Usagi Yojimbo: Senso #2 – Review

Stan Sakai’s mega-masterpiece takes a giant leap forward with this new limited series from Dark Horse. And if you ever wondered how much butt an aged Usago Yojimbo might kick, here’s your chance to find out.

Here’s the official word from Dark Horse:

The sudden crash landing of a rocket from the heavens has shattered the warring armies of Lords Noriyuki and Hikiji. His forces all but annihilated, Hikiji himself is taken—and when the ninja Chizu goes to investigate, she encounters bizarre beings constructing fearsome machines. Will the remaining samurai be enough to overcome the aliens’ unbelievably destructive weaponry?

Still trucking after a thirty-year run, Usagi Yojimbo is one of those series that has been around, literally, for a lifetime. Avid fans 24432of this title have been graced with a library of over twenty-seven volumes and a rich cast of characters that have developed gracefully and carefully under the careful hand of Stan Sakai, one of the industry’s most respected creators. And now, with Usagi Yojimbo: Senso, Sakai shows that he still has plenty of ideas left for how to evolve everyone’s favorite Samurai rabbit. Set twenty years in the future, Senso takes a familiar text and revamps it in an unusually creative way. If the blurb from Dark Horse sounds familiar, that’s because it is — welcome to War of the World, Stan Sakai style.

War of the Worlds, of course, is a text that gets revamped from time to time and so the real magic of this limited series doesn’t come from the plot, but from the execution. For fans who’ve invested years into Sakai’s characters, it’s a joy to see how Sakai’s staple characters have grown in the last twenty years, and issue #2 offers these moments in spades. Whether it’s watching Tomoe Ame and Usagi share a poignant moment that reveals their complicated history, or finally seeing Usagi’s son Jotaro become a warrior like his father, Senso is both entertaining and emotionally fulfilling.

The art, delivered by Sakai, is flawless. One of the perks of reading Usagi Yojimbo is that Sakai knows these characters so well; he’s become adept at communicating just as much with facial expressions as he does dialogue and Senso is no exception. Of special interest is Sakai’s take on the alien spaceships, which look more industrial than futuristic. And they kinda rock.

So far Usagi Yojimbo: Senso has been a delight to read. And I can’t wait for the next issue.


  • + Usagi Yojimbo, But Set in the Future (and with Aliens)!
  • + Art and Story by Sakai, Of Course!s

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