The Elusive Samurai (Volume 1) – The Slaughter of 1333

The Elusive Samurai Volume 1 Cover

Tokiyuki Houjou is the successor to the Kamakura shogunate, however, he has no real expectations of things to come. So, when a bloody coup decimates his clan and its retainers, he is forced to rely on a prophetic priest.

The Elusive Samurai (Volume 1) – The Slaughter of 1333

What happened?

Tokiyuki really didn’t care for much other than having fun. He had an unusual ability to run and hide. Of course, this runs counter to the traits associated with powerful warriors so he was viewed as little more than a joke. Maybe, that is what got the coup going in the first place. A loyal retainer, Ashikaga Takauji was assigned to quell an uprising by the previous Emperor. However, he quickly turns his attention to the Kamakura shogunate, destroying it in twenty-four days.

Tokiyuki was one of the few survivors and he owes that to an eccentric priest who believes he can see the future. Yorishige Suwa has taken Tokiyuki under his wing and hopes to see him soar once more. However, Yorishige can see Tokiyuki’s strengths and plans on using them to achieve this goal. Who ever heard of a warrior that runs and hides?

Yorishige is quite astute and knows what he’s doing. Or maybe, he’s seen it in a vision. Who knows? However, he does have Tokiyuki’s destiny in mind and has aligned him with three valuable retainers or friends. Tokiyuki will need to use all of his cunning and fleet-footed abilities if he is to succeed. After all, he’s up against the hero, Ashikaga Takauji.

The Elusive Samurai Volume 1 Tokiyuki Houjou dodging

What did you think?

What’s that? A historical samurai story in manga form. Well, I guess you can sign me up. This story has a fairly slow build-up before the action gets going, but it’s fascinating. I love the history of the samurai and this is giving me a look into a period of Japanese history that I know little about. Of course, it’s been embellished and changed to make it exciting, but there’s bound to be some truths to it.

For example, I don’t think there was a priest who was a god who could see the future. It does feel entirely possible that a young lord would use his ability to run and hide to survive the attack on his clan so that he could one day get his revenge. Even if that goes against the idea of a noble death. I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be looking into the other volumes.

I hope it continues to give us a history lesson with some fantastical elements, but not too fantastical. I like that this feels pretty real. Even Yorishige could be dismissed as someone who is a little crazy but has keen insight. Sorry, did I say a little crazy… Yorishige is a lot crazy!

The Elusive Samurai Volume 1 Yorishige Suwa cheers up Tokiyuki Houjou

Volume highlights

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