Thursday, December 3, 2009

Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai

Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai by Stan Sakai celebrates the 25th anniversary of my favorite samurai rabbit in a beautiful hardbound graphic novel in which Miyamoto Usagi, hero from an anthropomorphic world mirroring feudal Japan in the 17th century, battles a forest of spirits and ghouls (yokai)

If you are unfamiliar with the world of Usagi Yojimbo, this is a wonderful introduction to the tenacity and bravery of Usagi. The story is culturally researched, but what makes Usagi so appealing is the way Sakai takes the research, then adds his own quirky humor to the artwork and characters.

At under $15, this Sakai book is a STEAL. It's a full color story with valuable extras in the back including an in-depth interview with Sakai about the making of Yokai, and samples of his process in making these panels. Don't dismiss Usagi because he's just a bunny. In Sakai's capable hands, this bunny depicts all the mysticism, angst, poetry and wit typical of Samurai movies.

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