The Usagi Yojimbo Saga

(text & illus.). Bk. 1. Dark Horse. 2014. 632p. ISBN 9781616556099. pap. $24.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS/FANTASY
OrangeReviewStarThe first Dark Horse volumes of Sakai's marvelous tales of rabbit samurai Usagi Yojimbo are reprinted in this deluxe volume. The complete art and text from the now out-of-print Shades of Death, Daisho, and The Brink of Life and Death are collected here, including guest introductions and Sakai's own story notes along with a brief character introduction and color covers from the original individual issues and graphic novels. This generous-sized tome features some of Usagi's earliest adventures with allies such as the rhino bounty hunter Gen and the foxy con artist Kitsune, as well as large doses of ninjas, brigands, and supernatural creatures. Sakai's crisp black-and-white art splendidly captures the characters, society, and natural world of an imaginary medieval Japan.
VERDICT Sakai's list of cartooning awards is long and many are for his "Usagi" series. This affordably priced volume belongs in all libraries with graphic novel collections.
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