Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai

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9781595823625: Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai

Yokai are the monsters, demons, and spirits of Japanese folklore, such as the shape-changing kitsune, the obakeneko demon cats, and the evil oni ogres. Usagi faces all these and more when a desperate woman begs for his help in finding her kidnapped daughter. Tracing the abducted girl deep into the forest, Usagi finds it haunted by creatures of Japanese legend and discovers that they are amassing for a great raid on the countryside! Fortunately, Usagi is joined by Sasuke the Demon Queller, who is also fighting to prevent the invasion, but things aren't always as they seem, especially when dealing with the supernatural!

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From Booklist:

Simplicity has long been the hallmark of Sakai’s stories of a wandering rabbit samurai and his various trials throughout a flawlessly researched historical Japan. To help celebrate the comic-book series’ twenty-fifth year comes its first original graphic novel (and, unusually, in full color, too). The tale is a simple one: Usagi follows a tricky fox spirit into a demon-infested wood at the behest of a mother who has lost her child therein. Whereas Sakai’s narrative minimalism is deceptive over the course of the series—small events and intrigues form a much larger tapestry that produces an epic sweep—in this stand-alone tale, the simplicity makes for a story that is essentially one large fight scene. It’s a cool fight scene, to be sure, with the dogged samurai taking on a phantasmagoria of weird spirits and demons lifted from Japanese folklore and meeting up with an ancient demon hunter who holds the key to the story’s somewhat predictable twist. A light read elevated by Sakai’s gorgeous images and masterfully unfussy composition. Grades 4-7. --Jesse Karp

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Sakai, Stan
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