From the cover some might think “Hey, this is like Rorouni Kenshin for Westerners”. However, it is not. Bushido tells us the tale of Samurai versing an unknown threat, something they have never seen before but what we as the reader are oh so familiar with; the threat of the ancient evil known as vampires.
We follow a character named Kichiro who has the typical Gaijin story. He was aboard a ship that was attacked by Pirates who slaughtered his entire family. Yes, you will notice the pirates have fangs and a lust for blood. They do not mention them as being vampires, but they clearly are. Kichiro manages to escape to shore only to have landed on the beach in Japan during the Edo period. He is adopted by a Bushido master and is taught the ways of Bushido, the art of Samurai. However, he can never be a samurai as he was not born in Japan, and he is not even Tom Cruise. The Bushido master’s biological son (Orochi) has the typical jealousy that we can expect to see in a tale of this nature. Then there is the other problem; Orichi’s wife is actually in love with Kichiro. However, the arranged marriage forces Kichiro to move on despite the strong feelings they have for each other.
What happens is the series of events that you are expecting to happen; betrayal, murder, sibling rivalry and the return of the vampires. Once you see the vampires again you will notice that these are indeed supernatural beings. The vampires are in fact the pirates that attack our protagonist so many years ago. So at this moment the writing does not leave anything for the imagination. The writing is not bad, but it is the same cliché used in most samurai stories of self-discovery and vengeance, offering the reader no twists, turns or character development.
The art is amazing. Studio Hive’s Jessada Sutthi provides the reader with stunning visuals that can only be described as digital masterpieces. To some it may be a bit overbearing to see so much art on each page, but it is truly enjoyable and beautiful to watch each frame. The shades of bright orange and bronze in the pages really lend to the thought of the Japanese sun. It is almost as though the art and colouring is a character within the story. It feels so alive and adds so much more to a first issue that is rather dull in terms of writing.
Bushido #1 has superb art that is brought down by an average script. The script does not offer you anything new besides vampires in the Edo period. It is the classic unworthy warrior story, one in which the the protagonist has to step up and become a hero whilst showing his people that he is indeed worthy of being a samurai. This is a five issue series, where a new issue will be released each Wednesday wrapping up Image’s horror offering just after Halloween.