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Re: Usagi Yojimbo: Senso

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:04 +0000
by Eltanin
I finally finished to read Senso.

Damn! That was a good, and fun, and epic, and sometimes sad, trip. Yes, all of that.

SPOILERS ahead

When Lord Noriyuki told Tomoe and Usagi they had developped a second weapon to fight the invaders, I was thinking: "Please be a mecha. Please be a mecha. Please be a mecha."
And then, revelation: Usagi Gundam!
"Yesssssssssssss". :D

I am very fond of happy endings, so I was a bit saddened by the last death (even though it wasn't a complete surprise). I thought after all what they have been through all these years, Usagi and Tomoe deserved a shot at happiness in the end. But fate (and Mr Sakai) decided otherwise.
I find comfort in the fact that Space Usagi said it is not completely sure Usagi died this way, and records from medieval Japan are uncertain.
So I can imagine Usagi survived his last wound, but he has never been able to use swords again after that (which is why he passed them to Jotaro). He spent the remaining of his life as a councellor of lord Noriyuki and married Tomoe. Years later, when storytellers and bards wrote down Usagi's story for the generations to come, they decided a peaceful ending as a wounded samurai was not epic enough, so they invented this fantasy of Usagi dying in his last battle. And this is the story that was written down and survived for centuries.
Yes. That must be it. :wink:

Re: Usagi Yojimbo: Senso

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:34 +0000
by Maka
Eltanin wrote:I am very fond of happy endings, so I was a bit saddened by the last death (even though it wasn't a complete surprise). I thought after all what they have been through all these years, Usagi and Tomoe deserved a shot at happiness in the end. But fate (and Mr Sakai) decided otherwise.
I find comfort in the fact that Space Usagi said it is not completely sure Usagi died this way, and records from medieval Japan are uncertain.
So I can imagine Usagi survived his last wound, but he has never been able to use swords again after that (which is why he passed them to Jotaro). He spent the remaining of his life as a councellor of lord Noriyuki and married Tomoe. Years later, when storytellers and bards wrote down Usagi's story for the generations to come, they decided a peaceful ending as a wounded samurai was not epic enough, so they invented this fantasy of Usagi dying in his last battle. And this is the story that was written down and survived for centuries.
Yes. That must be it. :wink:


That is a fun retelling. :)

Peace, maka

Re: Usagi Yojimbo: Senso

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:54 +0000
by Stan Sakai
Eltanin wrote:I am very fond of happy endings, so I was a bit saddened by the last death (even though it wasn't a complete surprise). I thought after all what they have been through all these years, Usagi and Tomoe deserved a shot at happiness in the end.


Traditional Japanese storytelling is not fond of happy ending. Unlike Western culture, the hero usually does not get the girl and live happily ever after. It has changed in more modern storytelling as more western influence creeps in.

Re: Usagi Yojimbo: Senso

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:02 +0000
by Maka
Stan Sakai wrote:Traditional Japanese storytelling is not fond of happy ending. Unlike Western culture, the hero usually does not get the girl and live happily ever after.


I love that. Peace, maka

Re: Usagi Yojimbo: Senso

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:06 +0000
by Usagi-chan
Stan Sakai wrote:
Traditional Japanese storytelling is not fond of happy ending. Unlike Western culture, the hero usually does not get the girl and live happily ever after. It has changed in more modern storytelling as more western influence creeps in.



It sounds like those stories are a lot more realistic (sort of) than the ones where the knight saves the princess from the dragon. You know, besides the mythical creatures.

Re: Usagi Yojimbo: Senso

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:17 +0000
by maichan
I think it was the same for many old European fairy tales - they were originally meant to scare kids, but at some point in time were rewritten (or retold) to have happy endings.
In a sense, like the more traditional storytelling way - it gives you something to think about, and that life doesn't always have a cheerful outcome.

I've been reading some of Shigeru Mizuki's stories, and several of his tales have sorrowful endings, but there is still a glimmer of hope in them - lessons of life learned.

However, there's nothing wrong with a happy ending, and I like those too! :wink:

Re: Usagi Yojimbo: Senso

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:55 +0000
by Usagi-chan
I'd like to read more Japanese folklore. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Re: Usagi Yojimbo: Senso

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:10 +0000
by maichan
Usagi-Yojimbo wrote:I'd like to read more Japanese folklore. Does anyone have any suggestions?


Good question!
I'm trying to build my library too.

Not quite folklore, but I do recommend Kitaro & NonNonBa by Shigeru Mizuki. Both books have some interesting tales. NonNonBa is based around Shigeru's childhood way back in the late Taishō period and early Showa period, and both books feature Yokai and the Japanese spirit world.

Re: Usagi Yojimbo: Senso

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:58 +0000
by Eltanin
Stan Sakai wrote:Traditional Japanese storytelling is not fond of happy ending. Unlike Western culture, the hero usually does not get the girl and live happily ever after. It has changed in more modern storytelling as more western influence creeps in.

And that's perfectly fine. One of the things I particularly like in Usagi stories is the fact that he and most of the other characters live by the bushido, and they put honor above (almost) everything else. That is different from the classic western stories (at least the ones I read) and it's one of the reasons I enjoy reading Usagi so much. :wink:

And at least, Usagi got a last emotional moment with Jotaro. So he found some peace on this topic, even if for a brief moment.

Re: Usagi Yojimbo: Senso

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:22 +0000
by BuckRogers
Eltanin wrote:
Stan Sakai wrote:Traditional Japanese storytelling is not fond of happy ending. Unlike Western culture, the hero usually does not get the girl and live happily ever after. It has changed in more modern storytelling as more western influence creeps in.

And that's perfectly fine. One of the things I particularly like in Usagi stories is the fact that he and most of the other characters live by the bushido, and they put honor above (almost) everything else. That is different from the classic western stories (at least the ones I read) and it's one of the reasons I enjoy reading Usagi so much. :wink:

And at least, Usagi got a last emotional moment with Jotaro. So he found some peace on this topic, even if for a brief moment.


Exactly!

I FINALLY found a copy of Senso 6 yesterday at the awesome Comic book store in Burlington, VT and read it and loved it.

And while the traditional Japanese stories that I have watched and read indeed seem to not have a "Disney" ending, they do have more of a holistic peace and closure to them, imbued with honour, that I personally find much better than some princess riding off on a fat white horse with Prince Perfect. Give me an honourable death and peace with closure over fairy Godmothers any day!

Re: Usagi Yojimbo: Senso

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 13:09 +0000
by JLM
Picked up the Senso HC during the week, and gave it a read this afternoon. Enjoyed reading it in one sitting, and interesting to see the pages that were reworked, which in my view, were an improvement on the original pages.

Re: Usagi Yojimbo: Senso

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 15:18 +0000
by BuckRogers
JLM wrote:Picked up the Senso HC during the week, and gave it a read this afternoon. Enjoyed reading it in one sitting, and interesting to see the pages that were reworked, which in my view, were an improvement on the original pages.


Waiting for mine to arrive. I pre-ordered it back in the fall. Cannot wait to see it!

Re: Usagi Yojimbo: Senso

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 1:18 +0000
by Steve Hubbell
I really enjoyed the introduction to the Usagi Yojimbo: Senso hardcover book!

I am hoping that these Stan and Usagi pieces become a frequently recurring part of Stan's work output.

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Re: Usagi Yojimbo: Senso

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 10:41 +0000
by maichan
Picked up my copy from the local Comic Shop yesterday.

Love it. :D

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Re: Usagi Yojimbo: Senso

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 14:26 +0000
by Mayhem
Mine will be on order, so thus will probably get it in next month's delivery from my comic place.