Mangapedia Part 3: Meet The Manga Master!

Welcome to Mangapedia! Hosted by Ani-Mia, this recurring monthly video series aims to illuminate the world of Japanese comics for aficionados and new readers alike.

This month: Kazuo Koike, who died on April 17 at the age of 82. His work, however, has been immortalized. Kazuo Koike-sensei lived to see his stories open up the entire field of manga for the whole world. Find out how the mind behind Lone Wolf & Cub and Lady Snowblood helped legitimize Japanese comics. 

(W) Kazuo Koike (A) Goseki Kojima (CA) Frank Miller
A samurai epic of staggering proportions, the acclaimed Lone Wolf and Cub begins its second life at Dark Horse Manga with new, larger editions of over 700 pages, value priced. The brilliant storytelling of series creator Kazuo Koike and the groundbreaking cinematic visuals of Goseki Kojima create a graphic-fiction masterpiece of beauty, fury, and thematic power. Collects Lone Wolf and Cub volumes 1-2, and stories from volume 3.
In Shops: May 22, 2013
SRP: $19.99
(W) Kazuo Koike (A/CA) Kazuo Kamimura

From the pen of Kazuo Koike, of Lone Wolf and Cub fame, comes Lady Snowblood.

A story of pure vengeance, Lady Snowblood tells the tale of a daughter born of a singular purpose, to avenge the death of her family at the hands of a gang of thugs, a purpose woven into her soul from the time of her gestation.

Beautifully drafted and full of bloody, sexy action, Lady Snowblood lives up to its title and reputation.

In Shops: Sep 28, 2005
SRP: $14.95
(W) Kazuo Koike (A/CA) Ryoichi Ikegami
He is Yo Himomura, deadly assassin for the 108 Dragons, the Chinese Mafia. But to the criminal underworld who fear him, he is known as Crying Freeman, the killer who sheds tears at the fate of his victims. Young, handsome, sensitive, an artist, Yo has been hypnotically programmed by his Dragon masters to kill on command: he cannot resist his masters' commands to kill, his masters cannot stop his tears of remorse. Written by the legendary Kazuo Koike, creator of Lone Wolf and Cub, and illustrated by the incomparable Ryoichi Ikegami, Crying Freeman is adult manga at its most challenging: dark, violent, morally complex, erotically charged, and regarded worldwide as one of the classics of adult graphic fiction. Dark Horse Manga is proud to present Crying Freeman, yet another of the jewels in the crown of manga classics, presented in its original right-to-left reading orientation.
In Shops: Mar 08, 2006
SRP: $14.95
(W) Kazuo Koike (A/CA) Goseki Kojima
Path of the Assassin, called Hanzo no Mon in Japan, is the story of Hattori Hanzo, the fabled master ninja whose duty it was to protect Tokugawa Ieyasu. Ieyasu was the shogun who would unite Japan into one great nation. But before he could do that, he had to grow up and learn how to love the ladies!

  As the secret caretaker of such an influential future leader, not only does Hanzo use vast and varied ninja talents, but in living closely with Ieyasu, he forms a close friendship with the young shogun.

  •  Published in original Japanese format and unretouched which keeps the art intact.

  •  This is a fifteen-volume story starring the legendary ninja and Kill Bill reference Hattori Hanzo.

  •  Each volume comes shrink-wrapped and carries an 18+ content advisory.
In Shops: May 08, 2013
SRP: $9.99
(W) Kazuo Koike (A/CA) Goseki Kojima
On sale July 14, SC, 328pg, b&w, 4" x 6"
From the creators of Lone Wolf and Cub comes Samurai Executioner. It's true! Before Koike and Kojima created Itto Ogami, they created Kubikiri Asa, better known to Lone Wolf readers as Decapitator Asaemon. He was the equal to Itto, bearer of the sword Onibocho, the man charged with the duty of testing the swords for the shogun. Samurai Executioner is based on the decapitator himself, in life before his fatal duel with Lone Wolf. Expect the same legendary drama, frantic action, and stoic samurai stature, combined with the exemplary art and storytelling that made Lone Wolf and Cub one of the most popular and influential comic books in the world!
  • Never before published in America, Samurai Executioner was the precursor to one of the most seminal works of manga, Lone Wolf & Cub!
  • Since the inception of their Lone Wolf & Cub publishing program in 2000, Dark Horse has sold over 800,000 copies! And the series continues to sell thousands per month!
  • In Shops: Jul 28, 2004
    SRP: PI
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