Review: Usagi Yojimbo #1

Usagi Yojimbo #1

I’ve never read Usagi Yojimbo, but with the move to IDW Publishing and a clear start, it felt that reading Usagi Yojimbo #1 was something I should do.

Jumping around a bit, the first issue eventually focuses on the rabbit ronin Miyamoto Usagi. The beginning of a three-part story Usagi becomes involved in a battle against demons where not everything is quite what it seems.

The start of a new chapter, Usagi Yojimbo #1 is entertaining. Having never read a previous issue, Sakai’s writing is fun and entertaining. There’s humor about it and a story that is much more adult than its anthropomorphic characters makes it out to be.

I should know better, as the comic has a history with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles whose comic versions are much more mature than the kids television show of the past. Much like TMNT, Usagi Yojimbo has a sense that it’s much more than its cute and fuzzy characters.

Sakai infuses a sense of Japan into the comic. The surroundings and outfits feel researched and there’s a sense of respect for the setting. The use of terminology too creates a more authentic take as well. The characters are interesting with a cuteness about them. That feels like it makes the demonic elements even scarier and unnerving as they’re introduced.

I’ve never read Usagi Yojimbo but this debut issue has me understanding what the hype and love is all about. I’m not sure it’s enough to get me to want to go back and see what I’ve been missing. But, it’s more than enough to get me excited to read what’s to come.

Story: Stan Sakai Art: Stan Sakai
Letterer: Stan Sakai Color: Tom Luth
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation:

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review