The adventures of everyoneâ€™s favorite rabbit ronin Usagi Yojimbo is still going on strong even today with the latest adventure is â€œUsagi Yojimbo: The Hidden.â€ While it does feature our favorite bunny, the first issue does feel like a letdown.
Usagi Yojimbo, along with Inspector Ishida, is investigating the deaths of two samurai who have entered the city carrying something important but was stolen by a thief. However, Yojimbo finds out that these murders are more than what they seem.
Stan Sakai decided to go into some serious territory in this story: Japanâ€™s complicated history with Christianity. While some will read that and think this comic is bashing Christianity, in fact, the characters are just viewing Christianity from a 16th/17th Century Japanese point of view. While early, Sakai has handled this subject delicately.
As for the story itself, it is just a murder mystery with the twist being there are Christians involved. The thing about Sakai is that he can take a generic story like this and make it wonderful. There is plenty to be had here and hopefully, Sakai can bring â€œUsagi Yojimboâ€™sâ€ charm into full force here.
The big downside of this comic is the art. While it is true to Sakai and â€œUsagi Yojimboâ€™sâ€ style, it feels rushed. It isnâ€™t as polished or great looking as Sakaiâ€™s normal works. In fact, thereâ€™s a huge chase scene in the first half of the comic and nothing about it feels interesting. It feels like Sakai was on a tight deadline and had to rush to get it out.
While the subject matter is great and the knowledge of Sakaiâ€™s previous outings, the first issue of â€œUsagi Yojimbo: The Hiddenâ€ does feel a bit lackluster with below average art that feels rushed and a story thatâ€™s a retread of others. There is a high chance that it could improve, but donâ€™t expect much from this issue.