Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru is the next series after his Naruto series and it’s sequel Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Kishimoto is responsible for the script, panel layout, word balloon placement and rough draft of storyboards. He then passes all this to Akira Okubo, who then finalizes the art. Okubo worked on Naruto as an assistant starting with the 16th volume. Samurai 8 focuses on a galaxy that is heading towards it’s end. The only hope for saving it is to find the Pandora’s Box. Within this box is the secret to saving the universe. However, the warrior god, Fudo Myo-o has made it so the box can only be opened with the Seven Keys.
Who is our main protagonists Hachimaru?
A sickly boy, Hachimaru dreams of becoming a samurai and exploring the galaxy. However, he is tethered to a life supporting device created by his father, Furuta. He spends most of his days playing a online VR game, while bickering with his father. Hayataro, Hachimaru’s pet dog with an cat AI, brings him Daruma. A blind robot cat, Daruma is known as the “wandering lone wolf.” A samurai trained in the ways of Kong-Yasha Style, he’s famous around the galaxy. Meanwhile, Furuta attempts to get parts for another machine to help Hachimaru. He tries to work with a ronin. However, the ronin notices that Furuta has the Samurai Soul of a legendary samurai around his neck.
What are samurai’s and how are they made?
In the Samurai 8 series, samurai are cyborg warriors. To become a samurai, one must commit seppuku with a small blade found in a Locker Ball. It’s possible that by doing this one’s body becomes a Key. A spinal shaped memory unit becomes the base of a new cybernetic samurai body. Each samurai’s cybernetic body can regenerate, allowing them to reattach limbs or regrow them altogether. When the ronin arrives to Furuta’s home to retrieve the Samurai Soul, Hachimaru commits seppuku. He becomes the samurai he’s dreamed of and defeats the ronin.
Is Samurai 8 any good?
It’s too early in the series to make any determination regarding this series quality. I like this series so far. The combination of sci fi and samurai lore is interesting. I loved the designs of the samurai armor and the world by Akira Okubo. It’s only the first volume and if Bleach taught me anything it not just how you start but how you end. The character Nanashi being introduced as a part of Hachimaru’s team, only to be abandoned seems strange. The series pacing in the first 6 chapters is inconstant and I have know idea how the power system functions. We only get a glimpse of the Princess that will join Hachimaru. Regardless, while many aspects of the story aren’t fleshed out yet I’m excited for what this series could bring.
The One Piece series has always featured swords. However, the series rarely elaborate on swords as a form of fighting. Having largely focused on devil fruits and haki, swords have been left out. Zoro has been the most important swordsmen in the series. Through him we have the most exposure to swords and how they are used in combat. One Piece has classified swords by their qualities. The three classifications are, Meito, Kokuto and Yoto. The Meito (Famed Blade) class is a sword that has gained such fame that it can be recognized by sight. Kokuto (Black Blade) are swords that are blacked colored. Finally, the Yoto (Mystic Blade) class, carries a curse that causes misfortune to its wielder.
The blades classed Meito are also ranked by “grade.” The grades are Grade swords, Skillful grade, Great grade and Supreme grade. There are an undetermined number of Grade Swords as they’re the lowest grade. There are 50 Skillful Grade Swords, 21 Great Grade Swords and 12 Supreme Grade Swords. In chapter 955, titled Enma, Zoro is given his second of two Great Grade Swords. Enma is a Meito that use to belong to Kozuki Oden, it’s also the only weapon said to have harmed Kiado. A masterpiece from the legendary swordsmith Shimotsuki Kozaburo, it is describe as being able to “cut through to the bottom of hell.” Tenguyama Hitetsu believes that if Zoro can make Enma a black blade, it’s rank would increase.
Enma is difficult to wield. Enma is able to draw out the wielders Busoshoku Haki on it’s own, it can result in the force of a strike being greater than intended. It was stated that if Zoro was a lesser swordsmen he would have been turned into a “dry husk.” Zoro is able to force his haki back from the blade. The Wano Country Arc seems to be a turning point in regards to focusing more on swords and the power. The chapter largely focuses on the preparations for the upcoming battle. A handful of days are left until the raid, Robin reveals that the Beast Pirates have 20,000 men and Orochi has 10,000. The Alliance only has 4,000. Clearly, they’re at a numerical disadvantage. However, I think that they have better “quality” of warriors. With Luffy mastering the new Haki and Zoro able to master Enma It think that they will be fine.
It’s New Year’s , the students are finally able to visit their parents, but they need to be accompanied by pro heroes. Hawks continues his undercover mission with the Liberation Front. Skeptic criticizes Slidin’ Go for his claim that he’s Hawks “superior.” He says that he doesn’t have “the influence to spread the doctrine,” and get information from “key figures in the hero system.” He placed twenty micro devices on the wings of Hawks, to collect “location data, communication records, real time conversations and visuals.” Slidin’ Go is also a hero like Hawks, but has far fewer connections. We see that Hawks has been in contact with the heroes and warned them that he will be monitored.
Midoriya, Bakugo and Shoto arrive at Endeavor’s office. He greets them with a smile, but quickly warns them that they shouldn’t expect kindness from him. He makes it clear that he only really cares about training Shoto, Bakugo calls him a “hard ass.” Endeavor is surprised that Shoto is friends with Bakugo. All Might is supportive of them interning at Endeavor’s. He suggests that Bakugo is very similar to Endeavor and it might benefit him the most. Meanwhile, Endeavor tells Midoriya that he’s only interested in his son, but they could learn from him by watching. He springs into action as the trio follow.
A villain appears and begins to attack the civilians. Hawks is also present and prepares to fight. I think that Endeavor will warm up to Bakugo and Midoriya. He could solidify his legacy if he was the trainer of what I think will be the top three heroes at some point. I wonder if he starts to show some more favoritism toward Midoriya and Bakugo, if Shoto would have an issue. I think that Hawks will get caught at some point, however, I think it will only happen after he becomes important to the young heroes like Midoriya. This next chapter will probably be the start of their relationship. His death will need to have some impact on the main characters right now they don’t really know him.
The samurai Kotsuga and Ryu face off against Daruma. Ryu’s forgetfulness, results in him misunderstanding Kotsuga’s command of kill “everyone but the girl.” The ronin bandits are well weird. Sometimes stupidity can work as a form of comedy, but I’m not sure about Ryu and Kotsuga. Although, I did feel that there some potential for comedy here. Regardless, Ryu and Daruma battle. Ryu stop’s before asking Daruma if he’s a boy cat or a girl. Daruma responds neither, he’s a man. As they clash, Ryu takes out a second soul. He’s able to use his bone hilt from both sides. With the entire ship being Daruma’s key holder, he has control over it. He manages to capture Kotsuga. However, Ryu cuts him free and escapes into space.
Daruma follows, while being told that Hachimaru spent 17 million yen. Ryu lands a blow on Daruma, but fails to do much damaged. He knocks them away with a burst of power. He asks Hachimaru why he spent all that money on “gold thread embroidered fabric.” It was a gift for Ann, to replace her sash she tore to help his father. Now bankrupted, Ryu and Kotsuga suggest that they participate in a in a fighting festival. The winner gets a billion yen. The organizer is apparently a samurai that has one of the keys they need. Hachimaru wants to fight in the festival too. Most shonen manga series have a tournament arc, although they rarely occur this early.
The fact that this samurai can split a planet in half is presented as impressive, but at this point in the series which samurai can’t split a planet in half. The chapter is a little too convenient. Sure instead of being robbed, it’s Hachimaru’s irresponsible spending that bankrupts them. However, Kotsuga and Ryu knowing of a tournament that’s happening at the very moment, with a cash prize to recover the loses and a samurai with a key is a bit too much. I feel it should have been more subtle. Hopefully, we will get to see more fighting styles and get more in-depth information on the series power system. Finally, Ryu and Kotsuga seem to dynamic to disappear now, I think they will join the team.
Hiyori offers Zoro her sword Enma and her brother’s sword Ame no Habakiri. Kawamatsu objects to giving a sword to a man of an unknown origin. Zoro agrees to the exchange. Law has managed to defeat Hawkins, cutting him in half and cutting off his hands. He asks what happened to the alliance Hawkins had with Kid and Apoo. It turns out that Apoo had betrayed them, having been working with Kiado all along. Kiado wanted to recruit the Supernovas for his crew. As Law leaves he speaks to a mysterious figure that enabled him to escape. Meanwhile, Luffy trains his Haki against a steel wall. Hyogoro tells him that he needs to increase his speed of his progression.
Elsewhere, Kin’emon contacts the Ship Maintenance Squad, the Weapon Preparation Squad, Sword Recovery Squad and the Rebel Commanders Squad to tell them of the altered secret Kozuki family message. Apoo tells Kiado that he’s arrived to attend the Fire Festival banquet, as he is looking forward to watching the annual Golden Kagura. Apoo and his crew-mate are joined by a large shadowy figure. On of the children nearby informs her friend that the figures are called “numbers.” Allies of the Beast Pirates, the Numbers are giant sized beings that have two horns and sharp teeth. According, to Queen they all have drinking problems.
Meanwhile, Big Mom and Kiado have decided that they are going to form a alliance to take over the world and kill each other later. The Fire Festival seems to be a perfect moment for the allies of the Shogun to meet. This would largely be for our benefit as we get to see how both sides stack up. I will say that so far it seems that Kiado’s side is more powerful. With the new alliance between Kiado and Big Mom and the introduction of the Numbers, they have gained some strength. However, the hidden figure that rescued Law may be the wildcard that proves me wrong.