Welcome back to another entry of our weekly manga series, after a very long time. So I used the time I was gone to catch up on some manga and read some new and ones too. I thought for a long time before deciding on this manga for the week. This manga is not for everyone but, those who stomach it will find themselves immersed in one of the best classic mangas.
You have read the title; we are talking about Kozure Ookami or The Lone Wolf and the Cub this week. It is a truly beautiful manga. Even though its plot may seem generic at times, it is executed beautifully.
Remember, this is a recommendation and not a review so there will be no scores and I won’t point out any negatives. So let’s get right into it.
Kozure Ookami is written by Koike Kazuo and illustrated by Kojima Goseki. It was originally published from September 1970 to April 1976. Its English release had quite some speed breakers though. You see the English version came out in 1987 and it was published in “issues” with famous comic artists drawing cover pages for these issues. In 1991, these issues came to a stop after the company that published them closed. Finally, in 2000 the series picked back up and finished in 2002.
Despite all these speed breakers, quite a lot of people actually waited those 10 years to read the continuation of this manga. That alludes to just how good this manga actually is. Kozure Ookami may not be for everyone but, that doesn’t change the fact that it is one beautiful piece of work.
Kozure Ookami tells the story of Ogami Ittou who is the chief executioner of the Shogunate. He is framed by the Yagyuu clan for treason and his family and his wife are killed at the hands of the Yagyuu clan. He takes his only remaining child, Daigorou, and runs. With nothing else to do, Ittou takes up the life of an assassin and seeks revenge against the Yagyuu clan.
Now as I said, the plot does sound like a generic revenge plot but when you consider the age of the work, it’s fine. The way that Kozure Ookami goes around in executing this plot, is still really good and unique. When you add the complex characters, the fast pacing of the plot, and the awesome art, Kozure Ookami manages to be a really good read even today.
There are not a lot of main characters in Kozure Ookami. Most characters are people Ittou meets on his journey and whatnot. Ittou himself is a very well-written character. He is no generic protagonist. Ittou really struggles between his revenge and raising his son. He doesn’t want Daigorou to end up like him and he does everything he can to protect him.
The growth of Ittou’s character is satisfying. He learns through hardships. The other notable character I’d say is Yagyuu Retsudou. He is a great villain and will do anything and everything in his hands to see Ittou dead. Kozure Ookami has some really well-written characters.
Art is subjective but man; Kozure Ookami’s art is still top tier, even by today’s standards. Everything looks so intense and the art really hammers in the dark tone of the setting and the plot. The art does an awesome job of setting up environments.
Why you should read Kozure Ookami?
Some quick pointers on why you should check out this manga.
- Easy to understand the plot
- Great characters
- Awesome art
- Really satisfying conclusion
- Rather short
That is it for now. Let me know your thoughts and recommendation down in the comments. I am catching up with the news so stay tuned for more content. I will take my leave here. See ya!