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Blade of the Immortal #71

Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2002
By: Craig Lemon



"Beasts, part six of seven"

Writer/Artist: Hiroaki Samura
Publisher: Dark Horse

One of the best things about this series is that all the characters involved have room to breathe. Hiroaki is not afraid to devote whole storylines to seemingly peripheral characters, and leave the mainstays out of it for months at a time, making their reappearances all the more important - what HAVE they been doing all this time?

The Beasts storyline has dealt mainly with the rape and torture of the assassin Hyakurin at the hands of several of the Itto-Ryu rogue samurai, and now her deliverance at her own hands, and at those of her faithful friend Giichi. In fact, only one thing can save her torturers from Giichi's wicked weapon (I don't know it's name, but it loops around someone's arm or leg then can be pulled tight to slice the limb off), and that's a threat to her life. Just as well she's a master assassin with tricks of her own, then, isn't it?

There's not a whole lot of the excellent dialogue that has set this series apart from other manga books in this issue, it's mainly concerning Giichi's approaching storm and the reunification of the duo...I expect dialogue back to normal next issue as the storyline wraps up.

Which is the other problem really - this whole storyline (as the rest of the BotI storylines) would read much better as a graphic novel - which will be released in a few months time. So rather than jumping in with a single issue in the middle or near the end of the storyline, you only have to wait a little while to get the book...which will be totally and utterly recommended reading, I have no doubt about that.

An excellent series, one of Dark Horse's best.



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