Nezumi is an expert thief who has been alluding the local law enforcement for some time. A part of his success is the fact that he gives a sizeable portion of his score to the townspeople. Samurai Usagi Yojimbo has been recruited to the case. While Nezumi shows no malice towards the town or its protectors, he does not want to be caught, and he even poses a challenge for the great samurai.
In the background, the Black Goblin Gang is making some dangerous moves.
Usagi Yojimbo #163 is a fun read thanks to its own unique blend of upbeat and mostly kid-friendly plot with the tropes of the samurai genre.
Nezumi is an entertaining and likable rogue thanks to his humor and Robin Hood-esque MO. Usagi is the ever-dedicated pursuer who only wants justice done according to the law. The former’s willingness to do what is right while willfully disobetying the law and the latter’s unshakable moral code and strict adherence to the law make for an interesting conflict.
The presence of an even greater threat to public safety in the form of the Black Goblin Gang contextualizes Nezumi’s relatively minor crimes for both Usagi and the reader.
Frankly, it poses a downright socialist viewpoint, and I can groove on that really easily.
Stan Sakai’s artwork is stylistic and fitting for his characters, but it does run thin in spots. There are points where Usagi, Nezumi, and Ishida all look a bit underdrawn. This isn’t helped by the traditionally monochrome nature of the comic, which make those underdrawn sections look a bit less appealing.
That aside, Usagi Yojimbo continues its legacy of fun and exciting action with the samurai genre, creating a great read, Usagi is a great character, and this plot is already promising to have some good twists and turns. It’s a good story, and it earns a recommendation.
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