The Moderator pretty much said it all in his “next up” piece: it is colorful, it is full of oriental culture, and it is somewhat in a manga/anime style.
I have to be honest, I had a hard time working my way through this. Creating a comedy-action-drama, as the creators describe this comic, is not easy. For instance, I think the movie version of Iron Man got the balance right, but Bushido struggles. Sometimes the story is too comedic, rife with anachronistic dialogue (for instance, the seemingly requisite-in-web-comics diss of Canada, seen here. Sometimes it’s too dark compared to what surrounds it (a bloody battle in a forest like this one. Sometimes it tries too hard for a creative punchline (what exactly IS a “bad hair day’s worst nightmare,”)It doesn’t seem to be able to find a balance.
The characters, at least early on, are as one-note as the art is cartoonish. The good news is, the art does improve over the 300+ pages of the story – it grows from wide-eyed and round-faced and flat-looking to more streamlined and possessing a bit more depth. It does pick up more “typical” action-manga stylings as it goes on, and there are some pages that seem reminiscent of the style used in “The Gods of Arr-Kellean” (one of my current favorite webcomics). The characters also seem to grow – as the creators give them more realistic looks, they seem to lose some of the rougher edges of the stereotypes they represent. At the beginning, I decided that “Ina” must be Japanese for “selfish brat,” Yori must translate as “clueless simpleton,” and Cho Teko as “Mr. Miyagi.” By time I reached the 300s, I still felt that way, but not quite as much. Actually, my opinion of one main character did change early on: by this page, I realized that Yori wasn’t just any stereotypical clueless simpleton obsessed with the power tools of his day – he’s Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor!
I have to give the creators of “Bushido” an A for effort – they’ve been plugging away at this story for a long time, and they’ve tried hard to improve their art and storytelling. I also have to give them credit for the fact that the first half of the really did remind me of an old Bob Hope / Bing Crosby / Dorothy Lamour “Road To …” picture. If Lamour were a loud-mouthed brat, Hope were a clueless wannabe-samurai and Crosby were a blind Chinese swordsman. If you can struggle past the first half of the archive, you might find yourself caught up in the action and intrigue that develops in the second half of the story. It couldn’t hold my attention, but it might hold yours. Rating:
No Need for Bushido
by Alex Kolesar and Joseph Kovell
review by Anthony R. Cardno