Feb 4, 2022
Faced with continuous atrocities performed by their feudal lord it is only a matter of time before someone decides to take justice into their own hands. Such a task befalls a peasant with no aptitude for martial arts, who instead carries out a meticulous plan for ruination of his oppressor.
This descent into merciless times of feudal Japan has an almost opera-like feel to it. With characters that lack any memorable individuality but instead represent the collective oppression. There is some parallelism between this fictional world and that of today's, albeit not to such an extreme extent, but in the author's time it was most
likely a provocative jab to the system.
The style is a heavy reminiscence of Tezuka's idiosyncrasies. Yet Sanpei's characters have more of a realistic feel to them accompanied by unique facial expressions. Peculiarly, it feels as if it was a horror work at certain parts due to splendidly depicted dread accomplished by deliberate inkiness. There seems to be a prevalent motif of wind in this work, perhaps to be interpreted as an unstoppable force of nature determined to follow its path or an obstacle that peasants ultimately have to overcome.
This is one of many works which cemented Sanpei's status as a revolutionary, albeit it is questionable how well can it cope with the tastes of today based on its historical relevance only. Not to say that it doesn't have certain innovativeness in the way how it handles its pursuit of justice, but all in all it will sit better with a more explorative audience.
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