Friday, November 01, 2013

Booknote: The 47 Ronin

Sean Michael Wilson, The 47 Ronin. Boston, MA: Shambala, 2013. ISBN: 9781611801378. 

This is a graphic novel adaptation of a very well known Japanese true story. In feudal Japan, a noble is insulted by his host. He kills the offender (and to be honest, in today's term, the guy was a dick and probably had it coming) as honor demands. The Shogun, however, does not see it that way, and he orders the noble forced to commit seppuku. The dead samurai's other samurai retainers are left then to become ronins. Being loyal to their master, the ronin, honoring the code of bushido, seek justice and take revenge on the offending noble. After their revenge, they turn themselves in to the shogun, who then makes them commit seppuku as well. The 47 Ronin are admired as heroes in Japan and as ideals of the bushido code.

For this adaptation, the author does bring the tragedy and drama to life. This is a moving tale, and it does have a good amount of action. Though the art is good, some better differentiation in some characters would have been desirable. There were a couple of characters that I had difficulty separating one from the other because they looked very much alike. The cover is in color, but the graphics in the story are in black and white. However, the tale does have a good pace, and it is an easy read that hooks you in until the end. If you enjoy works  like Lone Wolf and Cub, you will probably enjoy this graphic novel as well.

I'd give it four out of five stars.

Disclosure note: In order to keep The Man happy this is where I tell you that I read this book as an e-book galley from the publisher via NetGalley. It was provided in exchange for an honest review. 


sean michael Wilson said...

Thanks for the review. I'm the writer of THE 47 RONIN. Is it held in a library you now work at?

Angel Rivera said...

Greetings Mr. Wilson. As of now, it is not on our holdings, but it will be. I am in the middle of putting together a new order of graphic novels, and your book will go on that list. If you wish to check our holdings, this is the link to our library catalog ( ). I will likely do a write up of the book (reprint my review) for our library blog when it arrives.

Thank you for stopping by.

Best, and keep on blogging (and writing).

sean michael Wilson said...

Thank you Angel,
is nice to be in libraries and we graphic novel folk appreciate you good librarians!