The idea that everyone’s life has some sort of meaning is important in our culture. We know this because it’s one of the main narratives we see in the stories that influence our shared cultures. There are over eight billion human beings living on Earth today, and each has their own story, and most importantly, purpose. For better or worse our lives are living stories of our goals, hopes, and if we can find it, our meaning. When it comes to story telling, one of the most basic, and used would have to be the narrative of vengeance. If you or your family are wronged our instincts kick in. The call and demand for vengeance grows until the wrong is either corrected, or we’re stratified by another result. In Samurai: Brothers in Arms #2 we see this narrative play out in many more ways than one.
Jean-Francois Di Giorgio advances the story of the two masterless Samurai (Ronin) as they travel the feudal Japanese countryside. In Samurai: Brothers in Arms #2 we are finally enlightened as to the purpose of their journey. Jean-Francois uses a well used, but often poorly executed narrative as the motivation of the main characters. He also builds up from the main story to include other minor acts, which revolve in a minor way around the main story being told. For example, Takeo’s romantic interest with Princess Akamai’s servant Sayuri in a few pages expresses drama, tragedy, and jealousy. All which help to enrich the main story being told. Though an issue I do have is the fact that you’re left with little information about what’s going on with these side issues.
Frederic Genet’s art continues to present a world where you feel that you’re living in Japan, during its warring states era. The detail on the characters, both major and minor is well done. He doesn’t allow any person on any page to only be there as a prop. He also builds up along Jean-Francois’s writing the struggles and the stress the brothers are encountering. He makes it a point to have it shown on their faces. Delphine Rieu paints a world that is realistic, but also true to the idea of being a comic. The skin tones are kept just like the first issue, but Delphine also allows the area around the pages and panels to spring to life as the action is turned up.
Samurai: Brothers in Arms #2 dives deeper into the motivations and narratives provided by Jean-Francois Di Giorgio’s writing. We not only have a main story of the brothers, but side stories and motivations are now playing a greater role in this series. With these new side stories now we have to wait and see if those become more important as the future issues are released. Frederic Genet and Delphine Rieu provide you with a world that is bright and realistic, but is also deeply rooted in the comic tradition. Each character is given a fair amount of detail regardless of their importance in the story. The environment itself respects the culture in which this story comes from.
- The writing of Jean-Francois Di Giorgio’s story has become more complex as you begin to see the use of deeper narratives in this story
- Minor acts begin to be created, but their later role is unknown
- The artwork provided is beautiful and allows the eyes to easily follow the writing from page to page
- The use of the minor acts tend to be a bit fast, and you’re left with not much to go on at this point.