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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Lone Wolf and Cub




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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1055

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:52 pm Reply with quote
Lone Wolf & Cub is one of those mangas I probably should read one day... Who knows if I ever will, but I do have the first boxset Media Blasters released of the live-action TV series. I should really watch that; hopefully it's fairly accurate to the manga in what it does show.
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1110
Location: Sunny California

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:11 pm Reply with quote
I have the first two volumes that Dark Horse released eons ago, but I have to admit that the tiny print really bothered me. I don't need reading glasses, but to me, the small size is difficult to read. It's a shame because I really enjoyed Lady Snowblood, which I know isn't even Kazuo Koike's best work and I did enjoy the first two volumes - I just don't want to struggle through reading any more volumes in the small format.
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JuicyB



Joined: 08 Mar 2010
Posts: 278

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:05 pm Reply with quote
Lone Wolf and Cub is possibly the best comic I've ever read. It's great to see it getting some credit every now and then.
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bink1227



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:17 pm Reply with quote
It's so great to read an article about this incredibly awesome manga. My dad raised me on Akira Kurosawa samurai films, so when I started reading this, I sent him the volumes I had already finished. LW&C was definitely a gateway drug for him: he sometimes asks me with a sigh, "Sweetheart, why did you start me off on the best manga? Now what am I going to read?"

There are so many good stories in the series. My favorite, I think, is "One Rainy Day." This is the only manga that has ever made me shed a tear because of the immaculate story telling. (The only other manga that came close was Trigun Maximum in volume 10: the conclusion of Wolfwood's epic battle...and it is truly epic...)

Damn...I think I'm going to have to read this manga again, starting tonight! Smile
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vashfanatic
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Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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Location: Back stateside

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:26 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
It's one of the few manga that's so enormous I feel like I could never get tired of it,

See, this shocked me, because I expected something more like "this manga would have been better if were half as long and half as godawfully repetitive." While I liked - nay, loved - the ongoing arc with Daigoro, his father, and their mission of revenge (and yes, Daigoro was my favorite character, the only person I really liked, so it goes in that order), the endless cycle of one-shot jobs got really boring to me very quickly. My favorite part was probably where the father-son duo split up, allowing a fresh feel to the story that was quickly growing stale.

And admittedly, at some point along the line I started channeling Anotsu Kagehisa and yelling at the page "I will never understand why you samurai are always in such a rush to die!" Seriously, the moral code everyone follows is so inhumanly stupid. Honor over life might sound noble, but in practice it's psychotic. Like I said, by the end I only really found Daigoro sympathetic.

My other issue, of course, is that par for Koike, it's really sexist. But maybe because the main story was otherwise so strong, I still stuck with it in spite of its flaws. That the art is awesome and it has strong historical elements doesn't hurt either.
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taster of pork



Joined: 11 Nov 2008
Posts: 379
Location: American Empire

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:49 pm Reply with quote
In the past I'd heard lots of little things about Wolf and Cub but was never very interested in it. But after reading this I'm tempted to give it a try.
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Ensof



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 68
Location: Meifumadō

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:56 pm Reply with quote
Great review, though for me the series didn't drag towards the end. I felt the long climactic story arc was a nice change in rhythm from the episodic structure of the previous 20 odd volumes, and I thought Koike and Kojima did a really good job in keeping the pace up.

After LW&C it's somewhat frustrating reading Koike's other works. They tend to be trashy, the sexism that vashfanatic alludes to is much more blatant and they rarely have a proper ending, seemingly winding up when Koike ran out of ideas. Still, they're rarely dull and the odd moment of brilliance is usually enough to make reading them worthwhile.
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ptolemy18
Manga Reviewer/Creator/Taster


Joined: 07 May 2005
Posts: 336
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:57 am Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:
My other issue, of course, is that par for Koike, it's really sexist. But maybe because the main story was otherwise so strong, I still stuck with it in spite of its flaws. That the art is awesome and it has strong historical elements doesn't hurt either.


The historical setting makes the sexism a little less outrageous, at least for me. Or maybe it's just because, for all the victimization of its female characters, it's so much less sexist than pretty much any other Koike manga, so the standards are skewed. : / It's a miracle that Ogami only has sex with someone once onscreen, and it's even consensual!
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Alan45
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
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Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:31 pm Reply with quote
The only problem I have with the Dark Horse release is the size. To see the artwork in a better size, try to get some of the First Publishing releases. They are in comic book size and do better justice to the artwork.
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Upstart



Joined: 30 Apr 2010
Posts: 6
Location: Helsinki, Finland

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:23 am Reply with quote
Ronin isn't an obvious riff on Lone Wolf & Cub, there are no kids in the story.

I recommend Ronin: Miller's art (especially faces) looks a little unfinished, but the page layouts, the coloring and the story still hold up. Compared with most 1983 stuff, it feels absolutely fresh with its very manga-ish decompressed storytelling.
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ptolemy18
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Joined: 07 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:55 am Reply with quote
Upstart wrote:
Ronin isn't an obvious riff on Lone Wolf & Cub, there are no kids in the story.

I recommend Ronin: Miller's art (especially faces) looks a little unfinished, but the page layouts, the coloring and the story still hold up. Compared with most 1983 stuff, it feels absolutely fresh with its very manga-ish decompressed storytelling.


Ronin is a great comic. It feels influenced by LW&C to me; although it doesn't have the kid or any of the story/revenge elements, the central character design is pretty Ogami-esque. But maybe I wouldn't have guessed this if Frank Miller hadn't talked about LW&C so much.
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ptolemy18
Manga Reviewer/Creator/Taster


Joined: 07 May 2005
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:56 am Reply with quote
Alan45 wrote:
The only problem I have with the Dark Horse release is the size. To see the artwork in a better size, try to get some of the First Publishing releases. They are in comic book size and do better justice to the artwork.


You're not the only person to say that (some people just can't read them because the text is so small), but I like the small volumes. It makes it actually possible to carry all of them in one bag (with difficulty, but still).
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_Emi_
Crazy FangirlCrazy Fangirl


Joined: 16 Feb 2008
Posts: 464
Location: Sigil

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:58 pm Reply with quote
For me the size isn't about the text, but the art. Goseki Kojima is an amazing artist that doesn't deserve his art to be shrunk down like that. I want bigger pages to better appreciate his art. I have no need or desire to lug around 28 volumes of manga.
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bravetailor



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 775

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:08 pm Reply with quote
_Emi_ wrote:
For me the size isn't about the text, but the art. Goseki Kojima is an amazing artist that doesn't deserve his art to be shrunk down like that. I want bigger pages to better appreciate his art. I have no need or desire to lug around 28 volumes of manga.


Agreed. Art display is paramount for me. I would even say blowing it up to scrapbook size (a la George Sprott) is preferable to tiny pocket books. Nothing against pocket books, mind you. They're good enough for cartoonists with more emblematic cartooning styles (like Jim Davis or Ernie Bushmiller) but for works with illustrative, sensitive lines, the bigger the better.
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Snomaster1



Joined: 31 Aug 2011
Posts: 953

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:52 pm Reply with quote
In the article on "Lone Wolf and Cub,"Mr. Thompson speaks of the influence that this manga had but I think he forgot something. In one episode of the series "Samurai Jack,"in which the title character is remembering his childhood,he meets a swordsman and his son that's a lot like "Lone Wolf and Cub." He goes on a bridge to face some bad guys. You can imagine what happens next,but that is how his interest in being a samurai began. What do you think?
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