The Kampung adventures of lone wolf and cub.

February 16, 2014

There are many anime and manga that can rightly be considered classics for one reason or another. Of these, only very few can surpass this status and rise up from the endless sea of the run of the mill to be considered masterpieces in their own right.

Standing supreme amongst the Samurai genre is a tale that is considered the single most influential piece of literature out from Japan during the 20th Century.

It is the story of Lone Wolf and Cub.

The story tells of a brooding Samurai warrior, who roams the countryside with his baby and together they battle the evil assasins of the Shogun – it is set during the cowboy town era of the togukawa shogunate…

Thus begins the legend of Lone Wolf and Cub.

To say that the story is breathtaking is like calling McRitchie reservoir in Bukit Timah a puddle. There are very few words that can truly convey the depth of the nuanced emotions as one experiences the trials and tribulations of the Samurai everyone calls Lone wolf and his baby, the cub on the road to the long and windy road if meifumado (the buddhist hell).

This is a work that will evoke almost every emotion you’d care to name, from righteous fury to heartwrenching sorrow, from earnest hope to blind hatred along with the many set lietmotiffs of Samurai genre. The complexity and detail of the plot pushes the envelop of the Samurai genre to it’s outer limits and though many have tried to copy the textural complexity of Lone Wolf and cub since Its release in the 70’s, none have managed to better it….it stands tragically alone as the classic that it is…

Lone wolf and cub.

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“This morning I went to the Bak Kut Teh shop in my kampung for breakfast. Hardly had I taken my usual seat against the wall – I noticed my enemies at a far table making fun of the cub that was peeking out from my pocket…one of them said, ‘look, he does not have a wife…so he has to sleep with a dog to keep him warm.’ The others laughed I glared at them narrowing my eyes and flaring my nostrils…it was then that Kee Kee, the cub who lived in my breast pocket began to growl for the very first time in his life…grrrrrrrrrh…I realised his eyes had opened. At that moment I felt a mix of joy and sadness flitting across me…and as long as that sliver of time lasted….I was happy that Kee Kee had passed a milestone in his difficult life…but the joy did not last. As it was overwhelmed by a stronger feeling of emptiness that suddenly overshadowed that brief moment of joy. Till I found myself searching for answers on an altar of the Goddess of Mercy Kuan Yi that stood in the middle of the shop…I asked her…why is life so cruel and it was then Kee Kee growled again. Suddenly I was awoken from my trance as I found myself turning to the growling cub in my pocket and thinking to myself, ‘Papa is so very happy your eyes are finally open Kee Kee. Papa is also so very sad…as he would first like to ask your forgiveness…as you are born into such trouble times…all that Papa can promise you Kee Kee, is endless blood, sweat and tears.’ With these words I turned to the altar of the kopitiam again…..this time, I could not make out the serene features of the Goddess of mercy…instead the crimson faced God of war Kwang Kong stared back.’

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