View Full Version : Favorite Lone Wolf and Cub:Volumes(22-28)
04-23-2003, 05:20 PM
For final set of 7?
04-23-2003, 05:35 PM
All, although my I like the last of this batch very much.
07-30-2003, 10:15 AM
Volume 22 is another excellent LW&C manga stories with a breathtaking battle scene between the last of the Yagyu(led by Retsudo) and Ogami Itto and Ogami Daigoro. Once again, Retsudo catches up with the poisoner, Abe-No-Kaii, and once again he spares his life because the poisoner doesn't understand what it is to be a BUSHI(samurai). Meanwhile there a backstory on Itto's meeting with a seller of Totekirai explosives, which bears some importance to what's happening currently. Itto and Retsudo finally meet up for battle along with the last of the Yagyu clan, for the final battle. The assassin's gold was used so that Itto could purchase some explosives for Daigoro as he can't fight as a bushi because of the superiority of the Yagyu's swordmanship. The Yagyu and Itto fight it out until there is only Itto, Retsudo, and Daigoro. At the same time, Kaii, goes to flood the place where Itto and Retsudo fight, but ends up flooding Edo instead. Here's where the series gets interesting with Retsudo and Itto putting aside their battle by sticking their swords into the ground and work together in order to save Edo from more extensive flooding. The next volume begins with even a bigger irony that puts the manga series way ahead of the film series by many miles when Retsudo saves Daigoro from drowning. An act that adds a complexity to the character of Retsudo that makes him more and more a sympathetic and tragic character. It's like for a moment or two in the story he has a sense of grandfatherly love towards Daigoro, despite his tough outerlayer. I find it interesting that Itto and Retsudo are represented by an animal with Itto being the wolf and Retsudo being the tiger.
08-04-2003, 10:39 AM
Volume 23 continues with Retsudo talking to Daigoro about the meaning of Bushido. Also, finally Itto and Retsudo duel for many hours without stopping, using different techniques from their style of swordmanship, and each fighting an even match, while Kaii interferes by covering the blades with poison hoping that they would kill each other while he watches from a roof nearby. The duel between Itto and Retsudo is one of the best fight moments in manga and comic book history, and I only wish such a scene was in the films. Back to the poisoner, his plans once again fails, as it begans to snow, which weakens the effects of the poison, and eventually all drop to the ground from exhaustion and fatigue. In volume 24, Daigoro tries to save his father despite having a severe case of frostbite(his actions bring him closer to becoming the master samurai of his father), who then sticks the two swords of Itto and Retsudo into the ground so they will fight another day. The story ends with Itto and Retsudo working together to save Daigoro, with the poisoner's help who they discover much to their disgust.
08-11-2003, 09:07 PM
Kaii has discovered the Yagyu letter and uses it to get Retsudo in hot water with the Shogun, but Retsudo holds his ground, and is put in house arrest. Meanwhile, he has called on the Grass(his spy ring who report to him about the going ons in the Han they're living in) to gather in Edo for the true final showdown between Itto and Retsudo.
08-13-2003, 09:33 PM
Vol 25 deals with Retsudo being under house arrest in the care of the nasty poisoner, Abe-No-Kaii, who is trying to figure out a way of killing Retsudo without poison, by merely starving him. Retsudo though has something up his sleeve. Three of the stories in this volume deal with members of the grass who must saficrice with tragic results in order to go to Edo to help out Retsudo. The final story is terrific as Daigoro is given the task of watching over the swords of Itto and Retsudo, and Itto plans to enter the castle of the Shogun to find out what happened to Retsudo.
08-19-2003, 09:48 PM
Volume 26 is another excellent volume in the final set of seven from the series that begins with a tragic episode about a member of the Yagyu Grass. It then moves to the main action where Retsudo's spies have reached Edo castle and after an attempt at his life, frames Kaii for a kitchen fire which will result in Seppuku. Meanwhile Itto evades the police watching over him, leaving his son to watch over the two swords struck in the earth, and enters a parade by wearing his family crest(it's the first time that you get a sense of his family background), and in the appearence of a samurai. He enters the castle to find Retsudo, and finds Kaii who begs him to save and get him out of there, promising to help Itto by revealing the Yagyu letter. Itto refushes, and goes to meet Retsudo who tells him of the Grass to kill him, and tells Itto to wait. Kaii does go to get suppuku, but is reluctent at first, even becoming hard to kill(killing three samurai in the process) until Itto gives him some words of wisdom, in which Kaii finally accepts his fate, and is beheaded by Itto, a moment like the old days when he was the Shogun executioner. This is an interesting volume because of the zen philosophy inbeded into the story and because you do feel sympathy for Kaii, despite the things he did in the past volumes. Itto once again shows why he is the last true bushi, and it is one reason why Kaii allows himself to be executed by him, and no one else.
08-25-2003, 12:54 PM
Volume 27 begins with Daigoro guarding the two swords of Retsuto and Itto, and his dedication to this duty no matter what obsticle comes his way. His behavior ends up touching the hearts of a house tiles maker as well as the police officers steaking out Itto who end up joining the little samurai, by guarding the swords(this after a fire breaks out in Edo and villagers running for cover at the Hatcho). Of course Itto returns, and is greatful. The story then moves on back to the Shogun castle with Retsudo performing some trickery with the help of his Grass to get out of there free. Of course this part is interesting because Even through Retsudo has used trickery to escape, in his mind it's for the good of the Shogun and his reign as the Yagyu cannot live without the Tokugawa and vise versa, thus in his own way he is loyal to the power of the Shogun as it's defender. In the next story, the Grass have gathered at his home where Retsudo tells of their assignment to kill Itto, and yet makes some interesting comments that shocks his Grass Ninjas. Such as when he remarks, "The YAGYU school of the sword, the finest in the land, fought to a draw by his Suio school." And even though Itto is his mortal enemy, Retsudo(in a move that makes him a more honorable and sympathetic character then early in the series) has respect for Itto as a samurai and praises him for his skills("Ogami has no peer...And age drags me down. His SHIDO, beyond compare. A shame to take such a life."). Of course, the Grass are confused by this and worry that they will be accused of cowardice if they attack Itto for Retsudo. But Retsudo assues them that attacking Itto, he will consider it SHIDO, and tells them it's for their existence, the Yagyu's existence that is hanging by a thread that they should kill Itto, and his son. Meanwhile Itto and Daigoro experience a brief moment of human kindness and humanity when playing with villagers from the Edo fire, but alas, such moment is only brief, and father and son, once again, are prepared. First, the youngest of the Grass attempts to kill Itto, but is slained himself, which leads to a tender and thoughful exchange between Itto and the Grass that are there. Later a sword poisher comes to clean Itto's sword(this will have an important effect at the beginning of the first story in Volume 28). Being Grass he attacks Daigoro, but Daigoro eludes him the sword poisher is eventually killed by Itto. The next day, the Grass come for a final showdown with Itto and are armed with explosives, ready to take both father and son with them to the Sanzu river. This final story is one of the violent ones in the series and ends on a cliffhanger.
08-25-2003, 12:59 PM
The first story of Volume 28(final volume), entitled Corpse Tree, Itto has defeated a wave of Yagyu Grass, but faces another wave and defeats and kills them all. But, he does not come unharmed as his Excaliber like sword, with unbreakable fangs for the past 27 volumes is broken at last because of a weakness exposed by the sword poisher and the use of scrubble swords. Also, he is mortally wounded, and goes back to the hut where in a terrific illustration, showing him to be near the end of the White Path between the two rivers, with his blood trailering behind him. Daigoro in vein tries to save Itto by tending to his wounds.
08-28-2003, 01:37 PM
Volume 28...Final Chapter(Spoilers)
The final Volume continues with Itto still alive and giving Daigoro a memorable speech that is both touching, and heart felt, and sad. Itto soon faces off against Retsudo despite his sword being broken and determined to "fell the Yagyu tree." to complete his quest of vengeance. Retsudo injuries Itto a couple more times, but Itto still fights. This what is the battle of the century is without being noticed by all samurais including the Shogun himself. In fact, a civil war is right around the corner, especially if the Shogun helps Retsudo, as there are clans like the Kuroda clan who are willing to help Ogami Itto. Both forces go to the Hatcho where the two master swordsman are fighting, and interestingly enough, just sit and become the audience. Of course the duel becomes interesting, especially when Itto and Retsudo take turns getting the sword away from the other(during this Itto gets a head wound, and is stabed very badly, but still he won't go down). Itto in the final story does fall to the ground and Retsudo believes that he is dead. But, like Jason or other major slasher characters, Itto is faking it and makes one last shot at getting Retsudo, yet Retsudo is alerted by Daigoro's eyes and gets out of the way in time. Soon enough, Itto, the samurai who is like Godzilla, the samurai who was unstoppable finally meets his fate and falls to the ground, dead for good. It's one of the saddest moments for me from reading literature and I put it up there with the supposed death of Sherlock Holmes in The Final Problem. Yet, the story does not end there, and Daigoro knowing that he must finish the quest, tries to get the sword out of his dead father's hand in vein. Next, he picks up a piece from a spear, runs into Retsudo and fatally stabs him in the hear. What's interesting is Retsudo picks up Daigoro and embraces him, when all present shed a tear. Especially, Retsudo whose tears represent his mourning of the end of the Yagyu. I find it fitting that Daigoro is the one that finishes the quest and is a sign that this is the beginning of Daigoro's life as a samurai. The ending is ambigious as Daigoro from what I noticed does not die. Daigoro would make for an excellent manga series of his own that follows his own exploits. Finally, what's left to say about LW&C but that it's one of the finest things to come out of the comic book world, and art for that matter, and is one whose complexities and tragedies make it a powerful read. The manga ends with probably the most touching line when the dying Retsudo closes off with "Grandson...Of my heart......."
10-25-2005, 02:34 PM
Vol 22 has the first major action moment in two or three volumes and sets it up with intense anticipation. As I mentioned above, takes the first of some interesting turns and twists.
11-27-2005, 06:57 PM
The duel in Vol 23 is deliberate and takes it time. Showing that Retsudo and Itto are equals in swordsmanship. That's one thing you never got a sense of in the six film series.
12-02-2005, 09:24 PM
Vol 24 shows some interesting insight from Retsudo on what it is to be a true bushi. I like the moment where he talks of "cooking on the battlefield" while he is rinsing rice to get ready to cook. In spite of the bad blood in the feud, a small level of respect is achived along the way between Itto and Retsudo.
12-16-2005, 08:24 PM
Vol 25 are full of stories preparing for the final 3 volumes when the feud will end and finished with once and for all. With the central characters riding the wheel of karma to their destinies.
12-25-2005, 08:35 PM
Kaii's seppuku scene in Vol 26 is very messy and macabre. The final Ha Ha of his laughter after he has met his fate in the last page is very haunting, unsettling. Itto's "scarlet summer, silver fall, black winter" speech is very elegant and well spoken. Symbolizing the different seasons of Kaii(summer), Itto(fall), Retsudo(winter), and Daigoro(green spring). Another favorite passage is the "The man who could be no BUSHI, dispatched by the last True BUSHI's blade." line.
01-01-2006, 01:43 AM
Vol 27 is a good buildup to the final chapter with good action scene in the final story of the volume.
01-22-2006, 08:57 PM
Having gone through the series for the third or fourth time, I find that my reading enjoyment of it hasn't lessened. The conclusion is just and powerful and profound as the first time I read it. A much better conclusion than the way the six films series ended(which I feel was incomplete). Itto's wave speech is lyrically profound and zenishly poetic("The river flows into the ocean, and turns to waves. Waves, surging and receding, without end. Our lives are like the waves. We live, we die, we are reborn. Soon your father's body will be a silent corpse. But, like the waves, my life will not end. Like the waves, your father will travel to the shore of the next life. His body may die, but his life is eternal. Yours, too, Daigoro. Our lives are indestructible, immortal! Though waves break and blood flies, never shrink. Though my body falls, never quail. Though my eyes shut, my lips close...Do not fear. In that world of rebirth, I'm still your father. In that world and all worlds, you are still my son! We are father and child! Forever!"). And like I mentioned before in this thread, Retsudo's final words in the manga series are also powerful and equally profound, tragic...a fitting finish. Finishing the series again has increased my interest in seeking the manga serial about Ogami Daigoro, and I still havent found anything new besides what I found already(not even still of what they look like). Is there anyone who has read or seen it? If so, how is it, and how does it pick up after the final volume of LW&C?
06-25-2009, 03:24 AM
I think starting with volume 22, you see added depth to the character of Retsudo Yagyu.
07-02-2009, 05:02 AM
The duel between Itto and Retsudo in Volume 23 has a cinematic feel to it that makes it entertaining to read/look though.
07-02-2009, 08:39 AM
Goddamn, im gonna start readin' some kozure okami... :)
07-11-2009, 02:52 AM
Volume 24 toward the end begins a war of wills between Retsuto and Kaii that continues into volume 26.
07-18-2009, 02:12 AM
Volume 25 begins the calling of the yagyu grass to get ready for the final showdown with Itto and son.
07-26-2009, 04:24 AM
Abe-No-Kaii meets a memorable end in volume 26 and volume 27 toward the end sets up the first wave of attacks against Itto and his son before Retsudo shows up for his duel.
08-07-2009, 02:33 AM
The series ends on a poetic final line by Retsudo Yagyu enforcing his status as the story's tragic villain.
08-11-2009, 03:25 PM
The greatest, most epic manga series I've yet to read; sadly, I'm just not familiar enough with the volume breaks to vote in your poll.
Al, have you gone on to read Samurai Executioner and the recently reprinted Path of the Assassin? I'd be shocked if you weren't already familiar with both, but if by any chance you haven't checked them out yet, they are certainly well worth your time.
08-12-2009, 02:48 AM
I'm familar with Samurai Executioner and Path of the Assassin. I just haven't gotten around to getting them(same with Lady Snowblood). I would like to see Dark Horse comics release the Hanzo the razor manga series in the US(as well as finally seeing them release New Lone Wolf and Cub).
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