I finished volume two of Lone Wolf and Cub, today, subtitled The Gatless Barrier. This volume surpassed its predecessor in almost every way possible; the art is still as exceptional as the last. Our story of Father and son, Itto and Daigoro, picks back up with another five engaging stories. This volume adds much depth and fleshes our protagonists out a bit more than the last book. We see more personal journeys this time through. One thing I love about this book is that, this volume we see much more Daigoro in the stories, even arguing he is the main character this time through.He is as adorable as he is deadly.
The stories in this volume include some great ones like, The red Cat. A story about a man in prison that Itto must confront. The only way to get in is to get caught on purpose,to get access to the prison. The Coming of the Cold gives the reader a peek into the soul and feelings of our Lone wolf and Cub assassin, Itto. He must leave Daigoro all alone in a cave while he travels to a small han to save its villagers from its own destructive leader. The third story has Daigoro as the antagonist. He is caught harming a samurais son, after the boy had taken Daigoros kite, he seizes the boys sword and slashes him. Daigoro is captured and will not speak a word or show any give, it is a testament to his fathers training. The samurai tell of his unique stance he used and they immediately reconise it as the father’s rare Suio school and even rarer Zanbato horse cutting stance. They know he is Part of the infamous duo Lone Wolf and Cub. They hope to lure his father out of hiding. The next story is the title story for the novel, The Gateless Barrier.I really liked this story. It had what I had been waiting for , some emotion for Itto and some insight into what makes him the man he is. We see him meditating on life and it has him pondering many questions.He must kill a living Buddha, or what appears to be. A man who has the people under his power of authority.
This book was great. I gave it 5 stars. It is a bit better than the last book , just because the stories weave together somewhat and we see some more emotion and the stories are not just random encounters for money. I think the biggest take away is Daigoro as a main contributor to the book is awesome. He brings a softer side to the story and some mortality to Itto ,who is forever chained to his son.
Look for my next review of Lone Wolf and Cub Volume 3-The Flute of the Fallen Tiger.