Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy. I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings. Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them. For my latest Waiting on Wednesday, I get excited again for another exciting addition to my favourite comic series with the 38th volume of Stan Sakai’s epic Usagi Yojimbo comic, The Green Dragon.
I know I have made this point quite a few times this year, but boy do I love the Usagi Yojimbo series by Stan Sakai. A unique, long-running series, the Usagi Yojimbo comics follow a rabbit ronin in an alternate version of feudal Japan as he battles deadly enemies, rival samurai and creatures from Japanese mythology. Featuring excellent art, amazing characters, and some fantastic and well-written stories, I have been a fan of the Usagi Yojimbo series for a very long time and every single volume quickly finds a place in my heart.
Now usually I must wait a whole year for a new Usagi Yojimbo volume to appear, but luckily for me Sakai has been on a real role lately and two volumes dropped in 2022. This included the brilliantly written Tengu War! and the very fun Crossroads, both of which were five-star reads in my opinion. I had such an epic time with these comics, and I was once again overjoyed when I found out that a whole new volume is coming out extremely soon.
This next volume is The Green Dragon, which is currently set for release in February 2023. The 38th volume of the series, The Green Dragon will present the reader with two multi-issues stories that place Usagi, and his new companion Yukichi, in great danger as they go up against dangerous opponents, both mortal and spiritual. This new volume sounds pretty damn cool and I am very excited for the stories they contain.
The rabbit ronin’s newest adventures continue in this fifth volume that sees Usagi and Yukichi on a mission to deliver a valuable object!
But first, in “A Ghost Story,” Usagi and Yukichi come upon a young woman, Shizuye, praying at a shrine to a girl murdered fifty years ago by her married lover. Shizuye is in the same predicament, and Usagi and Yukichi take it upon themselves to become her protectors. However, all is not what it seems as the local priest warns them to beware of ghosts in the area.
Then, in “The Secret of the Green Dragon” Usagi and Yukichi are obligated to deliver a priceless jade dragon to a merchant. During their journey they witness a runner delivering a parcel of jewels to the same merchant killed on the road ahead. However, the killers left the jewels and escaped with the container leading them to the realization that the box they carry may be even more valuable than the jade within.
Collects issues #27–31 of the all-new full-color Usagi Yojimbo series published by IDW.
This looks set to be another exceptional entry in this series and I really love the two stories listed above. Some of the very best Usagi Yojimbo stories feature supernatural or spiritual elements, so I have very high hope for the first entry, A Ghost Story, especially as you going to spend a good part of the story wondering if they are encountering real ghosts or some sort of elaborate fakes. The main story, The Secret of the Green Dragon, sounds like a typical Usagi Yojimbo escort narrative, and it is usually a good basis for one of these comics. However, it looks like Sakai is going to throw in a few twists here, especially as they will have to work out the mystery surrounding their cargo and try to work out what they are really being paid to defend. Throw in an appearance from the Komori Ninjas, the ninja bats shown on the cover, and The Green Dragon looks set to be quite an impressive read and one that I am extremely excited for.
To be honest, I already know that I am going to grab this comic the moment it comes out and I will love it unconditionally. I have such a great respect and appreciation for this exceptional series, and I refuse to believe I will find anything to hate in the new upcoming volume, especially if Stan Sakai keeps up all the skill and creativity he’s been putting into the last few volumes. I cannot wait to see the elaborate stories contained within The Green Dragon, as well as the brilliant art which is now in colour thanks to publisher IDW (which has looked very cool in volumes such as Bunraku and Other Stories and Homecoming). This is already one of my most anticipated reads for the new year and I have no doubt Usagi Yojimbo: The Green Dragon will get another five-star rating from me.
4 thoughts on “Waiting on Wednesday – Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 38: The Green Dragon by Stan Sakai”
I am glad you don’t have to wait long for this one to come out! It sounds like such a fun series.
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