on 13 January 2015
“This poetic book immediately stands out as the best of Sean Michael Wilson's three graphic novel adaptations of classical works of Japanese philosophy. As a book of philosophy, it’s fascinating; a dreamlike exploration of consciousness, life, and death. Michiru Morikawa's artwork is the perfect match for the text, her eerie, detailed illustrations—especially the lovely renderings of various animals—perfectly fitting the poetic feel. Recommended.”
-Jason Thompson, Otaku USA magazine
"A beautiful transformation of martial arts philosophy as told through fairy tales. A recommended read, whether this form or the more standard text, for students of martial arts as a whole."
- Tegna, Good Reads reviewer
"I must say, this is off the charts.....but only if you don't mind stopping to think in between pages....a lot! Here is the map that worked for me. Read and/or listen to a regular version of the Book of 5 Rings first. THEN.....and only then,wait a day or 2 if you want and then dip into Sean's illustrated version so you can immediately pick up all the nuances in facial expressions done so well by the illustrator Chie Kutsuwada. Dont be fooled thinking because this is in comic book "form"...its just a comic book. Big mistake. "
- Marc, Amazon review
"I have to say that by far this is one of my favorite books. The beautiful art and ease of reading this graphic novel version allows for it to be accessible to many more people. Since buying my first copy I have had to buy a subsequent 7 or 8 because I keep giving it away to other people. It really is that good. Some of the concepts in it may be difficult for some people to grasp, but if you sit with it long enough, they are phenomenal insights on the nature of life, let alone martial arts." - Oscar C Perez, Phd.
“Wilson and Morikawa capture all the wisdom and beauty of these original texts and enhance them with the visual vitality and playful charms of modern manga. Their faithful retellings of these allegorical fables and philosophical reflections prove how timeless and rewarding they truly are.”
- Paul Gravett, editor of 1001 Comics You Must Read before You Die
on 11 November 2013
Some reviews for the book include:
"A masterful retelling of one of the greatest stories in Japanese culture. An engrossing, engaging, emotional and unforgettable epic."
- Jonathan Ross, BBC television presenter
"The 47 Ronin is a dignified telling of a dignified story. It's violent when it needs to be, precise and calm when it's called for and never once loses focus. This is a tightly focused, perfectly pitched retelling of the story and a perfect entry point for anyone coming to the story for the first time. The Keanu Reeves version may have all the spectacle, but this version has all the heart."
- Alasdair Stuart, Bleeding Cool.com
"This is a successful attempt to accurately depict a legendary historical event. Someone as fascinated by Japanese culture as I am will love this graphic novel for that fact, but anyone expecting it to be similar to the upcoming movie where Keanu Reeves literally sword fights with dragons will be seriously disappointed.
The beautiful artwork and sparse text made it a fast read and gave the revenge tale an ethereal feel, and while I would have liked to see the revenge plot fleshed out in greater detail, I appreciate that may not have been possible given how closely this story seems to be taken from historical record."
"If you enjoy works like Lone Wolf and Cub, you will probably enjoy this graphic novel as well.
I'd give it four out of five stars." - Angel Rivera, Librarian.
on 27 September 2007
If you can keep your mind unbiased while reading this book, then you will recognise this book as a non-biased book. A book which opens up the mind, re-develops/re-established thought and discovery of the individual path. Each line has a 1000 meanings but the seeming reality is that each meaning concludes in simplicity. A really excellent book for those who require refreshment and confirmation beyond the sweat and pain.