This week Dark horse released a collection of various works by Blade of the Immortal's Hiroaki Samura entitled 'EMERALD & Other Stories'!
The first story, after which the book's main title is taken, is a Western where outlaw men of amazing skills roam the Wild West. A strange woman approaches one such deadshot criminal who can shoot anything from a distance to aid her in protecting a convoy, but only after he proves himself worthy. Meanwhile, a young girl is being conned into paying off a family debt to a notorious criminal by playing a game with the odds stacked against her. How do these two separate events tie into each other? Well, there are certainly many surprises and much action in store!
Other major stories in the collection include one of a girl dealing with her father's affection for their housemaid that leads to a disturbing revelation. Another story takes place back in England where a young innocent girl, having recently lost her brother, is taken in by criminals posing as kind people who then sell her in an underground market auction for deviants and she ends up in servitude to a grotesque mutilated baron in a large estate. In another story, a manga artist reminisces of his early life living with a high school girl who models for his book... however his memories are not really the truth of the affair.
Finally there is a collection of funny afterpage shorts 'The Uniform Stays On' where high school girls deal with Japanese politics and social commentary or just things on Samura's mind in hilarious ways!
Anyone who knows Hiroaki Samura's work can expect to look forward to great detailed artwork with plenty of well choreographed action sequences, expression and surprises!
Well recommended for anyone looking for light reading or mature atypical manga stories! Drop by our store if you're interested!