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Middle Grades (ages 9+)
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Fresh from winning the Best Serialized Story 1999 Eisner Award for Grasscutter, Stan Sakai returns with a new Usagi Yojimbo collection featuring six tales of the ronin rabbit's journeys and adventures in feudal Japan. "My Father's Swords" retells an encounter with a young samurai who follows in-and is followed by-the footsteps of his father's warrior heritage. In "The Demon Flute," a village is plagued by a music-playing supernatural killer. Usagi recounts a classic Japanese folk tale in "Momo-Usagi-Taro." Two Tokugawa-era whodunits play out in "The Hair Pin Murders" and Tameshigiri," a pair of Inspector Ishida mysteries. Usagi becomes entangled in a conspiracy to overthrow a lord's throne in "The Courtesan." Memory, mystery, and treachery intermingle to form Grey Shadows.
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It'll be one, two, three strikes you're out for the N.I.T. Softball Club if Keiichi can't help his sister win against their campus rivals-but with the Goddesses stepping up to bat, it's not going to be the old ball game! Then, it's an unrelaxing hot springs vacation when Mara returns to challenge Urd to the most feared battle imaginable-karaoke! Plus four pages of color, ten Mini-Goddess strips, a message from creator Kosuke Fujishima, and your fan art and letters!
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created, written, & illustrated by STAN SAKAI Forged in the clouds by the elemental gods of feudal Japan, the legendary sword Kusanagi -- also known as "Grasscutter" -- holds such power that it is sought after by mighty forces of good and evil. Multiple award winner Stan Sakai continues the epic adventures of his signature samurai rabbit, Usagi Yojimbo, in this second book centering on the mystical sword. Starting with a prologue that unveils the history of the sword, Grasscutter II rejoins Usagi with his samurai travelling companion, Gen, as they journey to the sacred shrine of Atsuta to return the powerful sword to its final resting place. But two ninja clans will fight the honorable samurai as well as each other in order to capture the sword and gain control of the empire with it. An enthralling book for all ages to enjoy, Grasscutter II will amaze readers with its narrative depth and poetic storytelling.
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Throughout his journeys across feudal Japan, rabbit ronin Usagi has faced many dangers, crossed paths with some who have become his sworn enemies, and forged bonds of friendship stronger than any threat that might cross his path. Collected here are six tales featuring those companions Usagi holds dear. "Showdown" finds Usagi traveling with master swordsman Gen, as the two disrupt the dueling influences of a pair of corrupt families. Neko ninja clan leader Chizu finds herself betrayed and on the run in "Escape!" In "Three Seasons," Usagi is forced to defend himself with the most unlikely of weapons. The beautiful thief Kitsune's tragic history is revealed in "The Shrouded Moon" and "Kitsune's Tale." And in "Lesson in Courtesy," a hot-headed young Usagi incurs a debt that takes nearly a lifetime to repay! Once again, Stan Sakai masterfully weaves together the many threads of intrigue, adventure, humor, and heart in another endearing Usagi Yojimbo collection.
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Nothing comes easy for rabbit ronin Usagi, not even being a spectator at the planned duel between his former teacher Katsuichi and Katsuichi's rival Nakamura Koji. Before the duel even begins, Usagi becomes embroiled in a dispute between Koji and a local fencing school. Along the way, Usagi discovers a devastating secret -- a weakness in Koji's style. It's a secret that could save his teacher's life, but at the cost of his own honor. This 17th volume of Usagi Yojimbo collects issues #43-60, including the entire "Duel at Kitanoji" story, and a handful of other great shorts. And, as a special treat for our longtime fans, this collection features--for the first time!--preliminary sketches and designs by Sakai.
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Anotsu Kagehisa, master swordsman and leader of the rogue Itto-ryu dojo, has sheathed his blade for the moment to join in marriage with the daughter of yet another dojo soon to be brought under his dark wing. But for a man of action, the formal traditions of feudal Japan can be just as tense and fraught with hidden agendas as the battlefield. And while Anotsu may indulge in a moment of peace, his enemies are not at rest, among them Rin, who has stalked him for years to take revenge for the murder of her parents. Anotsu had best make sure that if he stops to smell the flowers, he doesn't end up losing his head!
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Master storyteller Stan Sakai opens this brand-new collection with a deadly ambush on the fugitive Lone Goat Assassin and his child, Gorogoro. Lone Goat is victorious, but wounded-and his son is too young to help. Unable to seek proper medical attention, Lone Goat collapses in an abandoned house. What he needs is a knowledgeable ronin, and soon! Elsewhere, Usagi is in a desperate search for his young companion, Jotaro, who has eluded murderous kidnappers. His is a panic that only rises out of fatherly love, though he has kept the secret of Jotaro's parentage from the boy throughout their travels together. If they are able to continue on to Kitanoji Temple, will the rabbit samurai confess before they part ways? Featuring appearances by readers' favorite characters-including the deadly Neko Ninja. Collecting issues #69-#75 of the ongoing series.
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Wandering ronin Usagi Yojimbo is alone once again, having emerged from his travels with young Jotaro. His brief respite from danger was not destined to last long, for adventure in feudal Japan waits for no one! In this volume of the internationally acclaimed series, master storyteller Stan Sakai treats readers to intriguing tales of Usagi on his own and catches up with a bevy of fan-favorite characters - "whodunit" maestro Inspector Ishida has another puzzling mystery to solve, bounty hunters Gen and Stray Dog are each on the tail of the possessed swordswoman Inazuma, bodyguard Tomoe has a new political rival in Lord Noriyuki's court, and Priest Sanshobo's temple is plagued by a vile demon! Throughout these stories we follow Usagi as he is roped into a covert smuggling operation, escorts a cantankerous old woman through dangerous territory, assists an inventor with a visionary flying machine, and once again encounters a vengeful young samurai. - Featuring a rare short story starring Katsuichi and young Usagi which has never seen print in the Usagi comics series!
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The discovery of gold ignites a struggle of striking proportions as a power-mad tyrant's lust for wealth threatens to destroy not only Usagi Yojimbo and his companion Tomoe but an entire innocent village! When plague strikes a border town in the mountains of the Geishu Province, Lord Noriyuki sends his loyal bodyguard Tomoe to investigate. Once there, she and her retinue discover a truth far more terrible. Meanwhile, back at the castle, the sycophantic Lord Horikawa sets in motion a plot to eliminate Tomoe his own way. Only the rabbit ronin Usagi could extricate a friend from a predicament this perilous-if he hadn't ended up landing in the same one himself! Usagi and Tomoe must use every ounce of skill and wit if they are to survive "The Mother of Mountains," an adventure in the spirit of the award-winning epic "Grasscutter" by internationally celebrated storyteller Stan Sakai! * Introduction by film director John Landis!
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Learn why Tomoe is the most valuable retainer of Lord Noriuki of the Geishu Province, then plunge into a terrifying ghost story where a string of mysterious murders points to a woman dead for ten years. Finally, experience the mesmerizing beauty of a formal tea ceremony, as Usagi and Tomoe share this spiritual event to mark the rabbit ronin's departure from the province to resume his travels. * Collects Usagi Yojimbo Color Special #1-3 (originally published by Fantagraphics) and Usagi Yojimbo #90-93. * Introduction by Heidi MacDonald of Publishers Weekly and features the newly redrawn "Tomoe's Story" introductory tale! * Listed as one of the Young Adult Library Services Association's (YALSA) Great Graphic Novels for Teens.
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