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Kazuo Koike (1936–2019)

Author of Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 1: The Assassin's Road

305+ Works 13,387 Members 84 Reviews 14 Favorited

About the Author

Kazuo Koike was born on May 8, 1936 in Akita, Japan. He is the co-creator and writer of the Lone Wolf and Cub and Crying Freeman manga. He adapted the Lone Wolf and Cub manga into a series of six films which gained him recognition for his screenwriting. He started the Gekiga Sonjuku, a college show more course to assist talented writers and artists break into the comic book field. He also hosted television programs, founded a golf magazine, produced movies, and has written popular fiction, poetry, and screenplays. His work has earned him many awards including two Harvey Awards and an Eisner Award. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Kazuo Koike

Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 1: The Assassin's Road (1970) — Author — 979 copies
Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 2: The Gateless Barrier (1972) — Author — 526 copies
Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Volume 1 (2013) — Author — 225 copies
Crying Freeman, Volume 1 (1990) 187 copies
Crying Freeman, Volume 2 (1990) 139 copies
Crying Freeman, Volume 3 (1987) 114 copies
Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Volume 2 (2013) — Author — 96 copies
Crying Freeman, Volume 4 (1987) 85 copies
Crying Freeman, Volume 5 (1993) 84 copies
Color of Rage (2008) 58 copies
Lone Wolf and Cub [film collection] (1972) — Screenwriter; Original manga — 32 copies
Offered, Volume 1 (2001) 29 copies
Offered, Volume 2 (2001) 21 copies
Wounded Man, Volume 1 (2001) 18 copies
Wounded Man, Volume 2 (2001) 16 copies
Wounded Man, Volume 5 (2002) 15 copies
Wounded Man, Volume 4 (2001) 15 copies
Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance [1972 film] (1972) — Screenwriter; Original manga — 14 copies
Wounded Man, Volume 8 (2002) 14 copies
Wounded Man, Volume 3 (2001) 14 copies
Wounded Man, Volume 6 (2002) 13 copies
Wounded Man, Volume 9 (2002) 13 copies
Wounded Man, Volume 7 (2002) 11 copies
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx [1972 film] (1972) — Screenwriter; Original manga — 10 copies
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades [1972 film] (1972) — Screenwriter; Original manga — 9 copies
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril [1972 film] (1972) — Screenwriter; Original manga — 7 copies
Crying Freeman, Tome 7. (1988) 6 copies
Crying Freeman, Tome 6 (1987) 5 copies
Lady Snowblood: Extra (2010) 4 copies
Crying Freeman Part 1 #2 (1989) 3 copies
Crying Freeman, Tome 9. (2006) 2 copies
Band 8 1 copy
Offerred 1 copy
Crying Freeman (2011) 1 copy
Crying Freeman Book 8 (1990) 1 copy

Associated Works

47 Ronin (2014) — Editor — 120 copies
The Complete Lady Snowblood (1973) — Original manga — 35 copies
Lady Snowblood [1973 film] (1973) — Original manga — 24 copies
Shogun Assassin [1980 film] (1980) — Original manga — 18 copies
Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven in Hell [1974 film] (1974) — Original manga — 9 copies
Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance [1974 film] (1974) — Original manga — 7 copies


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Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Koike, Kazuo
Legal name
小池 一夫 (Koike Kazuo)
Seishu Tawaraya (birth name)
Date of death
Daisen, Akita Prefecture, Japan
Place of death
Tokyo, Japan
Cause of death
manga writer
Awards and honors
Hall of Fame Eisner Award (2004)
Short biography
Though widely respected as a powerful writer of graphic fiction, Koike has hosted television programs; founded a golf magazine; produced movies; written popular fiction, poetry, and screenplays and mentored some of Japan's best manga talent.

Lone Wolf and Cub, created in collaboration with Goseki Kojima, was first serialized in in 1970 (under the title Kozure Okami) in Manga Action magazine and continued its hugely popular run for many years, being collected as the stories were published and reprinted worldwide.  Koike collected numerous awards for his work on the series throughout the next decade.  Starting in 1972, Koike adapted the popular manga into a series of six films, The Baby Cart Assassin saga, garnering widespread commercial success and critical acclaim for his screenwriting.

Koike and Kojima were dubbed the "golden duo" on the manga world for their many successes.

 And to give something back to the medium that gave him so much, Koike started the Gekiga Sonjuku, a college course aimed at helping talented writers and artists break into the comic field.

The driving focus of Koike's narrative is character development, and his commitment to character is clear: "Comics are carried by characters.  If a character is well created, the comic becomes a hit."  [adapted from Assassin's Road (2000)]



Final chapter in the revenge saga of Lady Snowblood.

As with previous issues story is broken between Lady Snowblood's revenge (hunting down the remaining two criminals that have killed her family - last chapter is pretty emotional for our protagonist as she decides to help the daughter of the last criminal to gain freedom and move away from the criminal underworld - thus showing Lady Snowblood's ability to discern between her revenge and sparing innocent lives; she is scalpel not a hatchet when it comes to hunting down her family's assailants) and missions she takes from other people along the way (first chapter and killing of the blackmailing photographer).

There are few scenes here that are pretty explicit but again nothing that is that much different from previous volumes.

Art as always is great although first chapter is rather difficult to grasp (due to the rain acting as a stage for the events). There was one funny moment in the same chapter too when Lady Snowblood is .... let's say engaged with the head nurse and gunshot is heard so she jumps up, alarmed. It seems like there is additional leg in the panel :)

In the end after avenging her family's destruction it is obvious that Lady Snowblood now can only act as a hired sword - for one who dedicates whole life to a single goal can only proceed along that same direction.

Highly recommended to all fans of action thrillers.
… (more)
Zare | 1 other review | Jan 23, 2024 |
Lady Snowblood continues with her vengeance quest - this time she relies on assistance of thief-beggars after she provided them with the regional listing of deceased persons (that beggars use to target families to obtain money).

This volume ends in a very ... bizarre way with Lady Snowblood being assaulted with giant suffering from extreme sexual appetite. As they say gotta see it in order to believe it.

Art is as usual excellent, page flow and structure is impeccable.

Highly recommended to all fans of action, femme fatale and manga.… (more)
Zare | 2 other reviews | Jan 23, 2024 |
Lady Snowblood gets tasked with destruction of powerful Yakuza organization. Although initially they could not believe woman would even try doing something like that, Yakuza get drawn into open conflict and immediately they are disposed by the very motivated and determined femme-fatale.

On the revenge plan (ongoing comic story line) she is advised to get help from one rather picturesque character - con-artist/novelist. After she manages to get him interested into publishing her life story everything is ready to flush out the remaining criminals that caused such grief to Lady Snowblood's family.

Trap is ready.

Recommended to all fans of action and adventure.
… (more)
Zare | 1 other review | Jan 23, 2024 |
Kiri | 1 other review | Dec 24, 2023 |



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