The Art Of Saving A Storyteller In Usagi Yojimbo #4

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

A traveling writer lets Usagi read her story of heroes and undead warriors, and it impresses Usagi a great deal. She’s traveling without protection, and Usagi offers to escort her to her destination. She accepts the offer. The writer, named Mura, is a child of royalty who had an arranged marriage with a great samurai named Seizo. Since then, Seizo has been unable to work as a samurai warrior, and he resents Mura’s literary fame. He has gotten drunk and struck Mura before, and she has decided to spend a few days with her father. Unfortunately, Seizo isn’t likely to allow Mura to do this, and it will be up to Usagi to protect her from Seizo’s wrath.

Usagi Yojimbo #4 cover by Stan Sakai
Usagi Yojimbo #4 cover by Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo #4 finds our hero protecting a wealthy writer from the vengeful forces of her husband. 

It’s a fairly intimate story, and it focuses heavily on the writer Mura as Usagi gets to know the woman behind the story he loved so much. We get to watch as their relationship develops over this leg of the journey.

Stan Sakai does an excellent job of building this friendship in a believable and compelling manner. Usagi and Mura may be from very different backgrounds, but they still connect to one another through Mura’s work.

There isn’t the obligatory self-inserting as one might guess with stories about writers and writing. Mura and Usagi talk about what makes for a good story, but they do it in fairly removed and clinical terms.

Usagi Yojimbo #4 art by Stan Sakai and Tom Luth with letters from Stan Sakai
Usagi Yojimbo #4 art by Stan Sakai and Tom Luth with letters from Stan Sakai

There is still action of course, and it’s awesome. Sakai makes Usagi and the world around him look as great as ever, and he certainly knows how to put together an action sequence. Tom Luth’s color work really adds a lot to the world of Usagi Yojimbo.

Usagi Yojimbo #4 is another fun and engaging installment of the samurai rabbits long-running adventures. We meet a new character who forms an interesting bond with Usagi, and we get to see more great artwork from the great Stan Sakai. All in all, I’d say this one is worth a recommendation. Feel free to give it a read.

Usagi Yojimbo #4 comes to us from writer, artist, letterer, and cover artist Stan Sakai and color artist Tom Luth.

Final Score: 8.5/10

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