Written and Illustrated by Pablo Thomas Ramirez
Page Count: 24
GENRE:Drama, Fiction, Manga/Manga Style, Martial Arts, Mystery/Suspense
A smiling stranger intrudes upon Yamako and her family, claiming that he has come to ""reclaim Lord Kyushima's bride". Yamako's father duels the stranger that night only to leave a gruesome mystery for his daughter to solve.
This is the tale of a Samurai's daughter and how a giant sword, a jar of ash and a bowl of cold rice lead her on a journey to battle insane feudal lords, creepy assassins and discover why her father had betrayed his duty.
Katie met Ramirez at Phoenix Comic Con and he gave her signed copies of the first three issues of his indie graphic novel Fighting Yamako-Chan for me to review. At first I wasn’t sure about it because the art work isn’t what I am used to reading. It is very simplistic with a limited color scheme and a definite anime feel. Once I started reading and getting into the story I realized the artwork style was fitting to the tone and feel of the story. The protagonist, Yamako, is an interesting and likeable character; she has a dry sense of humor, which is lost on the other characters most of the time, big hair, and a strong sense of loyalty to her family’s honor. Yamako can also talk to rocks and compares herself to them. What is more surprising is the rocks talk back. Yamako carries her ill mother’s ashes because she needs her mother's advice on her mission to find her father and solve the mystery of why he abandoned his duty.
The first issue introduces us to Yamako and her father, Samurai Ichiyama, the guardian of the sword scared to their clan. Her father taught her the ways of the Samurai. But one night a stranger comes and her father leaves with him and doesn't return the next day. Yamako decides to go find her father and find out why he left. Along the way she meets some great characters and we learn there is something special about Yamako. I am not sure if she even knows why she is special.
Issues #2 and #3 continue Yamako’s journey. She gets caught in a war between two Lords, one who is immortal, and must prove she is more than just a girl to everyone and still try to keep to the Samurai way. I don’t want to talk about the story to much because there are spoilers.
Sometimes there is too much dialogue forced into speech bubbles which makes it hard to read, but this doesn’t happen too often. The panels are laid out in a standard pattern and don’t add creatively to the the story. Even though the artwork is simple, the facial expressions are done well. The story is humorous, suspenseful and hooked me in. If you are looking for something a little different this is worth the read. You can get issues #1-3 digitally for only $.99 each HERE.
Tom Ramirez's Deviant Art link
Tom Ramirez's Deviant Art link
4 "rock, paper, scissors" Sheep
SharonS (edited by BAK)
I have signed issues #1-3 to give to winner. Just leave your contact info and tell me: if you were a rock, what kind would you be?
contest ends June 15 at midnight