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Cover from volume 1 of Samurai Usagi
|Written by||Teppei Fukushima|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Jump|
|Original run||2007 – 2008|
Samurai Usagi (サムライうさぎ?) is a manga series by Teppei Fukushima that was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 2007 #14 to 2008 #33. A special chapter was released in Akamaru Jump a year after serialization had ended in Shōnen Jump. 8 volumes were released by Shueisha. In France Samurai Usagi is published by Glénat.
The manga portrays the Edo period from a socially low-ranking samurai's perspective, and is skeptical of the Samurai Code used by high-ranked samurai to impose norms and reinforce their own authority. The values of people the hero meets are deeply examined, bringing hidden aspect to light, which are used to poke fun, as plot twists, or occasionally as the source of conflict. This structure is supported by the extensive use of contemporary Japanese youth slang in dialogue. Generally, the story advances through the hero's monologues. The hero's serious monologues do not use slang to make a contrast with the dialogue of other characters.
Although Edo period customs are occasionally explained, for a manga dealing with samurai the swordsmanship portrayed in Samurai Usagi varies from actual sword-fighting techniques. Also, some samurai characters do not wear their hair in a topknot. Although it lacks in authenticity and accuracy, the flavor of the Edo period is preserved.
The hero and heroine being married from the beginning of the story is highly unusual for youth-oriented manga.
Gosuke Udagawa (宇田川 伍助? Udagawa Gosuke) (15 years) has received his father's dojo. His father was forced to commit hara-kiri and his older brother too. He hasn't much self-confidence, but mostly has his eyebrows crossed with a scowl on his face. Every day he practices fencing at a nearby dojo. At that dojo the people treat Gosuke badly and ridcule him. But, Gosuke's dream, is to create the Rabbit Style fencing, a style for people who fence, simply to enjoy it.
Shino Udagawa (宇田川 志乃? Udagawa Shino) (15 years) is Gosuke's wife. She is obsessed with rabbits and sells rabbit masks to make money for her and Gosuke. She claims that rabbits will one day reach the moon. She is also the younger sister of Gosuke's senpai, Masayuki Settsu. She bears a trademark chipped tooth.
Masayuki Settsu (摂津 正雪? Settsu Masayuki) (22 years) Shino's older brother and a disciple at the Usagi dojo. He is usually aloof and tries to avoid doing things he deems troublesome, but he also advises Gosuke and acts as a sort of older brother to him. He loves women and often visits tea houses in the red light district, yet he is also surprisingly thoughtful towards his own sister.
Chiyokichi (千代吉?) (12 years) A young priest from the "Nanana Village". He enrolled into the dojo because he wanted to request Gosuke's help in saving his village.
Rozan Honma (本間 魯山? Honma Rozan) (17 years) The first son of a wealthy daimyo. He is a short, taciturn person, and very skilled with the Honma family's swordsmanship techniques. The members of the Usagi dojo know him as Maro.
Tasuke Honami (穂波 多助? Honami Tasuke) (16 years) A former member of the Kobukan who was unable to go along with their methods, and decided to join the Usagi dojo. He is skilled in the art of iai and is a master of observation.
Hanzō Kazama (風間 反蔵? Kazama Hanzou) (19 years)
- サムライうさぎ／8 (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
- "Samourai Usagi Vol.1 ( FUKUSHIMA Teppei FUKUSHIMA Teppei )" (in French). Manga-news.com. Retrieved 22 February 2010.