A series of stories set after the classic chanbara revenge manga 'Lady Snowblood', this Gaiden series is admittedly unnecessary but fun nonetheless. Thanks to a myriad of vignettes with more emphasis on artwork and atmosphere than the pulpy characterization and social commentary the parent story is known for, this series still makes a solid landing.
[Story - 7]
These are all events that take place after Oyuki's long journey of vengeance. They mostly involve people going after her for either employment or retribution, save for one story where Oyuki takes a backseat to observe another woman seek purpose. While they don't quite pack the punch that the
original material did in terms of themes, they excel in an atmosphere of melancholy and listlessness with the pacing and vibe of each story. This works especially well with the artwork!
[Art - 10]
This is probably some of the most beautiful manga art I have ever seen, to be blunt. It's so wonderfully photorealistic that it'd be really awe-inspiring to see in colour. Every scene has an immaculate amount of detail put into it, and the character designs are definitely individualized and gorgeous to look at. I'm hoping that the artist's work is fairly prevalent elsewhere, as I'd love to see more of it.
[Character - 7]
The characterization here is rather light, but still competent when it counts -(like its predecessor). Oyuki has definitely received some tempering after carving her way through Japan; she may seem to be the same woman we saw before, but soon reveals a much more reflective and patient side. It was honestly interesting to see the contrast when you read this right after the original.
Otherwise, it's just like before - no one else really stands out, and only serves as plot devices to either move it along or give Oyuki a chance to shine.
[Enjoyment/Overall - 8]
Nonetheless, this was a great read! I'm not sure if it's in North America, but I would actually buy this if given the opportunity. I would recommend this to both Lady Snowblood enthusiasts who want to see more, and also anyone who wants to see slow-paced storytelling accompanied by minimalistic characterization and freakishly-detailed artwork.