Cold Blood Samurai… Starring Anthropomorphic Frogs!?
Sure, there’s a scene where one of the bad guys has his enemy’s head sliced clean off. But the cold-blood of these samurais is actually in a literal sense. The setting may be feudal Japan, but its inhabitants are frogs, lizards, and crabs.
Whom I assume is the title character, is a blue frog with spots. I didn’t catch his name. Therefore, without such, it was difficult to identify the hero. But the locals called him Gaijin. In Japanese, Gaijin is similar to the word “Gringo” – anyone who isn’t native.
Gaijin crosses paths with some other frogs, begging for his help. Their wives and daughters have been captured by Gnarled-Shell. The Gaijin wanted nothing of their woes. But the name of this gangster brought painful memories to the surface. Gaijin’s girlfriend, Aiko, too was kidnapped by the crab.
I had to re-read this a few times, flipping back and forth between pages. The flashback about the girlfriend was what threw me off. If there was some indication of the time change, it wouldn’t be so confusing. Hell, even the flashback moved around in time – almost as if it was pushing backwards.
After an intimate scene, Gaijin and Aiko discussed meeting at the cherry tree. But Gnarled-Shell stopped her before she could get there. Thus, she became a prostitute for Shell’s gang of crabs. Before parting ways, Gaijin gave her a sword to protect herself. But that wasn’t enough against these disgusting gangsters with pincers. Images of finding her in a pool of red haunted Gaijin, and were what pushed him to help the villagers.
Returning to Gnarled-Shell’s base, Gaijin is fueled with hate and vengeance. Archer crabs launch bolts from their ledge, and Gaijin swiftly slices them away. The following action sequences were perhaps the best panels of the book: frog versus crab.
Entertaining In A Confusing Way
The rest of the comic had great potential, but it was just too damn confusing. Once I finally understood what was going on, I could tell there was a beautiful story in there somewhere. But I was too exhausted by then. Perhaps it might not have been so bad if read subsequently against the previous issue. Once there’s a trade, I might give it another shot. Because I’m quite intrigued by the premise. And like all good stories, the final scene of the decapitated frog just begged for further reading.
You can grab your copy of Cold Blood Samurai from your local comic store or via Comixology.
How did we rate Cold Blood Samurai #2? 4 Sodas
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
Nebraska native living with his wife and two dogs. Author of Hostage 100 and Full Steam Ahead. Allen also co-hosts the Fatty/Slim Podcast.