Review: Samurai’s Blood Vol. 1 (TPB)

Review by: Neil Rodriguez Samurai’s Blood came out this week in trade and boy was I excited to pick this up and start reading it right away. My excitement for this book came from being a huge fan of Samurai stories and also that its very rare for me to find one in comic book form.

Samurai’s Blood is a story of three teenagers who are out on the run and hiding from a Samurai clan that has betrayed them. The three teenagers are then off to claim vengeance for the betrayal and murder of their entire clan but during their travel the group is found with different challenges including: separation, training and battles before they reach their goal of avenging their clan.

The first couple of chapters of Samurai’s blood were great you have the setup of the story and it explains the reason why the clan was betrayed. It also has a small love story between Katashi and Mayuko two of the three main characters. What I liked about the love story is that the two characters in the book have a very strong love for each other and no matter what happens to either of them their love will endure which was very cool and very touching.

SamuraiBloodMy problem with the book comes halfway through the story. Especially with the breaking down of Mayuko’s character, in the start of the book she appears as a gentle yet very strong character. Although she is not a samurai because of her gender, she has learned the way of the samurai because of her father and the training that her brother had taken under her father’s tutelage. This made for a very interesting character and I quickly fell in love with her, but there are certain events that take place in the book that completely break the character and she is not the same throughout the entire book.

She felt weak and helpless for the rest of the book; although she had her retribution it wasn’t very satisfying for me. I wanted her to have a more powerful vengeance than what she did, because there were so many people involved in the breaking of her character. Her vengeance need to be just as powerful as her brother and her lover's vengeance for their clan. The last couple of chapters do pick up steam and it has a nice reveal about Katashi and his father, but I felt like it wasn’t enough to make up for what happens in the middle of book.

I really did like the art in the book; it was a mix of cartoony with a little bit of eastern art. It felt like a western version of an anime. The colors and the art really took me to ancient Japan and I enjoyed very much the style it was the one thing that kept me going while the book dragged in the middle.

Overall, I had real high hopes for Samurai’s Blood to be real good book but in the end it only ended up being an entertaining read at best. I loved the art style but the story suffered at times and it made me lose my interest, especially when Mayuko’s character was broken. Entertaining read but not great.

Score: 3/5

Story: Owen Wiseman Art: Nam Kim, Matthew Dalton, Sakti Yuwono Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: 2/29/12