April 28, 2010

Dark Horse Reviews: Usagi Yojimbo #128

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Written by: Aron
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Usagi Yojimbo #128
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer/Art/Cover: Stan Sakai
Pages: 24
Price: US $3.50
Release Date: April 28, 2010


Miyamoto Usagi is once again on the move.  This time, he stops for shelter in the home of a small family of three.  For the child, Taro, he makes a tera tera bozu doll.  These dolls are made to bring good weather.  It has been raining so Taro hangs the new doll outside, hoping the next day will be nice so he and Usagi can spend the day playing.

Usagi and his hosts sit down for supper, a meal of vegetables that the rabbit ronin was able to pick up from the market on the way into town.  The boy stuffs himself, but miraculously still has room for the treats (doesn’t that sound like most kids?) that Usagi also brought from the market.  Taro is warned not to eat too many, so he leaves just one for his parents.  Bedtime soon follows.

In the middle of the night, Taro wakes with a tummy ache.  He should have listened to his parents when they told him not to eat too much candy.  He makes his way out in the cold rain to the outhouse.  While he is away, something strange happens.  A nightmarish event takes place in the house of Taro’s family.  Luckily, Usagi is still in the home.  So are his blades….

Hot on the heels of the previous two issues of Usagi Yojimbo filled with humor and excitement, this issue hits a snag.  The awesomeness train is derailed.  Yes, there is still a high level of sword-swingin’ adventure, but it leaves us with an unfulfilled “then I woke up…” taste in our mouths.  Once again, the issue is drawn beautifully.  Stan Sakai never disappoints us visually.  The story, unfortunately, is more flat than the two-liter that you have sitting in the back corner of your fridge.

For the most part, these self-contained stories have been entertaining, but I am hungry for an epic three or four issue adventure.  In May, the book is taking a break and will return in June.  I hope it kicks off another run of adventure and excitement so I will have something awesome to tell you about.  If you’re not a hardcore Usagi Yojimbo fan, it is okay to sit #128 out.  Nobody will be mad at you.

Aron White



  1. Billy

    This might sound funny coming from someone who loves comic books (and fictional stories) but I just can’t wrap my head around a rabbit that looks like a Samurai. 😉

  2. But Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are okay? lol

  3. Steve

    ‘Yes, there is still a high level of sword-swingin’ adventure, but it leaves us with an unfulfilled “then I woke up…” taste in our mouths.’

    For anyone who has read more than the last three issues knows, the very last panel of the last page of the story leaves the reader with the knowledge that Taro’s dream was just a pale foreshadowing of what real life had in store for him and his family…..

  4. Aron

    Steve- Thanks for posting! I did not know that, as I jumped on with issue #126. I’m finding that this book can really swing either way, as far as jump on points and being new-reader friendly. New reader wouldn’t have understood the last panel. I’m proof of that. Maybe some Usagi Yojimbo trades are in my future.

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