Children Of Saigo
Children of Saigo is a BRAND NEW graphic novel published by AAM-Markosia.
A publication that supports some of the most diverse story-lines and creators in the industry. Children Of Saigo is one of those books. Join Hiphopundead as we review this 3 issue series.
*Ben, Shiro, Zoe and Teron, the descendants of Koji Iwanaga, the only Samurai to survive the final battle between the Japanese noblemen and their Empire. Born in Chicago and raised in the teachings of Bushido, the siblings believe in honor, duty and service.
They’re also as dysfunctional as family gets. Ben and Shiro haven’t spoken in years, Zoe is always one drink away from starting a brawl and Teron struggles to keep the peace. But when Tomoe Yamada, a Yakuza mob princess and history buff, arrives to collect their heads as trophies, the Iwanagas must settle old grievances to defeat Tomoe’s army of assassins. Some families pass down recipes. The Iwanagas? Katanas.
Book 1 Review: Potential spoilers
The first page sets a tone of legacy. A fitting style for an ancient flashback. Separating the past from present. The panels art reminds me a bit of Frank Miller‘s Ronin. If I had to compare.
Our story begins with Benjamin Iwanga reading a story to his father. Who is suffering from stomach cancer. Ben is one of four adopted children and the story he was reading is biographical to the family he inherited.
Book 1 spends most of its pages giving character development from before the Children were adopted and after. All there lives have been improved since being taken in by Masaki ‘Mike’ Iwanga.
Glen Jeffers does an incredible job on making this issue cinematic. The characters are bold, full, and well thought out. The first issue does take some effort to get through though. Where I felt it lacked was trying to understand who was who. On book 2, every time they introduce a character, a small bio appears below them. This helped clear up alot of questions and made following the story much easier.
Book 1 could have used this treatment.
One of the other problems I felt this issue had, for me, the art. Specifically the background to some of the panels. When you sit back and take in a scene, the characters are accented with one solid color or three. The action scenes suffered from this as well. The art does pick up by issue two. The art by Jethro Morales is not bad at all, it’s just the flat background colors.
Jethro Morales has a great way of allowing his characters full function to there face. This illustrator gives his characters full functional facial expressions. He doesn’t allow one emotion dominate the book. For comic readers you got to appreciate that! The shading, scratches and wrinkles on the characters face are a great touch.
Getting through book 1 pays of in a great way because the set up is over and Book 2 is a fun ride.
Book 2 review: Spoiler Free
Book 2 of Children Of Saigo has a more coherent direction and starts off with some great family banter. This feud gives a fun character development to each of the adopted children. Teron Iwanga, who was introduced in issue 1 is a fun character to watch as situations were happening around him. He is one of three children brought in by Masaki ‘Mike’ Iwanga. and has obviously been affected by his illness. Even tho Teron is most tempered, he is the funniest. He has some great dialogue and wonderful highlighted moments for the book as a whole.
Zoe Iwanga is a fire cracker to say the least. She is probably the most happiest and free spirit. Despite having the most traumatic past.
Ben Iwanga seems to be the hero of Children Of Saigo but you can make the argument for each sibling. Each hone a skill taught by their father. Ben’s skill is displayed for much of the three issues and it’s wonderful to watch how far the creators of the book take it.
Shiro Iwanga (who was reading to his father on the first few pages) is the oldest sibling. He is also the only biological son of Masaki ‘Mike’ Iwanga. He has a great story because he has seen the others as outsiders. Shiro brings great contrast to the book.
Book 2 will have you intrigued with concern and a yearning for more witty dialogue from these characters. The action is wonderful in this book. Violent and cinematic, Children Of Saigo Book 2 has some great scenes. A great read.
Book 3 Review: Spoiler Free
The conclusion to Children Of Saigo is a thrill! It’s also incredibly sentimental and plucks at the heart’s strings. ‘Mike’ has had very little page time but through his childrens love for him, reveal him for the loving, beautiful soul that he is. On issue 3, it allows readers to feel for the siblings.
Every child has a special place in Masaki ‘Mike’ Iwanga heart. The writing shows that and is superb! Cleverly displaying emotions without a narrator but through character dialogue and actions. Jeffers is a writer you should be following if you haven’t already.
Book 3 concludes in great cinematic fashion. I leave these reviews spoiler free to not spoil but in hopes to have you support and enjoy for yourselves. So please, if you have not already, support the book and come back and read the spoiler review below. If you have read it yet, go ahead and jump and read the review below.
Spoiler Review: Highlights.
What makes Children Of Saigo so special is the connection each sibling has with their father. The connection among one another is obviously not present. By the end of book 3 and the final battle scene, they all work together. They use what their father taught them to win and each sibling gives the same percentage to win. It’s a great thing to see.
By the end, The connection among the siblings is stronger than ever! It was wonderful watching all this happen. A family you would want to be a part of. “You wanted samurai’s you got it…..welcome to Bushido bitch!” That final scene was BADASS!
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