Writer: Stan Sakai
Artist: Stan Sakai
Colorist: Emi Fujii
Cover Artist: Stan Sakai
Publisher: Dark Horse
Publication Date: October 11, 2023
Reviewed by: Samriddh Chaudhary
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Space Usagi: Yokai Hunter #1 Review.
Fans of the legendary swordsman and wandering hero, Usagi Yojimbo, have been enjoying his exciting adventures for what seems like forever. Now, in the far-off future, someone is having a blast with a classic Usagi Yojimbo adventure, and Stan Sakai’s Space Usagi universe is back with a cool new story in Space Usagi: Yokai Hunter #1.
Usagi Yojimbo is one of the most important series in Comic Publication History. Its anthological style of storytelling has allowed for some really interesting stories over the years. But, I do not feel the latest one-shot from Stan Sakai is really as interesting as one would hope for after considering the space Usagi aspect of the story. Most of the story is not even about Space Usagi. It is mostly just a tale about the original Usagi Miyamoto that is being read by the daughter of Space Usagi. What makes it worse is that the story about Usagi Miyamoto is not even concluded when we abruptly cut to the last few pages of Space Usagi content. The story generally lacks any sort of impact and the situation that Usagi Miyamoto finds himself in is unsuccessful at generating much interest or intrigue.
The Art by Stan Sakai delivers as always. His art style always suits the aesthetic of his stories. His books about a warrior from ancient Japan always have the look of art done in ancient scrolls. I should point out for this book a huge part of maintaining the aesthetic of classic Usagi Yojimbo was done by Emi Fujii. Emi Fujii’s colors are beautifully done and contribute heavily to the visual appeal of the book.
Space Usagi: Yokai Hunter #1 offers a visually stunning experience, thanks to Stan Sakai’s masterful artwork and Emi Fujii’s exceptional coloring, which maintains the classic Usagi Yojimbo aesthetic. However, the storytelling may leave fans wanting more, as it predominantly focuses on the original Usagi Miyamoto and lacks the depth and impact one might expect from the Space Usagi universe. While it’s always a pleasure to revisit the world of Usagi Yojimbo, this one-shot might not be the spacefaring adventure fans were hoping for. Nevertheless, for those who cherish Stan Sakai’s artistic prowess and the enduring appeal of Usagi Yojimbo, it still holds some value as a nostalgic trip into this beloved universe.