MANGA REVIEW | "The Elusive Samurai" - Volume Eight
Wowzers! That’s one word I could use to describe the eighth volume of The Elusive Samurai. While there’s a lot of work that goes into making a battle plan happen, it’s seeing the end result that will lead to either satisfaction or disappointment. For Hojo, Yorishige, and their ever-growing army, their battle in Shinano delivers satisfaction by the boatload!
But before the battle can commence, Hojo’s got a problem. Because of the heaviness of his armor, it has made his elusiveness harder to commence. Worse, the ally soldiers have become so unmotivated by Hojo’s tiredness that they’ve taken up the hobby of digging for nose goblins. Thankfully, Shizuka has devised a new set of armor that puts the pep back into the step of Hojo and the rest of the army. From there, the battle commences.
The big highlight in this volume of The Elusive Samurai is Hojo’s battle with Shokan. Although the young boy gets some assistance from Kojiro, Hojo shows his greatest strengths against the master of strategic commands. It results in a mixture of swordplay and defense, with the latter transforming into a unique form of offense at the very last second. And when the final cut is made, one can’t help but be in awe by Hojo’s growth and talents.
That’s not the only major fight that occurs, as Yorishige takes the lead in the next battle. Using his godly ways, he’s able to evade all enemy fire and plan out a proper strategy to achieve victory. However, what he did not predict was the enemy using a massive weapon that feels more akin to a dystopian world than the 14th century. And leading that behemoth is none other than Kiuohara Shinano-No-Kami, who’s gone mad with power and how looks like Iron Maiden mascot Eddie.
What happens next is too delightful to spoil here. It involves big power moves, the skills of Hojo, and a little fire. In a way, it’s like a massive exorcism on the battlefield, with Kiuohara quickly realizing that he’s royally and spiritually screwed. Once again, the final slay is a delight to see, as it means one more step towards Hojo regaining everything he lost.
It’s why Hojo’s big reveal cements the importance of the war that’s going on. Even with two big victories under their belt, the soldiers worry about what’s beyond the horizon. Giving his all, Hojo declares himself to both ally and hidden enemy, with Sadamune finally getting the truth he’s been seeking. But with Hojo’s allies all motivated to the max, who’s to say that Sadamune’s about to enter a trap of his own carelessness.
Volume Eight of The Elusive Samurai delivered everything that has made it an engaging story. The action, the visuals, and even the humor displays some of the very best that author Yusei Matsui’s ever put to paper. (Considering he also created Assassination Classroom, that’s saying a lot!) So let’s save the incoming battle for another day, and relish on the accomplishments The Elusive Samurai has made in what is its best volume yet!
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.