippery bastard, always one step ahead of Jyubei and the Hori women. Having successfully reached the Aizu border, Akinari, though shaken, thinks he has safely made it home. He should feel safe too, considering the head of the Spears, Dohaku, has been waiting for Akinari’s arrival. Add to that dozens of men protecting the border and hiding in the surrounding forest, waiting for any sign of Jyubei and the Hori women.
From the reader’s point of view, I have to admit it is disappointing to see the scumbag Akinari make it home safely. Although, he hasn’t made it completely intact as another of his Spears, Rensuke, has fallen to the Hori women along the way. It was a tough battle and I thought for sure the two women he fought were going to die. However, with the help of two priests, the girls were able to outsmart Rensuke once he got too cocky.
With Akinari back in his little kingdom things take a new twist. On one hand, the Hori women have killed four of the Seven Spears. On the other hand, the leader of the Spears is an 107-year-old ninjitsu master that cannot be killed. In a surprising twist, Dohaku is the twin brother of shogun Ieyasu’s high priest, Tenkai, and together they can never die. Each feels the pain of the other making it almost impossible for either to die. This is an impressive power as I’m sure someone as devious as Dohaku has used this to his advantage an untold number of times during his long life.
Things become even more twisted as Dohaku’s daughter turns out to be a bigger sexual deviant than Akinari. Between the two of them they quickly burn through Akinari’s concubines, forcing his men to kidnap women from nearby villages. Jyubei tries to use this to his advantage by placing signs saying ‘How many hundreds of women have entered Aizu castle to their deaths?’ throughout the countryside. The villages under Akinari’s control are weak, but this psychological warfare could help Jyubei turn them on Akinari. Only time will tell, and it remains to be seen whether or not Jyubei and the Hori women have the patience needed.
This series is proving to be an entertaining cat and mouse game that has filled out more volumes than I originally expected it would. Akinari is such a disgusting deviant that it is easy to root for the Hori women in their quest to avenge their husbands and brothers deaths. Plus, the fight scenes are both cool and unique depending on the combatants. Where Jyubei overwhelms his opponents with sword skills and brute force, the Hori women must rely on numbers and well thought out battle strategies.
Then sprinkle in political intrigue and throne-room jockeying along with some sex in the same vein as Koike with his samurai tales like ‘Path of the Assassin’, and you have an enjoyable read. Sure, Yagyu Ninja Scrolls is nowhere near as good as most of Koike’s stuff, but it is a fun story. I eagerly await more battles between the Hori women and the remaining Spears.