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The 47 Ronin: A Graphic Novel by Sean…

The 47 Ronin: A Graphic Novel

by Sean Michael Wilson

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In the 18th century, forty-seven masterless samurai masterminded a secret plot, spanning over two years, to avenge the death of their master. Claiming to be the first historically accurate graphic novel accounting of the famed event, The 47 Ronin explores the deeply rooted Japanese engagement with honor, loyalty, sacrifice, and above all else, the bushido. Writer Sean Michael Wilson, editor of the groundbreaking [b:Ax: Alternative Manga|6928780|Ax Volume 1 A Collection of Alternative Manga|Katsuo Kawai|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1331427811s/6928780.jpg|7159010], and artist Akiko Shimojima stumble their way through the iconic tale. Both the script and illustrations, which suffer from brevity, often obfuscate rather than clarify. As a testament to the strength of the legend, The 47 Ronin overcomes these faults and ultimately proves a fascinating read. ( )
  rickklaw | Oct 13, 2017 |
I was provided a copy of this graphic novel by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I had never heard of the 47 Ronin before, and the release of the graphic novel is timely with the movie releasing theaters now starring Keanu Reeves.

The beginning sucked. I couldn't tell who was who and had to keep going back and rereading parts and trying to figure the story out. It seriously needed a prologue for people like me who didn't know the story and couldn't keep track of the similarly named and looking characters. And it's as especially that the characters were drawn similarly that added to my overall confusion. The language was also unclear.

Then about halfway through the ruse and what they're (the samurai) are trying to do starts to make sense. It gets interesting partway through and I definitely felt hooked to continue.
I loved the ending; it was beautiful. The artwork was spot on, and it's definitely a great story.

Overall there's a lot of room for improvement. I liked the graphic novel portrayal but wish it would've had a prologue. If more was explained early on, it would've caused less confusion because I had to keep flipping back pages and rereading and trying to see what characters were who and what side. ( )
  Diamond.Dee. | Jul 3, 2015 |
I found it difficult to differentiate the characters, and I also found the story hard to follow, most especially the beginning and the crucial conflict that sets up the whole rest of the book. The later sections of this book were a bit easier to follow and understand. There seemed to be a lot of panels where nothing was happening and I didn't understand the facial expressions, body position changes, etc..., so the art did not help me follow what was happening. ( )
  michellebarton | Jul 1, 2014 |
"The 47 Ronin" is a graphic novel adaptation of one of Japan's oldest and most famous stories in samurai history. When their master, Asano, is dishonored and forced to commit seppuku, 47 now master-less ronin plot together to avenge their daimyo.

The graphic novel starts out prior to the confrontation between Asano and Kira, the court member who dishonored him. It took a little bit to get into not being as familiar with the story as there isn't a lot of background info on the time period or culture presented. Also, it was difficult to discern at times who was who. However, once Asano commits seppuku, the story picks up.

Overall, the story is definitely interesting and made me want to search out more historical information (there is even an upcoming movie with Keanu Reeves). But the adaptation is hampered a bit by some pacing issues and a lack of contextual information. Perhaps someone with a better understanding of the event may appreciate the work more. I received a free copy through NetGalley. ( )
  JoshMock | Oct 10, 2013 |
Showing 4 of 4
This graphic novel re-tells the story of one of Japan’s national legends, a story of honor, loyalty and the samurai code. ... This re-telling is direct and clear, with flowing illustrations, and provides cultural context for the development of the code of the samurai, bushido.
added by KelMunger | editLit/Rant, Kel Munger (Nov 7, 2013)
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In graphic novel format, recounts the legendary event from Japanese history in which forty-seven samurai avenged the death of their master before committing ritual suicide.

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