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Samurai’s Blood #2 – Review

Samurai's Blood #2 is not going to surprise anyone and it does not break the mold. If you've read or seen a samurai story before, then you already have a pretty good idea of what is on offer. There's honor, there are swords, there's revenge and geishas. Having said that, the whole reason we're familiar with these stories is because they work, and in Samurai's Blood it works very well.

Issue #2 continues the story of young clan head Junishi Sanjo, newly appointed after everyone else was slaughtered by the villainous Gakushi, leaving only himself, his sister Mayuko, and his friend and fellow samurai Katashi as survivors. These three young adults are on the run from those who would attempt to kill them, until they can strike back and regain their lives. Also, Mayuko and Katashi are a couple. Like I said, it is not anything most of us haven't seen before. Even so, the presentation is carried out so well that it is hard to care.

Samurais Blood CoverWhen I read the previous issue I enjoyed it, but I honestly thought it dragged a little as the characters and scenario were established. Already by issue #2 things are moving along and getting more interesting. Mayuko is kidnapped and Jun pushes Katashi into duels to win money, creating a conflict between Katashi's aspirations of samurai honor and the practical need to pay for food and shelter. The duels themselves are a simple joy and watching the motions of Katashi's sword are refreshing compared to the hugely embellished superpowered battles I'm sure a lot of us are used to.

What Samurai's Blood #2 really does well is the combination of art and narration. Each page is littered with black text boxes that contemplate honor and what it means to be a samurai. It is an indirect narration of events that seems almost like poetry and ties into the action and emotions on display in the drawings. Even small touches in the narration can be clever, such as the setting establishment like "Dawn. After the tea had been poured."

If there was something truly unique on display it could easily be given a higher score, but, even so, Samurai's Blood #2 does dramatically well with the tried and true.


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