The Elusive Samurai: first impressions of Matsui’s manga

The Elusive Samurai: first impressions of Matsui's manga

Nige Jōzu no Wakagimi, translated with The Elusive Samurai, is the new manga by Yusei Matsui (Assassination Classroom). Matsui wants to tell the story of real characters from Japan, in shonen sauce

As anticipated by last week’s issue of Weekly Shonen Jump, four new titles will arrive in the magazine this week. To open the first battery of 2021 is the new proposal of Yusei Matsui (Assassination Classroom), The Elusive Samurai.

Matsui is a veteran author, publishing his debut work in early 2000s. Only with Assassination Classroom, however, has it achieved global popularity: a different shonen than usual, in which the protagonists are both the pupils of a class and their teacher, a creature of alien features. Action-packed but not strictly a fighting manga, Assassination Classroom ran for four years, until 2016.

Since then, Matsui has at first proposed as a one-shot on Jump F-Ken, at least a peculiar work, which, however, has not been reflected. Today, finally, its new serialization, as always available for free on MangaPlus. But what, specifically, is The Elusive Samurai? Let’s find out together.

The Elusive Samurai: first impressions of Matsui's manga

The Elusive Samurai, Japanese comic story

In this new title Matsui illustrates a real story belonging to the history of Japan: the end of the shogunate of the gods Kamakura by the legendary warrior Ashikaga Takauji, in fact a traitor. The protagonist is the son of the shogun, Hojo Takatoki, who managed to survive and escape death.

However, it soon becomes clear that the priority of the work is entertainmentrather than historical fidelity. Hojo moves with the typical vigor of the shonen protagonists, defeating the laws of physics. In addition, Matsui’s typical flair for the expressions and grimaces of the characters it is also well present in his new work, although contained compared to Assassination Classroom.

In short, the manga is first of all a shonen, and historical fidelity is not obvious, although it still seems clear that Matsui does not want to stray too far from it. Even those who are not strictly interested in history will find an excellent title that matches the author’s signature. Despite this, its potential may be limited: we already know how the story ends.

Other new releases are expected in the coming weeks. Keep following us!