riddler13: (Default)
[personal profile] riddler13 posting in [community profile] scans_daily
They say a hero is only as good as his villains, and Usagi has had his fair share of adversaries. From forgettable "gang boss of the week" to memorable ones like General Fujii, there has always been an antagonist to keep him busy during his wanderings.

His most noteworthy enemy, however, is Jei, the psychopathic killer who calls himself the "Blade of the Gods". The best way to describe him would be "self-deluded body-hopping Jason Voorhees (Jei-san is a pun and an homage to Friday 13th) meets the Joker". He kills mercilessly and gleefully anyone his Gods deem "evil". Problem is, that is pretty much everyone (although I've never seen him kill a child), and he considers Usagi the ultimate evil - his endgame is to kill Usagi and become "one with the Gods".

Jei-san showed up pretty early in Usagi's world, in a story called "Blade of the Gods" (UY v.1 #10, 1988). In this, Usagi seeks shelter in a hut, in which he meets this weird guy with a black bladed spear which gives him the chills. Suddenly, the wolf turns on him for no reason other than claiming he is evil, and they fight until a bolt of lightning hits Jei.

This scene was redone for Usagi's storyline in TMNT Tales of the Turtles, the current season of the Turtles' 2012 incarnation.

Jei returns several times after this story. He shows up in the "Circles" and holds Jotaro hostage, beaten again and falling into a cliff; he is nursed by a fisherman in "The Nature of the Viper"; he meets his protegé Keiko in "Black Soul", after killing her grandfather's murderers and sparing her.

And let me tell you, Keiko gives me the creeps. She is an innocent child who seems to be completely oblivious to Gen's actions. And she never finds his body-hopping weird, calling him "uncle" or "auntie" depending on who is his host.

He is an essential part of Sakai's masterpiece, "Grasscutter", and takes possession of Inazuma, his/her second host body. Also, there's a fight scene I'd really love to watch in a possible Usagi cartoon.

(UY vol. 3 #21, 1998)

After some time in Inazuma's body, he jumps to another host in the same story his origin is retold, 2007's "The Darkness and the Soul".

Priest Jizonobu, a former samurai, is doing the rounds in a village in which he helps the children. One of them, Jubei, is very sick, and not even priest "Jizo" can help. Worried about Jubei, he meets an old acquaintace, a priest that worships another cult.

Lord Goyo arrives at Jizonobu's temple, and demands they save his child, who has the very same sickness Jubei has. If they do, he'll become their greatest benefactor; if not, they'll all be killed.

Jizo has to check on Jubei as well and, when he gets there, is surprised to see him in great shape.

(Issue #103)

He finally caves in and goes after Ibaraki in order to save his temple.

Headpriest appears some days later in worse condition than Jubei. He is taken good care of, but one of the spirits from Ibaraki's cave has already taken possession of him. He finally gets better, and look: he's smiling! He is in a good mood!

Hama survives, while Jei's first incarnation goes on a rampage until he catches up to Lord Goyo.

(Issue #104)

Hama did not know why he was spared. At the end of "Sparrows" (#105-109, 2008), which I'll eventually post here, we find out why.

(Issue #109)

Jei is a very versatile villain. He can be used in one-shots, he can be the big baddie in an arc, he can be that ever-looming menace. He was used as the antagonist in both recent TMNT/Usagi crossovers (TV and comics) and, in both cases, they used his first incarnation (Jizonobu).

His origin and Hama's possession were collected in Book 24: Return of the Black Soul and Usagi Yojimbo Saga Book 6.

Next profile: Chizu the cat ninja.

Date: 2017-09-07 07:46 pm (UTC)
burkeonthesly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] burkeonthesly
That's some fairly high-grade spooky, there.

Date: 2017-09-07 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] tripodeca113
One of the best parts of Senso, was Jei's brief appearance. After many years he finally finds Usagi again, but is anti-climatically killed by a blast from an alien tripod.

Date: 2017-09-08 04:25 am (UTC)
candyangelo: (Leonardo [Bayverse!TMNT])
From: [personal profile] candyangelo
Supposedly Keiko's next in line to be Jei's host, from what I gather.


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