Today is the day Kenichi Okamoto graduates from samurai school, but he is not ready for the upcoming threat in Ronin Island #1.
Okamoto is a young samurai from a well respected line of samurais. His mother gives him his father’s armour for the graduation.
Hana is a Korean orphan who is also graduating from samurai school. She does not have the lineage of Okamoto, but she has the support of the farmers. Hana shows that anyone can rise above their rank if they work hard enough.
As Hana and Okamoto compete for who will be considered to be top of the class a ship approaches. The ship’s banner is of a long dead shogun. The shogun’s envoy approaches and asks the island to swear fealty. However, a bigger threat is quickly coming to the island.
I love Japan and samurais as much as the next nerd so a samurai comic piqued my interest. A coming of age samurai story seemed like a pretty cool comic to read. However, this is that but to a lesser degree than I wanted.
What I was hoping for was a more mature comic. I wanted some graphic fight scenes with a bit of blood and a more complex story. This appears to be a all-ages comic. It is not bad that it is all-ages, but it was not what I hoped for.
I also hoped for a relatively grounded story. It would be interesting to see what it would have been like for two young samurais trying to prove themselves. However the issue ends on a paranormal ending. This really ruined my hopes for what this comic may become.
My big problem with the issue is one based on historical issues. I am a big history buff and this comic has historical terms used wrong.
The first is this comic takes place 31 years after the Great Wind. I have no idea what the Great Wind is and I even Googled it. However, the Divine Wind or Kamikaze is a real term of an event which was thought to have happened. It is most likely they meant Kamikaze. However, if they didn’t then don’t name it something so close to the Divine Wind.
Another out of place term was the swearing of fealty. This is a very European term. The concept is universal. It comes from feudal Europe so it is not out of place in feudal Japan. However, it is out of place to use such a European word when swearing allegiance or loyalty mean the same thing.
It is not that hard to do a little bit of research and use the correct terms for things. These really took me out of the story and forced me to stop reading and look these terms up. A good comic should have me not wanting to put the comic down, but this comic had me put it down twice because of laziness on their part.
This is not a bad comic and could become a really fantastic comic, but it is not what I wanted and is just not a comic for me.
Written by: Greg Pak
Art by: Giannis Milonogiannis and Irma Kniivila
Cover by: Giannis Milonogiannis
Publisher: BOOM! Studios