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UY #109 - Sparrows part 5 (SPOILERS ABOUND)

General discussion about Usagi Yojimbo, the comics, the stories, the characters, collectibles, TV appearances, Stan Sakai, Space Usagi, Nilson & Hermy, and all other related topics.

Moderators: Steve Hubbell, Mayhem, Moderators

Postby hayabusa » Sat Jan 26, 2008 16:12 +0000

kchishol1970 wrote:
Not to me, this smells of the kind of Women in Refrigerators (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Refrigerators ) misogyny many have complained is all too common in North American comics.


I think that the Women in Refrigerators phenomena is really over reported, personally. Seemingly, it seems like it's been used even when a female warrior is simply gotten the best of. I've heard it used during the

STAR WARS NOVEL SPOILERS
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Slaying of very capable warrior Mara Jade in one of the recent novels, despite the fact that she very nearly won the fight that she was killed in.
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END SPOILERS
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Postby kchishol1970 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 20:30 +0000

Stan Sakai wrote:
kchishol1970 wrote:

One complaint I have gotten from fans is that almost none of the protagonists die. I was not pandering to these people, of course, but this is a reminder that everyone is vulnerable in Usagi. In the first draft of the series, Usagi himself dies on or about page 1000.


Dear Stan,

Thank you for the answer. Please note that before posting, I wrote an angry email to Dark Horse detailing the same opinion for the letters page.

Please think of as an example of the passion your characters inspire in readers.
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Postby Todd Shogun » Sun Jan 27, 2008 21:27 +0000

With the death of Inazuma, who as Stan indicated was created solely as a future host for Jei, it's unclear whether or not the original host can survive should the Jei demon be released. I'm willing to wager it's not possible. Of course, with Inazuma so mortally wounded before having Jei exorcised, there's no way we can know for sure at this point.

I think was bothers me the most about Inazuma's death was that she was the most skilled swordsperson in all of Stan's Feudal Japan, ranking higher than the likes of Katsuichi, Koji, and even Usagi. Should Usagi have confronted Inazuma as Jei, what would he have done, knowing that he owes her his life? Would Inazuma have fought Jei to the point where Usagi could have defeated her/him? Or would Jei be able to harness Inazuma's skill with the blade to defeat Usagi and thus fulfill his destiny? It would have been great to see this fateful confrontation...I guess we'll never know what would have happened.
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Postby estee » Mon Jan 28, 2008 16:51 +0000

I liked the fact that Usagi still felt an obligation to protect Inazuma, even though he knows that Jei wants him dead.
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Postby Stan Sakai » Mon Jan 28, 2008 17:20 +0000

Hi Estee,

I appreciate the reviews you post at Comixtreme. I had a feeling you would choose that panel as Panel of the Month.
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Postby estee » Mon Jan 28, 2008 19:45 +0000

It's always a pleasure. ;)

That image I chose as panel of the month would have been even better as a full splash. :wink:
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Postby Steve Hubbell » Mon Jan 28, 2008 22:03 +0000

Stan Sakai wrote:Hi Estee,

I appreciate the reviews you post at Comixtreme. I had a feeling you would choose that panel as Panel of the Month.

estee wrote:It's always a pleasure. ;)

That image I chose as panel of the month would have been even better as a full splash. :wink:

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estee wrote:Now on to the panel of the month. I’ve chosen the first panel on page 12. It is an image of the Demon Jei leaving Inazuma’s body. It is a frightening image and very well rendered.
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Postby Mayhem » Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:53 +0000

Now my copy of #109 has arrived, I can join in with this thread ;)

Before the issue I knew that Inazuma was going to die whether or not Sanshobo succeeded in expelling Jei. I was waiting for the inevitable. I guess my consolation is that Stan has given her the peace she wanted in life now in death by having him be successful.

I had also suspected Hama might end up as the new host (assuming that Jei kept going post exorcism) due to issue #105. Which brings me to...

Thomas Froehling wrote:And what about Keiko? She goes from uncle to aunt and back to uncle without missing a beat! Always "leaving" Jei just as he is about to change his host body....

There's definetly more to her than meets the eye; I'd say...


I presume she is spellbound to always recognise the host of Jei...

Hama stated in #105 that only he and a little girl survived Jei's rampage in the temple. I assume the little girl is Keiko? The question I now have for Stan is... will we get to see any of Keiko's past? We didn't initially see her with Jei in the early issues when he first confronted Usagi, so I assume she had to be somewhere nearby though. And what IS her connection, why does she travel with Jei's host? I can understand why she was spared, because she was innocent. But not this other question. Any chance of maybe hinting or explaining why in a future issue Stan? ;)
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Postby Steve Hubbell » Wed Jan 30, 2008 13:09 +0000

The exact nature of the relationship between Keiko and Jei San is definitely the biggest mystery in Usagi Yojimbo.

If I remember correctly, she never appeared until the story "Nature of the Viper" (v3, #10 Oct/1994 - Book 9: Daisho) which was at another point where Jei was close to death, but not the first time he had apparently been killed in the series.
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Postby Thomas Froehling » Wed Jan 30, 2008 14:03 +0000

I think there is a little confusion here, Mayhem and Steve:

The little princess Keifumi that survived the first massacre at the temple wasn't Keiko; couldn't be, because that was many years ago. The little boy Jubei who fell ill in # 103 is a grown man in # 108...

And Keiko didn't join Jei in "Nature of the Viper", but later in "Black Soul" (UY book 10), where the recovered Jei is drawn to a scene of murderous violence; only to add to the violence by single-handedly killing three brigands (and unarmed at that!). She didn't really show any supernatural tendency in that story, but simply followed Jei because she had no-one else to turn to.... or so it would seem...

And she has followed him ever since (I remember at least two other stories where we had a glimpse of the two in some crowd scenes even in the same town as Usagi...weird), till Jei was killed in Grasscutter I, only to join Inazuma (may her soul rest in peace now) shortly afterwards...

Now she's off with Hama, on their way to Enma's Hell...

Spiritually there must be some kind of connection between them, because Jei spared both their lifes at the last possible moment, saying that he senses no evil in them....the innocence of childhood, maybe?!
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Postby Deathstroke » Wed Jan 30, 2008 20:18 +0000

#109 was a great conclusion to the Sparrows storyline.

I am wondering if there is any way there will be a final defeat of Jei.

Oh and I got my letter printed too! Whoo Hoo!
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Postby Stan Sakai » Wed Jan 30, 2008 22:24 +0000

Deathstroke wrote:
I am wondering if there is any way there will be a final defeat of Jei.



Yes.

And, thank you for the letter.
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Postby Steve Hubbell » Wed Jan 30, 2008 22:45 +0000

Thomas Froehling wrote:I think there is a little confusion here, Mayhem and Steve:

You are right! Not only was I thinking the wrong Jei story, I was also referring to the wrong volume as well. It was in "Black Soul" (UY v2, #13 Apr/1995 - Book 10: The brink of Life and Death) that Jei San first encounters Keiko.
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Postby Mayhem » Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:43 +0000

Ah yes, thanks for that Thomas... I was getting confused and mistook the two. I need to go reread those stories (maybe when my h/c #10 arrives!).
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Postby Deathstroke » Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:49 +0000

Stan Sakai wrote:
Deathstroke wrote:
I am wondering if there is any way there will be a final defeat of Jei.



Yes.

And, thank you for the letter.


Thanks for the information Mr. Sakai. As for the letter, hey anything I can do!
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