Following the events of the last issue, Lord Asano has been arrested and an investigation has been ordered by the Shogun. Wanting to create a scapegoat so as not to bring dishonor to their own clan, the investigators made sure that Asano was found guilty before the Shogun, and Asano was ordered to give his life in honorable fashion. News of the events carried to Asano’s loyal retainers and family, and they prepare for the worst as they come to grips with the news concerning their lord’s actions and death.
Once again, the comic creates a very colorful and accurate representation of feudal Japan and the role the samurai have played in the way the country has been shaped over the centuries. Even now, more than one hundred years after the last vestige of the proud rule of bushido across the land, people are fascinated by the way things were done during the time of the Sword. As someone who has been a student of Japanese history and culture, I find the issues to be fabulous, detailing a lot of information that I already knew (and some I didn’t) concerning the time period and the corruption that ran rampant, but I also believe that anyone who doesn’t know a lot about the historical culture and significance of the storyline would find the issues to be absolutely entertaining.
What I really enjoy most about the issue (and the previous one, as I have mentioned) is the artistic style; it is very colorful, bringing a lot of light and a vast array of differences to the world that is samurai, which is very different than a lot of stories depicting these classic defenders of honor. Several stories I have read or seen tend to be very bleak in color schemes, painting the picture that all things were drab during this point in history. But, just as things are during our own time, there are always shiny aspects to a world of darkness, and I’m glad that they were able to show it in this series.
The revolution has been sparked, and the loyal retainers of Lord Asano are left making plans for their future. The Shogun’s orders are explicit, and to defy them is to invite disaster to the clan. Things are set in motion that will test the very fabric of the way things operate in Japan, and only one result can come about . . . and it will not be pretty.