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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 21 August 2013
Creator Kazuo Koike's storytelling is masterful; every word has purpose. There's nothing wasted. Ogami says very little so when he does speak we know to sit up and pay attention.

Much of the time Kazuo lets Goseki Kojima's amazingly kinetic black and white visuals carry the story along. It's not the typical clean-lined big-eyed style you may picture when you hear the word `manga.' It's grittier, with deft strokes of the pen.
When the blood starts to fly, Goseki captures the intensity better than any other manga artist I've ever encountered.

I'm happy to say that Dark Horse chose not to attempt to translate words with no direct English equivalent. Instead, they included a short but informative glossary of terms at the back of the book to explain the meanings.

The book collects together Lone Wolf and Cub volumes 1 and 2, and the first part of the stories from volume 3 of the original series (16 chapters in total).

If you enjoy the book, I highly recommend all 6 of the original language film adaptations (not the dubbed versions). The Complete Lone Wolf & Cub Boxset [DVD] [1972]
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on 11 November 2016
Excellent book, the best by a great comics author. Anyone into comics and samurai stories in the more pulpy vein will love this.
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on 26 February 2016
masterpiece, the art with its use of black and white with grey tones drawn in a way to give the feel or the samurai era, i am now determined to buy every single one of these.
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on 8 November 2013
Great value, recollecting the Lone Wolf and Cub story in a 3 in 1 format and printed on a larger scale. Cant really ask for more.
One of the definitive samurai, ronin Mangas, a must for any fan of Edo Japan, swordplay and the like.
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on 8 June 2016
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on 24 May 2013
This book is definitely worth a try, the storyline is great, very enjoyable, the characters are likable and funny when needed, the art is fantastic, it’s good to look at. I recommend this book to anyone who loves comics or just interested in getting to know the genre.
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on 22 October 2014
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on 14 September 2016
This is one of the CLASSIC manga,perhaps the greatest Samurai saga of all time.The art is wonderfully expressive,very "Japanese",the character development extraordinarily good.Over about 8,500 pages,the story unfolds.This is an unmissable item,if you like manga,comics,literature,this is something that cannot be recommended too highly.No spoilers from me,it has to be read.Whatever happened to make this less popular than,say,One Piece,I have no idea.Possibly because it IS a classic,and has been around a while,it's not so "current",but like all classics,it never disappears.
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on 13 February 2003
"Brothers of the Grass," Volume 15 in the "Lone Wolf and Cub" manga epic by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima, finally offers up the episode I have been awaiting for sometime, namely one in which the title characters do not appear. The story, of course, does serve the purpose of introducing us (eventually) to a character who will provide one of the greatest challenges to Ogami Itto as he and Diagoro walk the Assassin's Road together. Meanwhile, the importance of the Yagyu Letter continues to motivate the actions of Yagyu Retsudo, even more so than his desire to see Ogami Itto dead, which is itself something of a clue. However, Koike and Kojima are obviously in no hurry to reveal all. We must continue to read these stories in patience, understanding that with this volume we have passed the halfway mark in the saga:
(73) "The Castle of Women" offers up another interesting test for Ogami Itto to face before being hired for a task. Sixteen men walk the roads wearing the mark of Gozumezu, each carrying 100 ryo and the next part of the story behind the job their lord wants Lone Wolf to do. The story is indeed worth the hearing, but this is but a complex opening gambit in a much larger game.
(74) "The Women of Sodeshi" finds Lone Wolf and Cub visiting a fishing village where there are only women, brought there by a tragic song. Yet even this distant, strange little village has its secrets.
(75) "Brothers of the Grass" tells the story of two brothers who have been planted in deep cover by the Yagyu. One of them, Getsugyoku, whose particular talents and peculiar nature would be suited to bringing down Lone Wolf, has disappeared, and the Yagyu force the one brother to track down the other.
(76) "Five Wheels of the Yagyu" is the showpiece story in this volume as Getsugyoku uses the five wheels of the Yagyu grass: joy, anger, sorrow, pleasure, and fear to try to kill Ogami Itto, retrieve the Yagyu letter, get back his human face. A very different type of "duel," than we are use to seeing in these stories, which only serves to make it all the more memorable.
(77) "Incense of the Living" introduces us to yet another fascinating type of shadow warriors, the Yama-Shu, one of the Shogun's special detachments. At the age of 42 they have a "living funeral," say farewell to their family and friends, and are buried alive, only to be dug up and given a new name as a member of the Shibito-Metsuke (Ghost Inspectors). After this ritual we find these warriors have been given the task of finding a secret gold mine. Of course, you know who has been hired to defend the mine.
This is one of the most thematic volumes in the "Lone Wolf and Cub" series, with four of the five stories devoted to the Grass, the deep-cover ninjas of the Yagyu. The ability of Koike and Kojima to enrich their epic with virtually every story is really astounding. The period detail is fascinating, but it is the grand scope of the overall story, as well as its individual chapters, that makes this one of the greatest comic books in the history of the entire world. Very few Western comic books were coming up with stories this good when they got to their seventh year (unless they already had a major dry spell and had a new team take over the book).
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