Item description for Blade For Barter Vol 1 (Blade for Barter) by Hai! Jason DeAngelis...
Blade for Barter is the story of Ryusuke Washington, a private samurai for hire. He lives in New Edo, a hodgepodge city-state where New York City meets ancient Japan, where monolithic skyscrapers tower over ramshackle wooden huts, and salarymen and samurai walk side-by-side.
Along with his loyal dog Hachiko, our noble hero Ryusuke must deal with the likes of the corrupt Samurai Union, the Mafuza (a cross between the Italian mafia and the Yakuza); a Ninja Union of clumsy ninja; a sinister Zen monk televangelist, and more - not to mention the temper-tantrum prone Lord Hoseki, who rules New Edo with bejeweled fingers and an iron fist.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.5" Width: 5" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date Feb 15, 2005
Publisher Seven Seas
ISBN 1933164018 ISBN13 9781933164014
Reviews - What do customers think about Blade For Barter Vol 1 (Blade for Barter)?
Nice Ameri-manga Mar 7, 2006
One of the newbies in American manga, Seven Seas started out doing graphic novels in the right-to-left format. Meaning, that their books are being printed in the same fashion as regular translated Japanese manga. Whether this is trying to cash in on the current hype of manga, or an attempt to confuse potential buyers into thinking its an actual manga remains to be seen.
Blade For Barter is done as an all-ages action/comedy. In it, Ryusuke Washington is a freelance samurai(or ronin). He lives in the city of New Edo, which takes place in an alternate reality where modern day mixes with feudal Japan. Always looking for new work, Ryusuke hears about a job opening of an inhouse samurai for a big time corporation. After going through Super Mario-type efforts to make the interview, he looses his oppurtunity when he refuses to join the shifty Samurai Union.
Afterwards, he gets a new pet dog named Hachiko who he saved from being run over previously. However, his new neighbor and business rival, the sexy(?)ninja girl Macadameia, causes immeadiate friction for Ryusuke's pet. Then, some local restaraunt owners hire both of them to find some bandits who've beem eating and running with their meals. They only way to stop them is for Ryusuke and Macadamia to pretend to join the ranks of the bill-avoiding thieves.
The art style by illustrator Hai!(yes, that's his name)is very similar to those from the One Piece manga series. The story usually paces out like it too, with fast action and quick dialogue. Writer Jason DeAngelis originally started out as a translator for manga like Berserk. Together, they pull off a reasonably interesting graphic novel
A fun, light-hearted, original story with potential. Apr 11, 2005
This book is entertaining, and has has a lot of potential. The story, set in a world that's a bizzare blend of modern-day US and feudal Japan, is fast-paced, intriguing, and delightfully original - a young samurai, the last one who remembers the way of Bushido, struggles to make ends meet in a world where Samurai are unionized, lazy, and corrupt.
The art, while very cartoony, is also very underrated - the wealth of little details generously sprinkled throughout the book testifies to the amount of work and dedication that went into making the story (see if you can spot a homeless Uncle Sam lookalike begging for money on the street)
The only initial drawback is the format - like Japanese manga, Blade for Barter is meant to be read right-to-left. However, that takes very little time to adjust to, and stops being an issue farily quickly.
Overall, a really fun read. Looking forward to volume 2.