Kazuo Koike’s COLOR OF RAGE manga

Color of RageCOLOR OF RAGE is a 400+ page manga published by Dark Horse, retailing for US$14.95, rated for 18+ Mature Audiences due to explicit violence, nudity and some sexual situations.

Written by Kazuo Koike, best known for his Lone Wolf & Cub and Lady Snowblood series, with art by Seisaku Kano.

Color of Rage presents the ongoing story of two slaves that manage to free themselves from a slave ship, washing up upon the shore of an Edo-era Japan in the year 1783. George is a Japanese man of considerable skill with a sword, and he is joined by his strong African-American buddy King, as they trek towards George’s village, where he hasn’t been home for over a decade.

The geographic area has recently suffered the effects of a volcano eruption, which caused a chain reaction of events that has brought much environmental devastation and social upheaval. Many peasant villages have either been deserted or destroyed.

Along their travelling, George and King fight various injustice they come across, defending the less fortunate, as well as protecting their own liberties for those that would do them harm. Often, it is George that is moral compass for the actions our two travelers take.

I like the structure of the book, being split up into little moral vignettes, but the overall story of these two unlikely brothers journey continues on. There is plenty of racial subtext in the script, but I feel the characters mostly had basic moral dilemmas to decide upon, regardless of race.

This is a great manga, a real joy to read, despite some of the situtions being quite unrealistic and fantastic. Sure, it’s sometimes silly, and there were times I laughed out loud for moments that probably wasn’t intending to be humorous. Make no mistake, this is 100% pure PULP manga, and luckily that’s the kind of stuff I love to read the most!

I’m increasingly enjoying Dark Horse presentation of their acquired manga, as they show great respect to the artform and great value for money, also.

8 out of 10.

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