Cult Classic Japanese Samurai Manga & Film series, banned in the UK upon it's release in 1983.
Lone Wolf and Cub was originally a manga created by writer Kazuo Koike and artist Goseki Kojima published in 1970. It sold over 8 million copies and is widely regarded as one of the greatest works of Japanese Manga.
The epic story chronicles the life of Ogami Ittō, the shogun's executioner who uses the deadly adōtanukibattle sword. Disgraced by false accusations from the Yagyū clan, he is forced to take the path of the assassin and is hunted along the way by assassins hired by the Shogun. With his three-year-old son, Daigorō, they seek revenge on the Yagyū clan in a gruesome tale of blood.
The graphic novel was adapted into a series of 6 films made between 1972 & 1974. Adapted for a western audience as SHOGUN ASSASSIN in 1980, it was banned upon it's release for violent graphic depictions of decapitation and brutally violent sword fighting battle scenes set in Tokugawa era Japan.
The story balances acts of conflict with apt reflections on the Bushido code of honor, heavily nostalgiac of the Samurai way of life and the old traditions during the 1600-1800's, breaking up violence with moments of serenity and reflection as Ogami Ittō travels through Japan and it's beauty along the way.
Quentin Tarantino is a famous admirer of the Lone Wolf & Cub series, citing it as a huge inspiration for Kill Bill. Most recently the 2019 Star Wars spin off series The Mandalorian features a similar narrative of a rogue bounty hunter protecting a young creature as they are hunted down.
Shogun Assassin was famously sampled in GZA's album Liquid Swords, becoming a trademark sample that inspired an era of WU TANG hip hop.
There is no doubt that this iconic series has had an enduring legacy and cemented its place as a cult classic, a testimony to the legacy of Japanese manga and our innate fascination with ancient combat and deathly duels.
Check out a collection of Lone Wolf & Cub original film artwork posters ~
- Psychic Garden