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Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 2: Samurai (Usagi Yojimbo #2)

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  1,205 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
The bunny's back! Originally printed in the long out-of-print Usagi Yojimbo #1 through 4, this volume features Usagi's origins as a wandering rabbit warrior in feudal Japan, and introduces many members of the cast of characters. Brimming with exciting swordfights, authentic locales and costumes, drama and humor, this is some of Stan Sakai's finest work. If you're unfamilia ...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published January 17th 1989 by Fantagraphics (first published 1989)
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Sam Quixote
Aug 31, 2014 Sam Quixote rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first Usagi Yojimbo book collected the initial short comics that the character first appeared in before Stan Sakai decided to make a series out of him. This second book collects the beginning few issues in the ongoing (30 years!) Usagi Yojimbo series, and it’s definitely more of a sustained narrative than the bits and pieces of the first volume.

A wordless duel between Usagi and another samurai sets the stage for Usagi’s retelling of his origin story to Gen, the roguish mercenary from the fi
Feb 22, 2017 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great art, with a great origin story (plus a few good one and done's).

The only real criticism I have is that the art is sometimes goofy, and the set up of each story is a bit repetitive - Japan apparently had a massive issue with drunken thugs, because Usagi can't go ten paces without getting into a fight with a mob of men.
May 25, 2014 Ruel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm slowly but surely getting through the Usagi Yojimbo collected series, after reading random issues throughout my teenaged years. This second volume contains the origin story of Usagi Yojimbo (excellent) and a few shorter non-related pieces (good).

I love how Sakai uses the anthropomorphic animals to tell his tales; they're well drawn and gives his books a unique feel. I don't think "surreal" would be the right word to describe Yojimbo's adventures, so I'll settle with "different." I prefer th
Crystal Starr Light
Aug 23, 2014 Crystal Starr Light rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga
Bullet Review:

This is the book where Sakai got his own run, and it's a LOT more cohesive than Vol 1. Usagi really starts to develop a story, a background, some character. It's fun how clever he is, how he is always trying to do the right, honorable thing.
Harold Ogle
I continued reading this, and continued to enjoy it. In most of this compilation, Usagi is telling his story to the mercenary Rhinoceros bounty hunter, so we see how he got an unconventional sensei, how he was trained, how he was pitted against his childhood friend, how he entered the service of his lord, and how his lord was betrayed and he was rendered ronin. This part, like most origin stories, is the strongest part of the book. What follows is a couple of one-off vignettes of humorous escapa ...more
Apr 02, 2014 Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Another great installment of the Usagi Yojimbo series. Maybe a little better then the first volume too. I say that because we get a full origin of our hero Usagi. The previous volume I thought was a good story, but it was brief. I think this origin story was longer because this volume collects the first issues of his solo series. I liked the writing in this volume better too.

I'll say this again, Usagi is a samurai who lost his master at war, a ronin if you want to get more technical. In his firs
Eric Mikols
Jan 24, 2012 Eric Mikols rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Usagi! These comics are great. The art is simple and clean, and there are still moments of quiet beauty. The flow of Sakai's art makes clustered battle scenes feel fierce, and those silent, quick fights between duelist look cinematic.
Usagi is extremely likeable, and learning about his origin is fun, especially the pain of losing his master. I love how this book can go from goofy and fun to dark and serious, and it does this so well because it's full of heart.
Sep 15, 2012 rob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here, Toshiro Mifune stars in his first posthumous animal role, as the sword-swinging fiver tells his rhino buddy about his past military experience. This is really where to start in th story--volume one can wait. One of the better Americanized tails of bushido bravery with just the right amount of class.
Ned Leffingwell
Sep 28, 2013 Ned Leffingwell rated it really liked it
Something about the combination of the elements that go into Usagi Yojimbo make it work so well. This book has Usagi's origin story and a few one- shot pieces. The only thing that would make it more enjoyable would be if they did the panels in color instead of black and white.
Madhurabharatula Pranav Rohit Kasinath
Usagi Yojimbo, on the surface is a simple concept. Anthropomorphic animals in 16th century Edo Japan - with the narrative centering around a "Long Eared Samurai", a Rabbit - the eponymous Usagi of the title. Usagi,literally means Rabbit in Japanese and Yojimbo refers to "Bodyguard". Rabbit Bodyguard. It mixes several references to the Samurai films of Kurosawa with a deliberate homage to the great samurai swordsman Miyamoto Musashi while treading its own unique path. There really isn't another ...more
Juan Luis
Jul 11, 2017 Juan Luis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Será que estoy tarumba, pero me encanta la calidad del dibujo y las historias que cuenta.
Jackie B. Forman
We continue the journey of Usagi Yojimbo in Volume 2: Samurai.

Unlike the first volume, we begin with a series of connected volumes explaining some of Miyamoto Usagi's past. This sustained narrative provides a large swath of omitted origin story from Volume 1. We know a bit from Volume 1 concerning Kenichi, Mariko, and the village where Usagi grew up. But here we are prevailed with the tale of how Usagi originally left home to become a Samurai.

This story is told to Murakami Gennosuke (AKA: Gen)
Mar 01, 2013 Helmut rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, japan
Die Anfänge eines Kaninchen-Samurai

Band 2 der "Usagi Yojimbo"-Reihe bietet eine lange Geschichte über ca. 3/4 des Bandes, die Usagi Miyamotos Herkunft erläutert ("Samurai"), und 3 kleinere Kurzgeschichten ("Kappa", "Zylla" und "Silk Fair").

So recht begeistern konnte die lange Ursprungsgeschichte mich nicht, was wohl aber vor allem daran lag, dass das Thema Sekigahara inzwischen ziemlich ausgelutscht ist und so recht keine Begeisterung in mir hervorrufen kann. Dafür fand ich die drei kurzen Gesch
May 11, 2015 Lissibith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Backstory central! We get to see not only who Usagi's master was, we also learn where he got his swords and what they mean to him. Usagi has just dueled a warthog, and upon meeting Gen immediately after, explains the story - not only how he came to be a great swordsman, but also what happened with his childhood friends and what led to him becoming a ronin.

I love the master and student part of this book especially, but the whole thing is great. In a lot of ways it reminds me of Tezuka's work, wit
Feb 21, 2011 William rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 23, 2016 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though loosely connected by the story of Usagi's journey home, the chapters in Volume 1 seem very episodic and self contained. In volume 2, however, we're told one long narrative over the course of several chapters. It's a refreshing change of pace and adds more weight to Volume 1. Volume 2 is also an origin story. We learn how Usagi became a Samurai and we see the events that ultimately turned him into a Ronin. By the end of Volume 2, we're fully caught up to the present day and we've cultivate ...more
Feb 08, 2014 Evan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This second volume of Usagi Yojimbo is Sakai's first move into longer narratives, as opposed to the proto-vignettes of the previous volume. The story benefits greatly from this—although Sakai is deft with either form—but at this point the comic still feels rather like a prologue. Still, though, it's cozy and a pleasant classic.

One thing that I should really commend is Stan Sakai's neatness with the pen. Interstitial guest comics by other artists—Dennis Fujitake's story about a platypus fighter p
si le premier tome donnait quelques instantanés de la vie d'Usagi, celui-ci inscrit le premier récit dans l'initiation du lapin au rôle de samouraï, par son vieux maître, au fin fond des montagnes. Tout y est : le maître bougon, mais sympathique (et talentueux), les adversaires envieux mais médiocres, le duel contre un ami (plusieurs fois d'ailleurs) déchirant le héros entre son devoir et son désir ...
Bref, Usagi, c'est bien.
Enfin, la première histoire est très bien. L'histoire de Kappa est pein
Feb 07, 2015 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-books
Another round of excellent Usagi stories, this time with more opportunities for sequential storytelling, Sakai gives his character an origin story. Given how great those initial short stories were, it's amazing how well Usagi works as a long-form tale. While these initial issues have a bit too much of Usagi as invincible warrior, this trait works well as the series progresses especially as Usagi comes up against greater and greater challenges. The violence in this book is mitigated by the anthro ...more
Aug 31, 2009 Kit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Borrowed from my aikido teacher. :) This volume gives us the genesis of Usagi, the samurai rabbit, and shows us how he became the wandering ronin he is today. Lots of action, some Japanese history and culture (disguised by the whole "talking animals" thing), and quite a bit of killing, although it's not particularly graphic, partially due to the black and white art. Usagi makes a convincing young hero trying to find his way in the world, and if it skips around a bit, the story will still keep yo ...more
Apr 24, 2014 AMS rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans
Shelves: comics
I am a huge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan and needed something to hold me over till the next issue comes out so I decided to give this a try seeing as how there are some similarities between them. It was a entertaining and good ride, full of samurai action. One thing I especially appreciate that Stan Sakai does is use the traditional Japanese words for things but then also explains what they mean so that someone who isn't too familiar with the culture, such as myself, can understand what the ...more
Jan 28, 2010 RØB rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's something nice about the simplicity of a UY book. The library files this one under "Juvenile Fiction" typically, which is tight considering it's all about a samurai cuttin' other samurais up (mostly bloodlessly, and in black & white, of course, but still). I also like the stand-alone episodic nature of the stories--OR SO YOU THINK! Characters and situations are indeed revisited later, don't let the simple stories or the stark artwork fool you. This bad boy is COMPLEX!
Ryk Stanton
Mar 13, 2015 Ryk Stanton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guessed after reading the first TPB that the second one would be better: I was right! I really appreciated the longer stories and enhanced backstory that happened here, and the humorous interludes ("Are you a god, Zylla?") took nothing away from the rest of the story. I am very interested in where this character will go in the future - I have about a couple decades to catch up on at this point.

I'm not yet "in love" with this character, but I expect to be moreso as I read on.
Gabriel Wallis
Mar 11, 2013 Gabriel Wallis rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
What can I say about Usagi Yojimbo? I like it? 'Cause I do. And it's such an obscure comic! Stan Sakai develops the character of Usagi Yojimbo perfectly. He gives you just enough to keep wanting more. In this volume, Usagi Yojimbo talks about his infancy and his adolescence with a fellow samurai/ronin, who happens to be a rhino. And we are introduced to Katsuichi (a lion), Usagi's sensei. I'm definitely looking forward to reading volume three. :)
Faith Hicks
Jun 13, 2013 Faith Hicks rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
It's kind of fun to see Stan Sakai's earlier Usagi comics. They don't have the nuance and striking artwork of the later volumes, and Usagi himself is weirdly violent, eager to fight people who confront him (something that would change a lot pretty quickly), but it's great to see the origins of one of my favourite comics.

Still waiting for that animated Usagi Yojimbo TV series! C'mon Nickelodeon, it'd be a great companion for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show...
Julie Rowse
Mar 21, 2016 Julie Rowse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
I saw that I gave Vol. 1 three stars, and it's been too long for me to remember why. Maybe I just wasn't immediately grabbing the storyline, or maybe it's that Vol. 2 really is a bit better. Regardless, I really liked this collection, and as I read I was reminded one more time that I need to get this for my nephews.
Mar 15, 2015 Maggie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
I love Usagi Yojimbo!

I'm bad at writing reviews, but will say this: if samurai, adventure and bushido interest you then this graphic novel series will deliver that which you crave. The stories and artwork capture your imagination and leave you wanting more. The good thing is that there are many issues and more yet to come.
Jul 28, 2009 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: japan
I'm so grateful for having ignored Usagi Yojimbo for so many years, because now I have volume after volume waiting for me. Sakai spins his tales with loving care, reflecting the spirit at the core of the samurai tale while infusing the stories with humor and charm. This volume tells the story of Usagi's childhood but also includes shorter stories.
Feb 16, 2013 DaViD´82 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Úvodní stěžejní novela dokazuje, že Sakai delší příběhy většinou neumí a tak jde ve výsledku stejně pouze o slepenec více či méně zajímavých epizod. Naopak svou sílu potvrzuje v regulérních krátkých příbězích; a úplně nejlépe pak ve variacích na tradiční kaidany (Kappa), které vždy patří k vrcholům jednotlivých knih či v těch příspěvcích, kdy se nebere ani trochu vážně (Zylla).
May 22, 2015 Vov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Samurai (parts I-VIII): Usagi's origin story. Introduces Katsuichi, a great character. Excellent storytelling from Stan Sakai. Highlight of this volume.
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  • Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 18: Twilight of the Kurokuwa
Stan Sakai (Japanese: 坂井 スタンSakai Sutan; born May 25, 1953) is an artist who became known as an Eisner Award-winning comic book originator.

Born in Kyoto, Sakai grew up in Hawaii and studied fine arts at the University of Hawaii. He later attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He and his wife, Sharon, presently reside and work in Pasadena.

He began his career by lettering
More about Stan Sakai...

Other Books in the Series

Usagi Yojimbo (1 - 10 of 38 books)
  • Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 1: The Ronin (Usagi Yojimbo, #1)
  • Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 3: The Wanderer's Road (Usagi Yojimbo, #3)
  • Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 4: The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy (Usagi Yojimbo, #4)
  • Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 5: Lone Goat and Kid (Usagi Yojimbo, #5)
  • Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 6: Circles  (Usagi Yojimbo, #6)
  • Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 7: Gen's Story (Usagi Yojimbo, #7)
  • Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 8: Shades of Death (Usagi Yojimbo, #8)
  • Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 9: Daisho (Usagi Yojimbo, #9)
  • Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 10: The Brink of Life and Death  (Usagi Yojimbo, #10)
  • Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 11: Seasons (Usagi Yojimbo, #11)

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