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What do you get when you mix Kurosawa’s samurai films & anthropomorphic animals?

December 5, 2017 |

Usagi yojimboYou get Stan Sakai’s legendary anthropomorphic rabbit character, Usagi Yojimbo (兎用心棒 Usagi Yōjinbō, literally Japanese for “rabbit bodyguard”).

Based upon the real life legendary 17th century samurai, Miyamoto Musashi, this deliciously rambling and expansive period fantasy series is fast-paced yet lyrical, funny, thrilling and simply bursting with veracity and verve. This is nominally set in a world of sentient animals (with a few unobtrusive human characters scattered about) and specifically references the Edo Period of Feudal Japan or the beginning of the 17th century, simultaneously sampling some classic contemporary cultural icons from sources as varied as Lone Wolf and Cub, Zatoichi and even Godzilla. The epic saga specifically recounts the life of Miyamoto Usagi, a Ronin or master less, wandering samurai (after his lord and master is killed in battle), making an honorable living as a Yojimbo or bodyguard for hire. As such, his fate is to be drawn constantly into a plethora of incredible situations.

Miyamoto Usagi is a brave, sentimental, gentle, artistic, long-suffering, conscientious and heroic bunny who just can’t turn down any request for help or ignore the slightest evidence of injustice. Usagi Yojimbo is a magical saga of irresistible appeal that will delight devotees and make converts of the most hardened hater of “funny animal” stories.

I encourage everyone to join in on Usagi’s journey, whether you have followed him all along or you are just beginning your quest. Click here to put Usagi yojimbo. 1, The Ronin on hold today.