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CompleteMartialArts.com - Path of the Assassin Volume Volume 10: Battle for Power Part 2 (Path of the Assassin)

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Manufacturer: Dark Horse
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 741.5952
EAN: 9781593075118
ISBN: 1593075111
Label: Dark Horse
Manufacturer: Dark Horse
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 296
Publication Date: 2008-04-09
Publisher: Dark Horse
Studio: Dark Horse

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Editorial Reviews:

This volume of Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima's rich series finds Ieyasu both fighting for his life and looking the the future. First, a couple of eerie and mysterious ninja try to take his life, but find themselves foiled by the increasingly able ninja Hattori Hanzo. And then a nationn's tribes face off and spin through intrigue and tactical webworks, all while fascinatingly dark ninja politics weave subtext and sexy action throughout the masterly-drafted pages.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: "This is a time of collective power, not the individual"
Comment: I have no idea why "Battle for Power" is an epic that begins in Volume 9, coninues here in Volume 10, and concludes in Volume 11 of "Path of the Assassin" ("Hanzo no Mon"), because it seems that it could be broken up into a series of stories. But writer Kazuo Koike and artist Goseki Kojima are ignoring all opportunities to segment their story into more conventional chunks. Since my habit in reading their work, which began with "Lone Wolf and Cub" and continued in their "Samurai Executioner," was to read one "chapter" at night before bed. That, of course, becomes impossible when the chapter spans three volumes, the final one of which is still in the pre-order stage.

The first one hundred pages of the story in the "Path of the Assassin Volume 9" began with a bloody battle, the political ramifications of which Tokugawa Ieyasu and Hattori Hanzo discuss at length. However, Oyakata sends the "suppa" Hachiya Sekiun to assassinate Ieyasu. Of course, since Ieyasu is destined to establish the Tokugawa shogonate, this is not going to happen. But Sekiun uses "dancing puppets," so the series of attempts that entail are certainly different, and of course how Hanzo deals with the threat is always interesting to watch, especially since Sekiun is partnered with a particular crazy woman ("a dark Miko"). By now we are well aquainted with the idea that most of the characters in these stories are two-edged swords, but Koike and Kojima keep coming up with twisted ways of making their point. One of the reasons these two are at the top of the heap (whether you call the particular mountain manga, graphic novels, or comic books) is because they invest even their smallest characters with memorable traits and backstories. We are also well aware that there are always plans within plans within plans, so we do not make the mistake of taking anything at face value.

The biggest battle sequence to date is found in this volume, but it is still the personal politics that matter the most as Ieyasy continues his climb to power. The great irony at play in this story is that while Hanzo insists that "This is a time of collective power, not the individual," the proposition is undermined by the special nature of Hanzo and his master as individuals, although certainly their pivotal realtionship can be classified as collective power on the micro level. Since nobody is going to start reading this 15-volume series starting with Volume 10, especially since it is the middle of this particular epic, there is no need to remind anybody that these books are published in the standard magna format of being read back to front (and right to left) and that the parental advisory for explicit content is always well warranted.

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