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Usagi Yojimbo Volume 24: Return of the Black Soul Limited Edition

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For years, as Miyamoto Usagi has wandered the countryside, an unseen, malevolent entity has been tracing his steps. Thought dead since the events of Grasscutter, the demon Jei - the Black Soul - has been inhabiting the body of the swordswoman Inazuma, intent on destroying the evil he claims to see in Usagi!


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For years, as Miyamoto Usagi has wandered the countryside, an unseen, malevolent entity has been tracing his steps. Thought dead since the events of Grasscutter, the demon Jei - the Black Soul - has been inhabiting the body of the swordswoman Inazuma, intent on destroying the evil he claims to see in Usagi!

30 review for Usagi Yojimbo Volume 24: Return of the Black Soul Limited Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Juho Pohjalainen

    Jei dies and lives again. I like to think I know what happens next with him, or at least what happens the last time he shows up. I hope I'm correct and that it'll happen soon. Jei dies and lives again. I like to think I know what happens next with him, or at least what happens the last time he shows up. I hope I'm correct and that it'll happen soon.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    That volume was absolutely amazing. I didn't have that many chills since vol. 12 Grasscutter. An ensemble of characters (Usagi, Sanshobo, Gen, Stray Dog) gathers up to fight Jei 2.0, the possessed Inazuma. Finally we had a backstory of Jei, as he proves to be easily one of the most interesting characters of the whole UJ saga and clearly the best villain i've seen in a long while. Damn, vol.24, ~30 years later and still this comic rocks. Pure talent, tends to become one of my all-time favorites. I That volume was absolutely amazing. I didn't have that many chills since vol. 12 Grasscutter. An ensemble of characters (Usagi, Sanshobo, Gen, Stray Dog) gathers up to fight Jei 2.0, the possessed Inazuma. Finally we had a backstory of Jei, as he proves to be easily one of the most interesting characters of the whole UJ saga and clearly the best villain i've seen in a long while. Damn, vol.24, ~30 years later and still this comic rocks. Pure talent, tends to become one of my all-time favorites. If i could put 6/5 stars, i would. Will definetely re-read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I believe I've given Usagi Yojimbo collections eight through twenty three each a five-star rating, but haven't written a review for any of them until now. It's time for me to rectify that situation, since it's my favorite on-going graphic novel series. Usagi is a wandering, masterless samurai in someplace like early seventeenth century feudal Japan. It's not actually historical, but don't be fooled by the fact that the characters are all drawn as animals--it is an action-filled drama with a reali I believe I've given Usagi Yojimbo collections eight through twenty three each a five-star rating, but haven't written a review for any of them until now. It's time for me to rectify that situation, since it's my favorite on-going graphic novel series. Usagi is a wandering, masterless samurai in someplace like early seventeenth century feudal Japan. It's not actually historical, but don't be fooled by the fact that the characters are all drawn as animals--it is an action-filled drama with a realistic setting and serious themes. Many of Usagi's peers are amoral guards-for-hire or bounty hunters, but he sticks to the warrior's honor code and is always on the lookout for those who need his help. As Charles Solomon writes in this volume's introduction: "He's the stranger who wanders into town, rights a wrong, tosses out a tin-horn bully, solves a mystery, and maybe breaks a heart. . . . He may long for a peaceful settled life, but the backroads and byways are his only real home." He's a humbly heroic figure in a land of chaos ruled by warlords, making his way through life doing the best he can. Author/illustrator Stan Sakai has been telling Usagi's ongoing story since 1987 in a amazing feat of sustained storytelling. The closest experience I can compare consuming it to is watching an ongoing television show. Each volume is episodic, containing many smaller stories and chapters. Sometimes they stand alone, sometimes they are connected. Usagi grows and changes, but only gradually. There are other characters he encounters repeatedly throughout his travels and references are made to previous volumes, but each can be read and enjoyed without the bigger backstory. I started with volume eight and was able to jump right in without missing a beat, and I think you could happily start most anywhere in the series without worrying about going back to start at the beginning. (Having said that, I should add that this, more than any other I can think of, might not be the best volume to start with because it is more of a single story than most and is harder than usual to jump into without knowing anything about the characters and their pasts.) Sakai's art is among the best in the business, and, as with the work of any master, you appreciate it more the longer you dwell in it. His storytelling, plotting, and pacing are excellent. Everything about these books is excellent. I can't recommend the series highly enough and hope more readers find it all the time.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael Emond

    This wonderful addition to the Usagi saga focuses on Jei - the demon who possesses people and kills the "evil" in the world. Actually - Jei seems to kill everyone. We see the origin story of Jei which is not as exciting as it could have been but it is a bittersweet tale of how a good monk sacrifices his soul to save a little girl. We then flash forward to the present day and see a bunch of stories intertwine together with the final climax of killing Jei (who of course escapes to possess someone This wonderful addition to the Usagi saga focuses on Jei - the demon who possesses people and kills the "evil" in the world. Actually - Jei seems to kill everyone. We see the origin story of Jei which is not as exciting as it could have been but it is a bittersweet tale of how a good monk sacrifices his soul to save a little girl. We then flash forward to the present day and see a bunch of stories intertwine together with the final climax of killing Jei (who of course escapes to possess someone new). Inazuma's (who was the last vessel of the demon Jei) story comes to an end and overall it is a sad tale. I kind of wish there was a happier message in the story but this is definitely one of the darker tales and endings to a Usagi tale. What is wonderful to see is a lot of different parts of Usagi's world and cast of characters come together for this story. Stan never fails to deliver a wonderful story with beautiful art.

  5. 5 out of 5

    James

    This book was an extremely strong volume in the saga of Usagi - creepy, fast-paced, and thrilling. This is absolutely the way comics should be done and unfortunately not many reach these lofty heights. My only gripe is that Sakai’s art can get too sketchy and rushed looking that, while not hindering the story flow, can sometimes make the details of a panel confusing to understand.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Still my favorite series in comics history, Usagi comes out with another winner. This book's not particularly good for new readers, as it pays off some long-running plotlines involving the demon Jei, who inhabits the body of swordswoman Inazuma. First, Sakai gives us Jei's long overdue origin, and it not only crackles, but leaves plenty of room for future storylines. Then, with a price on Inazuma's head (because only one person realizes Jei's possessed her and she's hunted for a killing committe Still my favorite series in comics history, Usagi comes out with another winner. This book's not particularly good for new readers, as it pays off some long-running plotlines involving the demon Jei, who inhabits the body of swordswoman Inazuma. First, Sakai gives us Jei's long overdue origin, and it not only crackles, but leaves plenty of room for future storylines. Then, with a price on Inazuma's head (because only one person realizes Jei's possessed her and she's hunted for a killing committed while under demonic sway), Usagi runs into the bounty hunters Gen and Stray Dog. Gen - being an old friend of Usagi's and recognizing the signs of Jei's possession - recruits Usagi. A fourth bounty hunter joins the group, with his own agenda. Sakai unfolds the story leisurely, but intently, moving the story toward its tragic conclusion. The cartooning is some of the best you'll ever see, with a strong use of shadows where required, but mostly, excellet use of framing, zooms and body language to get into the nuances of each character. This book's a terse thriller, and it's delivered with a master's assurance.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I knew Jei was in this book, but, because I didn't read the back cover, I wasn't aware we'd get to see his origin story in this collection. Because of this, the reveal was a bit of a surprise for me, for which I am thankful. Overall, this collection ranks high on my list as one of the best Usagi Yojimbo collections. Similar to others on my "best" list, this feels very much like the culmination of / payoff for a lot of plot threads that had come before it. It also features some fan favorite chara I knew Jei was in this book, but, because I didn't read the back cover, I wasn't aware we'd get to see his origin story in this collection. Because of this, the reveal was a bit of a surprise for me, for which I am thankful. Overall, this collection ranks high on my list as one of the best Usagi Yojimbo collections. Similar to others on my "best" list, this feels very much like the culmination of / payoff for a lot of plot threads that had come before it. It also features some fan favorite characters and a strange and mysterious newcomer named Isamu. I'm no longer surprised, but continually impressed by Stan Sakai's ability to churn out fresh, enveloping stories, 30 years after he first introduced the world to his rabbit ronin.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    This is the 24th collection of Stan Sakai's long running series about a ronin. Don't let the fact that Usagi is a rabbit put you off. These are excellent stories set in a Japan that very much resembles the feudel Japan of history and Mifune movies. The story is inspired by the legend and tales of Mushashi Miyamoto, but this is a much more enjoyable telling of those tales than any of the other versions that I have read, or tried to read. Here Usagi gets dragged into a bounty hunting situation as This is the 24th collection of Stan Sakai's long running series about a ronin. Don't let the fact that Usagi is a rabbit put you off. These are excellent stories set in a Japan that very much resembles the feudel Japan of history and Mifune movies. The story is inspired by the legend and tales of Mushashi Miyamoto, but this is a much more enjoyable telling of those tales than any of the other versions that I have read, or tried to read. Here Usagi gets dragged into a bounty hunting situation as an oni has inhabited the body of an old friend of his. To tell more would rob you of discovering the charm and joy of these stories.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nicolas

    Encore une chouette aventure d'Usagi. Ou plutôt un récit des multiples infamies comises par Jei, le démon le plus résistant qu'ait rencontré Usagi. Incarné cette fois dans une femme recherchée par tous les chasseurs de prime, il exsude encore la violence et la mort, ce qui fait de cet album l'un des plus hard-boiled de la série selon moi : il y a des morts presque à chaque page. Et si la conclusion est quelque part attendue, elle est cependant un peu décevante. Mais à ce détail près, l'oeuvre de Sta Encore une chouette aventure d'Usagi. Ou plutôt un récit des multiples infamies comises par Jei, le démon le plus résistant qu'ait rencontré Usagi. Incarné cette fois dans une femme recherchée par tous les chasseurs de prime, il exsude encore la violence et la mort, ce qui fait de cet album l'un des plus hard-boiled de la série selon moi : il y a des morts presque à chaque page. Et si la conclusion est quelque part attendue, elle est cependant un peu décevante. Mais à ce détail près, l'oeuvre de Stan Sakai reste belle, grâce à une ligne toujours aussi claire.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vickey

    All Usagi Yojimbo stories are good stories. I have been reading the tales of the ronin rabbit since my dad picked up the first Summer Special for me when I was 5. I read it till it fell apart. I had trouble finding this issue and finally broke down and ordered it online. Now that it is here I can read 25, 26 and 27...I have been waiting three years!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    This volume more than almost any other made me want to go back and read it all through again from the beginning. Stan Sakai ties all of these loose threads together so well whenever he does a major story arc like this.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dru

    Like most Usagi stories, this one involves oni!!! Honestly, a lot of these stories are paying off storylines that have been running through previous volumes, so it's a lot more satisfying if you have read the previous chapters. The art is, as usual, incredible. Like most Usagi stories, this one involves oni!!! Honestly, a lot of these stories are paying off storylines that have been running through previous volumes, so it's a lot more satisfying if you have read the previous chapters. The art is, as usual, incredible.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Evan

    Jei and Stray Dog are two of my favorites and they reappear here. A disappointment is that Stray Dog has lost his unique characterization/voice, gone from grim to whiny.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    The continued adventures of a samurai rabbit, this volume exploring the back story of a demonic antagonist as s/he is tracked down by bounty hunters.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Drake S.F.

    No es el mejor de Usagi, pero el mínimo no lo pierde. Demasiadas referencias a tomos anteriores que tengo olvidados.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Excellent as always. A nice exploration of Jei and a bit more of his background.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

  18. 4 out of 5

    Essi

  19. 5 out of 5

    Name Pending

  20. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  21. 5 out of 5

    Matt Nelson

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kalitro

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brant Hashii

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andy Grabia

  25. 5 out of 5

    Maurycy

  26. 4 out of 5

    Krzysiek

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hanussen

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anonymous Gnome

  29. 4 out of 5

    Juls

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jason

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