- Grade Level: 4 - 6
- Series: Usagi Yojimbo (Book 15)
- Paperback: 184 pages
- Publisher: Dark Horse; 1st Fantagraphics Books Ed edition (February 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1569716609
- ISBN-13: 978-1569716601
- Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Grasscutter II: Journey to Atsuta Shrine (Usagi Yojimbo, Book 15) Paperback – February 19, 2002
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If your read and really enjoyed usagi yojumbo already then i dont need to tell you this. but if you haven't read any of these wonderful books. i encourage you to pick up a copy for yourself.
First of all, I absolutely love the cover. It's possibly one of my favorites. My only question is...is that watercolor or acrylic paint? Not to mention that the introduction is awesome. Greg Rucka is such a talented writer that I could feel his voice talking to me. Also, the story is wonderful. When I first saw it I immediately thought "Oh. Funny animal comic. No big deal. Oh hey. A journey. Yawn." Now I'll always regret that I have thought that. Yes, it's a journey to return a sacred artifact. But Stan pulls it of with great finesse that you forget that you're reading a story, everything from the heartbreaking prologue to the thoughtful first epilogue. Sanshobo, the warrior priest, is now officially one of my favorite characters, as is Gennosuke "Gen" Murakami the bounty hunter...and of course the long eared ronin, Usagi!
Usagi is a graphic adventure that you'll never forget and you'll refuse to put it down. Obviously one of the masterpieces of our time. Bravo.
If Grasscutter (vol. 12) was a masterpiece of complexity, then Grasscutter II (vol. 15) is its counterpart in simplicity. While the first Grasscutter story saw Usagi and his comrades unwittingly stumbling around in a maze of political intrigue and black magic, all threatening to plunge the nation into civil war, this sequel is far more straightforward. All they have to do is get the sword to Atsuta Shrine before anyone figures out what they're doing.
In this case, simple is definitely not worse. In fact, while the complexities of the first Grasscutter story often left Usagi and friends awash in the tides of events, they take a firmer and more active role in this story, fully understanding the parts they must play from the get go. Of course, achieving their goal is far from easy with two rival clans of ninja hired to stop them and an accomplice in their midst who might be working against them. Without all the twists and turns of the first Grasscutter volume, Grasscutter II is free to deliver the most action packed and emotionally charged Usagi storyline to date. It reminds me of Kurasawa's Seven Samurai in that attaining a simple objective takes on epic proportions and ends up coming at a tragic cost. This is one powerful storyline, perhaps Usagi's finest. Resist the urge to compare it to the original Grasscutter. It's an entirely different animal.
My only regret with this volume is that, for some odd reason, it doesn't start at the beginning. "Reunion," the final story in the previous volume (Demon Mask), is where Usagi, Sanshobo, and Gen first come up with the plan to take Grasscutter to Atsuta shrine. The story would be confusing to read without this explanation. Demon Mask is an excellent volume in and of itself, so it's not a bad idea to check it out in its entirety before beginning Grasscutter II.