U IS FOR UNITED STATES and J IS FOR JAPAN
47 Ronin is one of the core historical events that shape the Japanese consciousness, so it’s kind of daft that the first time I get my hands on the 47 Ronin is this version—not like I’m a stranger to Japanese cinema, at all, but by pure coincidence I’ve never seen these particular Misoguchi or Mifune films. But I do think that the story fits the medium of a graphic novel quite well. There is just enough context shared with the reader, the story moves along quickly, and I’m sure it’s a great adaptation for the times. I also liked the twist which establishes the narrator in the story he’s telling: as I understood from googling, this is the device that’s absent from other renderings of the same legend. But it’s cool, and it kept me guessing up to the very end. Which is a great thing because given the samurai code that has anything end in sepukku, it would be otherwise hard to keep the stakes high at all times.
47 Ronin by Mike Richardson (Writer) and Stan Sakai (Artist)
Published by Dark Horse Comics in 2014