Usagi Yojimbo Vol. 18: Travels With Jotaro

September 13, 2004 | Trades


Usagi Yojimbo Vol. 18: Travels With Jotaro
Stan Sakai
Dark Horse Books
$15.95 US (paperback)
*** 1/2 (out of five)

Usagi Yojimbo is many different things.
He is a wandering samurai, an expert swordsman, a keen observer, a kind uncle and a rabbit.
While at first glance this series, written and drawn by Eisner Award-winner Stan Sakai, appears to be simply a black-and-white cartoon strip about an anthropomorphized rabbit in the role of samurai, all it takes is one story to appreciate that this is not kid’s stuff. Sakai’s drawing has a classic cartoony feel to it, but this book takes itself pretty seriously.
Travels With Jotaro, for example, sees Usagi taking his “nephew” under his wing as a sort of apprentice as he moves throughout feudal Japan having adventures.
The intriguing interplay between the hero and this child, whom everyone they meet quickly deduces is actually unknowingly Usagi’s son, combined with an educated depiction of Japanese life and culture in this era proves this book is more Conan and less Mickey Mouse.
The fact that Usagi Yojimbo is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year goes even further to showing this series is a timeless classic and will continue to be for a long time to come.

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