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[personal profile] riddler13 posting in [community profile] scans_daily
The best sword yielders in Usagi's world are obviously skilled, but they've also had years of training practice. We've seen Usagi train to become one of the best samurais in the kingdom, we saw Gen being trained by his father, we've had the opportunity to see Tomoe training since she was a kitty.

However, for one person in this particular universe, the ability to fight with swords came by as naturally as breathing. Her name is Inazuma, "the Lightning". She took on Gen and would have killed him if it weren't for a slip. After that, she fought both him and his fellow bounty hunter Stray Dog simultaneously and almost won, having to escape at the end.

We saw her origin early in just her second appearance, since the desire for revenge was her initial motivation.

Her first appearance is pretty striking. They meet at an inn where she proceeds to humiliate a ronin who wanted to get "too friendly" with her by shredding his clothes off with her sword. After that, Usagi is attacked once again by the corrupt merchant from "Kaiso" and will be shot from behind, when suddenly:

(Usagi Yojimbo v.2 #16: :"A Meeting of Strangers", 1995)

In her second story, she is attacked by some bounty hunters but takes care of them swiftly. Usagi sees the corpses and recognizes the author of these masterstrokes. She finds her in a hut, telling her life story to other bounty hunters.

The pretty daughter of an ambitious samurai, Inazuma caught the eye of a high-rank official of her lord's court, who soon struck a deal with her father to marry her. But Hisashi, a young samurai, also expressed his interest in Inazuma, and they eloped and fled in the night. Love lasted as long as the money she managed to get from her father did. As soon as they fell in bad times, especially because Hisashi couldn't get a job, he started taking his frustration out on her.

They arrived in the capital, Edo, and he tried to survive doing parlour tricks.

Hisashi would take the money and drink and gamble it away at Masakazu's place. Masakazu was the son of Boss Bakuchi, the one who controlled gambling in Edo.

He went to Masakazu's as usual, lost again and, in frustration, picked the dice and threw them away. They were obviously weighted. Since Hisashi wasn't the brightest oil lamp in the city, he decides to blackmail Masakazu in front of the businessman's bodyguards.

Han = odds, cho = even.

"His body was found four days later", said Inazuma. And something died in her that particular day.

It took her five days to track the killer, but she found him on New Year's Day.

"Masakazu! The men who stayed to defend you are dead. Han or cho?"

She'd eventually become Jei's second host body during the events of Grasscutter. Now, picture if you will an Inazuma body with a Jei soul.

This story was collected in Book 10: The Brink of Life and Death and Usagi Yojimbo Saga vol. 1.

Inazuma is my definition of "badass" in the Usagi Yojimbo universe, more than Tomoe, Katsuichi-sensei and Usagi himself. I've read in some places that Sakai himself acknowledges her as the best fighter in their universe, but never saw a direct a quote from him. Anyway, I do not dispute that affirmation.

And to end in a typical Scans Daily vibe - I think she would be the most attractive woman of the series if they were real people instead of anthropomorphic animals.

Tomorrow: Sasuké the demon queller.

Date: 2017-09-10 06:16 pm (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
Inazuma is definitely an interesting character.

I do like how UY is willing to tell complete stories of reoccurring characters- sure, some like Gen and Tomoe'll be around forever, but there's a couple that reoccur for some time before having their stories conclude- for better or worse.


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