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Usagi Yojimbo Volume 23: Bridge of Tears Limited Edition

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The wandering life of a ronin is often a lonely one, and Usagi has been on that path a long time. A temporary peace, staying with the merchant Endo and his daughter Hanaka, is interrupted by the deadly League of Assassins, setting Usagi back on the road, but with the uncomfortable sensation that he is being followed. Usagi's travels next take him to a town torn apart by st The wandering life of a ronin is often a lonely one, and Usagi has been on that path a long time. A temporary peace, staying with the merchant Endo and his daughter Hanaka, is interrupted by the deadly League of Assassins, setting Usagi back on the road, but with the uncomfortable sensation that he is being followed. Usagi's travels next take him to a town torn apart by street gangs searching for a dead gang boss's stash of gold. While in town, Usagi meets Mayumi, who longs for a new life away from the village and convinces Usagi to take her with him. As attraction grows between them, Usagi faces a dilemma: can another join him on his path, or is the lifestyle of a ronin too dangerous for Mayumi, especially as signs point to the return of Jei, the Black Soul?


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The wandering life of a ronin is often a lonely one, and Usagi has been on that path a long time. A temporary peace, staying with the merchant Endo and his daughter Hanaka, is interrupted by the deadly League of Assassins, setting Usagi back on the road, but with the uncomfortable sensation that he is being followed. Usagi's travels next take him to a town torn apart by st The wandering life of a ronin is often a lonely one, and Usagi has been on that path a long time. A temporary peace, staying with the merchant Endo and his daughter Hanaka, is interrupted by the deadly League of Assassins, setting Usagi back on the road, but with the uncomfortable sensation that he is being followed. Usagi's travels next take him to a town torn apart by street gangs searching for a dead gang boss's stash of gold. While in town, Usagi meets Mayumi, who longs for a new life away from the village and convinces Usagi to take her with him. As attraction grows between them, Usagi faces a dilemma: can another join him on his path, or is the lifestyle of a ronin too dangerous for Mayumi, especially as signs point to the return of Jei, the Black Soul?

30 review for Usagi Yojimbo Volume 23: Bridge of Tears Limited Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Juho Pohjalainen

    With a name like that, you know this one's not going to end well. With a name like that, you know this one's not going to end well.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Loved the tragic story with Mayumi. Stan keeps his stories fresh throughout the decades as Brian Vaughan so wisely writes on the back cover. There is humour, there is drama, there is Gen again! I love this guy. After 22 years and he's still got it. Hats off once again to you, mr Sakai! What really stole the thunder in this volume though, is the roast. Just to show how much Stan and his rabbit samurai are loved by his coworkers and friends. A big family they are, time and again with the "The Sakai Loved the tragic story with Mayumi. Stan keeps his stories fresh throughout the decades as Brian Vaughan so wisely writes on the back cover. There is humour, there is drama, there is Gen again! I love this guy. After 22 years and he's still got it. Hats off once again to you, mr Sakai! What really stole the thunder in this volume though, is the roast. Just to show how much Stan and his rabbit samurai are loved by his coworkers and friends. A big family they are, time and again with the "The Sakai project - Artists celebrate thirty years of Usagi Yojimbo" that came in 2014.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Václav

    (4,6 z 5 za Usagiho tak, jak ho mám nejvíc rád - kratší vzájemně propojené příběhy se širším kontextem) Most slz je macatý paperback. 240 stran, z toho necelých 200 Usagiho dobrodružství a navrch komiksová oslava stého čísla UY (u Dark Horse), která je příjemně zábavná. Samotná Usagiho dobrodružství jsou fajn. Meče sekají, oči ze stínů koukají, Usagi má zase svá dilemata, jiné ho chtěj zabít a tak dále, prostě oblíbená klasika v přesto opět nových a originálních příbězích. Stan to prostě umí.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bill Coffin

    This is a cumulative review of the 35 volumes of collected Usagi Yojimbo stories that have been published to date. They span a 37-year history, across the first seven volumes published by Fantagraphics, across the next 24 volumes published by Dark Horse, and finally across the most recent three volumes published by IDW, bringing us to Usagi Yojimbo v35: Homecoming, published in 2021. This review does not include the volumes Space Usagi, Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Usagi Yojimbo/T This is a cumulative review of the 35 volumes of collected Usagi Yojimbo stories that have been published to date. They span a 37-year history, across the first seven volumes published by Fantagraphics, across the next 24 volumes published by Dark Horse, and finally across the most recent three volumes published by IDW, bringing us to Usagi Yojimbo v35: Homecoming, published in 2021. This review does not include the volumes Space Usagi, Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Usagi Yojimbo/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Collection, or Chibi Usagi: Attack of the Heebie Chibis. In a land very much like Japan, in a time very much like the early days of the Tokugawa Shogunate, when legions of samurai suddenly found themselves out of work in a war-torn land trying to get back to normal, a masterless samurai - a ronin - named Usagi Yojimbo walks the path of a student-warrior. He goes wherever fate takes him, living by his honor, his swordsmanship and by the grace of the friends he makes along the way. On his endless adventures, Usagi confronts wicked bandits, cruel tyrants, sinister assassins, and dire supernatural fiends. He often encounters humble folk plying their trade in an often cruel and harsh world (and along the way, learns a bit about their work, like brewing sake or weaving tatami mats). Along his way, he builds a vast cast of friends, allies and rivals, including the bounty hunger Gen, fellow samurai )and love interest) Tomoe, the ninja Chizu, the third Kitsune, the noble lord Noriyuki, the stalwart Inspector Ishida, and of course, Usagi’s own son (and chip off the old block), Jotaro. And just as well, he builds no small list of enemies, including the dire Lord Hikiji (the power-hungry lord who is the very reason why Usagi no longer has a master), the Neko and Komori ninja clans, the Koroshi league of assassins, and the demonic ronin Jei. Amid all this, Usagi strives to uphold the warrior ideals of bushido and find a sense of enlightenment on his journey. The stories are often funny, exciting, smart, sharp, tight, and occasionally touched with tragedy. They offer an informed look at medieval Japan, and pay no small number of homages to all kinds of cultural references both ancient and modern, as a reflect of Sakai’s own journey to connect with his personal heritage and honor it with his stories. They are simultaneously suitable for adults and kids alike - despite all of the carnage, Sakai never descends into gruesome detail, and yet, the many scenes of battle never seem so sanitized that they lost their gravity. The artwork is distinct and excellent. Sakai’s is a master of sharp lifework (as well as lettering), and since he writes, pencils, inks and letters every issue solo, there is a uniformity and consistency to Usagi Yojimbo that you just don’t find in many other comics or cartoons. Until the last few volumes, it is all B&W, but Sakai’s sense of depth as well as his supremely skilled panel composition, pulls you in so deeply that you forget if it’s in color or not. You are under Usagi’s spell from the first page, and along for the ride, however long it goes. To get an idea of the length, breadth and depth of how beloved an impactful Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo series has been, look no further than the introductions to each of the collected volumes published to date. There you will find a dazzling array of some of the finest talents in modern cartooning, who have a seemingly endless variety of ways to say how much they love Usagi Yojimbo, how impactful it has been on their own careers, and how great Stan Sakai has been himself as a goodwill ambassador for both cartooning as well as of the Japanese culture he so masterfully serves throughout his stories. For those who have not yet enjoyed these stories for the first time, a wonderful journey awaits you. Usagi Yojimbo was created during those days in the 80s when anthropomorphic martial arts characters were all the rage. And yet, Usagi Yojimbo stood apart almost immediately. He might have been a rabbit ronin in a world of talking, walking animals, but he never seemed to be drafting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or trying to comment on the martial-art zoo comic trend. From the beginning, Usagi Yojimbo, like its titular character, was determined to walk its own path, to be the best it could be, and to celebrate the things in life that are worth celebrating: devotion to one’s craft, honoring one’s family, upholding one’s obligations, serving one’s highest aspirations, accepting one’s limitations, and acknowledging one’s flaws. The stories are largely episodic varying in length from just a few pages, to an entire collection. They often are self-contained, but just as often reference slowly building meta plots, or serve an entire, novel-length story on their own. Everything is delicately interconnected, and yet, without such a heavy continuity that one can not simply pick up any of these volumes and begin reading without skipping a beat. Such is this series, endlessly accessible and friendly to beginners, and endlessly rewarding to long-time fans for whom earned narrative developments deliver terrific dividends. As with any series of this length, some moments in it won’t land as well with the reader as others. But there just are not that many lows with this - if you appreciate what Sakai is doing here, you’re likely to enjoy pretty much all of it. There are some volumes that really stand out, largely because they tell the biggest and most epic stories (v04: The Dragon Bellows Conspiracy, v12: Grasscutter, v15: Grasscutter II - Journey to Astuta Shrine, v17: Duel at Kitanoji, v19: Fathers and Sons, v28: Red Scorpion, v32: The Hidden, and v35:Homecoming all come to mind), but really, the entire catalog of worth enjoying on equal terms. It’s saying something indeed that the most recent volume of Usagi Yojimbo tells one of the most compelling and moving stories of the entire series. Some edges dull over time, but as a storyteller, Stan Sakai’s edge never does. Usagi Yojimbo has been hailed as one of the greatest independent comics ever. And it is. But it is more than that. It is one of the greatest comics, period. Read every volume. You will be glad that you did.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael Emond

    Amazing. It is amazing after so many stories and issues this creator (Stan Sakai) working on his own for the story and art can produce such amazing tales. This volume is slightly longer because there is a tribute to him at the end with a "roast" from other writers and artists. That add on was fun but forgettable - the nicest thing about it was that it showed how much Stan is respected by other people in the comic industry - deservedly so. The key part of this tale is the story of Usagi helping f Amazing. It is amazing after so many stories and issues this creator (Stan Sakai) working on his own for the story and art can produce such amazing tales. This volume is slightly longer because there is a tribute to him at the end with a "roast" from other writers and artists. That add on was fun but forgettable - the nicest thing about it was that it showed how much Stan is respected by other people in the comic industry - deservedly so. The key part of this tale is the story of Usagi helping free a town from the gang wars caused over a missing treasure - where he then meets and befriends an Innkeeper who wants out of the town. She is very moody and it is odd Usagi is drawn towards her but in her tender moments it is obvious she cars for him. the league of assassins is still trying to kill Usagi and she gets caught in the middle. A wonderful bunch of tales. Told by the master.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kenny Ketner

    Never read a bad Stan Sakai story in my life!

  7. 4 out of 5

    James

    Comics don't get much better than this. Supremely satisfying. Comics don't get much better than this. Supremely satisfying.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Isaac Timm

    Evil dreams, sword fighting in the rain, demon swordswomen, bridges, etc. It hits all my story telling favorites. So many feels.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Reyhan

    The paneling, the characterization, the storylines....plain brilliant!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Harley

    Just like his namesake, Miyamoto Usagi is leaving broken hearts in his wake wherever he goes

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I think I've said a time or two, but Usagi is my favorite comic of all time, and Bridge of Tears is just more evidence why. Sakai's a master at giving the reader satisfying one-off issues while building subplots and supporting players to set up long-term payoffs. I love how he built up the assassin pursuing Usagi in this volume, while touching on long-running subplots such as Chizu's battle against her former clan and Gen and Stray Dog's pursuit of Inazuma, in order to set up the beautiful and t I think I've said a time or two, but Usagi is my favorite comic of all time, and Bridge of Tears is just more evidence why. Sakai's a master at giving the reader satisfying one-off issues while building subplots and supporting players to set up long-term payoffs. I love how he built up the assassin pursuing Usagi in this volume, while touching on long-running subplots such as Chizu's battle against her former clan and Gen and Stray Dog's pursuit of Inazuma, in order to set up the beautiful and tragic finale of this volume. Bridge of Tears indeed - I had to buck up inside less someone in my office find me sobbing in the lunch room, where I read the final chapters of this book! One of my favorite Usagi books ever, and that's saying something. For readers less familiar with the long-running storylines, don't worry. The core of the book, Usagi's friendship with Mayumi and the assassin in pursuit, are almost entirely contained within these covers. The celebrity roast installment was cute, a nice little one-off, and it's fun to see people like Frank Miller, Sergio Aragones, Jeff Smith, Matt Wagner, etc. paying some tribute to Stan's work.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Excellent Stan Sakai. Book 23, Bridge of Tears collects Dark Horse issues 94-102. Brian Vaughan, writer/producer from TV's Lost, said it best in his introduction to this book. "In an era when the best television shows often become stale after just a few seasons, Stan has found a way to keep his serialized epic fresh for decades, always being brave enough to try new things while never being fickle enough to forget what made his story connect with so many readers across the world in the first plac Excellent Stan Sakai. Book 23, Bridge of Tears collects Dark Horse issues 94-102. Brian Vaughan, writer/producer from TV's Lost, said it best in his introduction to this book. "In an era when the best television shows often become stale after just a few seasons, Stan has found a way to keep his serialized epic fresh for decades, always being brave enough to try new things while never being fickle enough to forget what made his story connect with so many readers across the world in the first place." Both books 22 and 23 have started key story arcs that are clearly building to an exciting climax. I can't wait for book 24. As an aside, I'm glad they included the Dark Horse issue 100 simply as an appendix. This was just a tribute to Stan by many of friends in the industry and should only be read by those who read appendices. It preserved the flow of the stories in the other issues.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Matti Karjalainen

    Stan Sakain Usagi Yojimbon saaga jatkuu sarjan 23. osassa "The Bridge of Tears", jossa samuraijäniksemme joutuu vastentahtoisesti jakamaan vaellustaan nuoren naisen kanssa. Matka on vaaroja täynnä, eikä heistä vähäisin ole Usagin kannoilla oleva, taitavana miekkamiehenä tunnettu palkkatappaja Shizukiri. Lisäksi tarinassa törmätään pariin vanhaan tuttavaan, joista mieleenpainuvin on edelleen demonin riivaama "jumalten terä" Jei. Sarjakuvan lopusta löytyy vielä Stan Sakain sadannen Usagi-numeron ku Stan Sakain Usagi Yojimbon saaga jatkuu sarjan 23. osassa "The Bridge of Tears", jossa samuraijäniksemme joutuu vastentahtoisesti jakamaan vaellustaan nuoren naisen kanssa. Matka on vaaroja täynnä, eikä heistä vähäisin ole Usagin kannoilla oleva, taitavana miekkamiehenä tunnettu palkkatappaja Shizukiri. Lisäksi tarinassa törmätään pariin vanhaan tuttavaan, joista mieleenpainuvin on edelleen demonin riivaama "jumalten terä" Jei. Sarjakuvan lopusta löytyy vielä Stan Sakain sadannen Usagi-numeron kunniaksi laadittu tribuutti, johon osallistuvat mm. Frank Miller ja Sergio Aragones. "The Bridge of Tears" jatkaa vanhoilla, hyväksi havaituilla linjoilla, joskaan ei myöskään tule jäämään mieleen sarjan parhaana albumina.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sbuchler

    Genre: Comic book, Samurai Fantasy This was somewhat disappointing, based on the overall quality of the rest of the series. Not that there’s anything wrong with this installment – it’s just not that memorable. It doesn’t help that it doesn’t seem to have an overall theme or story arc – it’s a series of vignettes, which push various reoccurring character’s stories slightly – but I was hoping for more.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nicolas

    Encore un recueil d'histoires courtes. La rencontre avec Muyami est assez spéciale, puisqu'on y découvre un Usagi conscient des risques de sa vie d'errance, et peu désireux de la partager. Peut-être même que se cache un peu de sexisme là-dedans puisque Muyami est ... une femme ... et donc peu apte à supporter les rigueurs de la vie de ronin. Encore un recueil d'histoires courtes. La rencontre avec Muyami est assez spéciale, puisqu'on y découvre un Usagi conscient des risques de sa vie d'errance, et peu désireux de la partager. Peut-être même que se cache un peu de sexisme là-dedans puisque Muyami est ... une femme ... et donc peu apte à supporter les rigueurs de la vie de ronin.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Timothy

    It's hard to believe, while reading this volume, that Usagi Yojimbo has been ongoing, in one form or another, for twenty five years. With the 23rd volume, Usagi continues on with his journeys, defeating foes and making new friends. As the years go on, one thing we can be sure is that Usagi will continue to entertain us as we follow him. It's hard to believe, while reading this volume, that Usagi Yojimbo has been ongoing, in one form or another, for twenty five years. With the 23rd volume, Usagi continues on with his journeys, defeating foes and making new friends. As the years go on, one thing we can be sure is that Usagi will continue to entertain us as we follow him.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Natalia

    Prestado por: Sergio

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    This is a very emotional and ultimately sad volume, so I'm glad that it included the 100th issue "roast" at the end. I can't believe this series keeps finding ways to get better and better. This is a very emotional and ultimately sad volume, so I'm glad that it included the 100th issue "roast" at the end. I can't believe this series keeps finding ways to get better and better.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anie Things

    Me han faltado los otros 22 tomos para enterarme bien de que va.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jenna Mills

    The usual good stuff you are guaranteed with Usagi.

  21. 4 out of 5

    E

    The fact that Sakai can be as prolific as he is and still craft interesting, meaningful stories is remarkable. The Mayumi story here is the highlight with its bold conclusion.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Great stuff. And not just because I have a couple of pages in it. :)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    The roast of Stan and Usagi included at the end was generally awesome and hilarious.

  24. 4 out of 5

    David H.

    Retroactive Review (12 Sep 2021): Please see my review of the series here under the first volume. Retroactive Review (12 Sep 2021): Please see my review of the series here under the first volume.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Mayumi was quite the cliche. It's a little disappointing. Mayumi was quite the cliche. It's a little disappointing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Caleb

    Kinda sorta review: http://everydayislikewednesday.blogsp... Kinda sorta review: http://everydayislikewednesday.blogsp...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Liz Argall

    Lovely illustration and storytelling. It's amazing how Stan Sakai gets away with characters saying their thoughts out loud. It seems so natural. Thoroughly enjoyable and poignant. Lovely illustration and storytelling. It's amazing how Stan Sakai gets away with characters saying their thoughts out loud. It seems so natural. Thoroughly enjoyable and poignant.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Greg

  29. 4 out of 5

    Antonio Diaz

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dione Basseri

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