There’s a lot of heart in Ronin Island, and as Kanichi and Hana find their separate paths, the goals shift and change in a way that could very well put them at odds with each other. Hanichi and Hana are the same, but they have been taught that they are different. Both are fierce warriors, having just come of age, but because Hana is from a poor farmer’s family, and Kanichi is from a rich Samurai family, they are different. At least, this is what they’ve been told their entire lives, and as far as we can tell, it’s stuck.
Now, a new Shogunate are using rock monsters called Byonīn to bring the kingdom together. The new emperor is a loose cannon, but he’s founded an army, and he’s going to use it…for the sheer enjoyment of it, it would seem.
In this issue, we spend some time in Kanichi’s and Hana’s past as children, showing those defining moments, and now, having gone their separate ways, those elements from their childhood are informing who they are going to become. Hana has ended up with the Shogunate, and Kanichi has been left at the hands of a group of marauders. Both want to protect the village, but both have different ways of going about it.
Greg Pak has created morally complex characters which have brought this series to life in ways that I wasn’t expecting. Milonogiannis’ artwork is really beautiful, especially when paired with Kniivila’s rich hues.
This story is tangible in so many ways: emotionally, intellectually, and morally. It also still packs the wallop of an enjoyable adventure.
Creative Team: Greg Pak (writer), Giannis Milonogiannis (artist), Irma Kniivila (colors), Simon Bowland (letters), Cameron Chittock (editor), Amanda Lafranco (assistant editor)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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