In the politics, struggles, and battles that lead to the birth of a nation, sometimes even good people must die at the hands of allies. And now it's down to only a few warlords of Edo-era Japan. History already tells the story of the victor, but the real guts of Path of the Assassin lie in the characters behind the scenes-the ninja warriors doing the dirty work. Theirs is a story of families and war and intrigue, only far more mysterious and untold.
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At the end of Three Foot Assassin (2008), Hanzo spectacularly transformed himself to infiltrate the suppa guarding his lord Ieyasu’s deadliest rival, whom he intends to assassinate. This volume, consumed with Hanzo’s mission to the near exclusion of all concurrent events, is the most viscerally suspenseful and relentlessly sexy installment of Koike and Kojima’s historical epic to date. Here, sex becomes grand-scale strategic and histrionic without, unfortunately for Hanzo and his target/amour, losing any personal emotional impact. Writer and artist both excel themselves in what is a different version of the same event that drove Kojima’s beloved Kurosawa’s great film Kagemusha (Shadow Warrior). --Ray Olson
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