here is my new sweeping statement: anthromorphic characters & cartooning are a perfect alchemical wedding. i was just trying to sort it out: why things like cerebus & usagi yojimbo & bone are just so much more powerful than the majority of comics. kirby excluded, but kirby is a master of a different, subtle art. i think maybe the dissilusion of human identity coupled with the invocation of a human face on the page merge to give the perfect straddle of the uncanny valley.
so you should take this as me saying: stan sakai is a total genius. i know, i have this moment every time i read usagi anything. for some reason, my brain refuses to accept the thought into the canon. it really should. all of this is gold. usagi is a perfect example of samurai honor, but isn't an ideologue or a paper tiger or anything. he is a strong, flawed, awesome character who mostly plays in the nuances. i also really like that sakai conserves the mythology when he ports the story over-- he's got his mercenary rhino buddy, & his out-of-clan doomed love, he's got the whole nine yards.
there are a few panels that made me gasp with glee. like, literally. there is one bit where a psychic cyborg neko ninja (!) throws some heat-seeking shruiken around a corner, & the movement is just so clear & present. i mean, you can watch them spin around the corner, almost, it is pretty amazing. there are some other bits with like, a dinosaur wearing a hood? these tiny little details that just add a mile of quality & versimiltude. also, he's not shy about stealing from star wars. very cute to see the little nods.