Lady Snowblood. Volume 1: The deep-seated grudge - Part 1

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9781593073855: Lady Snowblood. Volume 1: The deep-seated grudge - Part 1
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From the pen of Kazuo Koike, of Lone Wolf and Cub fame, comes Lady Snowblood, the manga that eventually would become an inspiration for director Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill blockbuster films. A story of pure vengeance, Lady Snowblood tells the tale of a daughter born of a singular purpose, to avenge the death of her family at the hands of a gang of thugs, a purpose woven into her soul from the time of her gestation. Beautifully drafted and full of bloody, sexy action, Lady Snowblood lives up to its title and reputation.

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Set in the 1890s, some 200 years later than writer Koike's samurai-and-child-for-hire epic one Wolf and Cub, Lady Snowblood features a beautiful woman whose martial artistry, like Lone Wolf's, is her meal ticket. Although she doesn't have a child, Yuki has a raison d'etre as compelling. The spirit of her mother, who died shortly after her birth, possesses Yuki's heart and drives her to avenge the double murder and rape that destroyed her mother's earlier life. While awaiting opportunities for vengeance, Yuki keeps her skills honed by being the best hit woman money can buy. Since capitalism and gangsterism are rampant in rapidly Westernizing Japan, businessmen and yakuza alike can just afford her. Crucial to Yuki's lethality is her sexual allure, and nothing gets her victims to drop their guard like her dropping her clothing. Much more than in the Lone Wolf team's later Samurai Executioner stories, gritty sex and splashy violence are staples here. Artist Kamimura, if slightly less sophisticated than Lone Wolf's and Executioner's Goseki Kojima, easily meets these stories' visual demands. Ray Olson
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