Usagi Yojimbo Volume 16: The Shrouded Moon (Usagi Yojimbo (Dark Horse))

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9781569718841: Usagi Yojimbo Volume 16: The Shrouded Moon (Usagi Yojimbo (Dark Horse))

Throughout his journeys across feudal Japan, rabbit ronin Usagi has faced many dangers, crossed paths with some who have become his sworn enemies, and forged bonds of friendship stronger than any threat that might cross his path.
Collected here are six tales featuring those companions Usagi holds dear. "Showdown" finds Usagi traveling with master swordsman Gen, as the two disrupt the dueling influences of a pair of corrupt families. Neko ninja clan leader Chizu finds herself betrayed and on the run in "Escape!" In "Three Seasons," Usagi is forced to defend himself with the most unlikely of weapons. The beautiful thief Kitsune's tragic history is revealed in "The Shrouded Moon" and "Kitsune's Tale." And in "Lesson in Courtesy," a hot-headed young Usagi incurs a debt that takes nearly a lifetime to repay!
Once again, Stan Sakai masterfully weaves together the many threads of intrigue, adventure, humor, and heart in another endearing Usagi Yojimbo collection.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Sakai's rabbit samurai Usagi Yojimbo has been around since 1984, and this latest collection of the ongoing comic makes it easy to understand the character's longevity. Sakai has the ability to make stories instantly and universally accessible. Although the cartoony b&w art and the gimmick anthropomorphic animal warriors adventuring in the legendary past of 17th-century Japan would seem to be a set-up for saccharine or simplistic stories, the series has a grim edge. Death is always a possibility for Usagi. In the opening story, "Showdown," he and his rhinoceros bounty hunter friend Gen arrive in a town where two rival gangs are terrorizing the townsfolk. Of course, the pair sets out to fix things, in a sting that finds them playing each side against the other. Usagi is brave but hardly infallible even though they defeat both bosses, Usagi and Gen end up as penniless as they started out. In "The Shrouded Moon," Usagi and Gen set out to aid a beautiful thief, a fox named Kitsune, in a dangerous mission. Despite the fantasy setting, the feudal world is scrupulously researched. Sakai's blending of words and pictures is utterly assured, and he uses his fun style to great effect. Like the best animated characters, Usagi and the rest of the cast is capable of a broad range of emotions. Blending classic storytelling, flawlessly designed art and lovingly researched period touches, Usagi Yojimbo is a true all-ages comics treat.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal:

Adult/High School-Moon continues the adventures of the rabbit samurai and his belligerent friend Gen after they helped return the sacred sword Grasscutter to Atsuta Shrine in Grasscutter II (Dark Horse, 2002). In "Showdown," Usagi and Gen free a town from two rival gangs. In "The Shrouded Moon," they assist Kitsune, an entertainer and pickpocket who was hired to steal the good-luck talisman of a powerful gang leader. "Seasons" views Usagi through the eyes of a man he was hired to protect, a fishmonger he defended, and a would-be bandit scared onto the right path. The other two stories focus on two of the women in the series, Kitsune and Chizu. Sakai has created a unique world, based on the culture and history of Japan under shoguns, but visually filled with anthropomorphic animals of many types. His stories are well plotted and beautifully drawn. Usagi uses his brain as well as his sword to solve problems, and he is an honorable, admirable character. Grumpy, greedy Gen makes for good comic relief. This title stands on its own, but readers will probably want more in the series.
Susan Salpini, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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