Lone Wolf and Cub
Live and die as a bushi
Story: Kazuo Koike
Art: Goseki Kojima
28 Volumes – Complete
Ogami Itto, the former Kogi Kaishakunin – shogun’s executioner, together with his son Daigoro choose the path of assassin for his vengeance to the Yagyu. The Yagyu clan had set him up because they want his position. So they, father and son, abandon everything to achieve their goals.
Ogami Itto become a famous assassin with ‘Lone Wolf and Cub’ as his nickname. He’ll do an assassination for 500 ryou (gold piece) a person; as long as he can accept the reason. He is not just ruthless but also a strategist, so he never failed his mission no matter how hard it is. People questioned why he involved his 3 years old son in his job, but they don’t know that Daigoro isn’t just an ordinary children. Daigoro is a destiny child who is ready to face his fate.
For years Ogami become assassin to achieve his goal, make the Yagyu pay for what they had done to him and his family. In the mean time the Yagyu feels threatened by it. If Ogami reveals the Yagyu’s plot it will be the end of them. So by any means they try to kill him.
First, I wanna say that this is a really great manga. It’s well-researched. It describe the situation and the culture of Japan at the Edo-era in details. You might find things that you never know before. Not just about the people, but also about the weapons. This manga shows various exotic weapon existed in feudal Japan, not just sword.
It has a great plot. Well it’s kind of slow in the beginning. Made me wonder if this 28 volumes-length manga is just about killing and such. But as the story goes, it became more interesting, and the big plot gradualy revealed.
But what attract me most is the bushido; the way of samurai. Though I can’t accept some of their values, but in general I really respect it. Being a bushi (samurai) meant to always live with death in their heart. They put honor and dedication on top of everything. They chose death rather than bear shame when they can’t fulfill their duty. A real bushi is a true gentlemen in my opinion.
This manga covers various human problems and it’s complexity. Of course that is related with the situation of that era. But human don’t change much do they? 🙂 This is another interesting and great side of the manga.
The downside of this manga is that it contains a lot of terrible violence and a lot of nudity and sex things. Countless man slaughtered, blood splurting everywhere, well things like that. About the nudity and sex things, I wonder why people in the story don’t mind to show their naked flesh. Well maybe in reality it is like that and sometimes it’s important part of the story, but I don’t think that it has to be showned explicitly. Just my 2 cents.
Anyhow this is the best manga about samurai and a very worth reading. Trust me. 😉
[Reviewer: Adityo Ananta K.]