William Adams, Samoerai #1 Aan het Einde van de Wereld – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: Adventure
Written by: Mathieu Mariolle
Illustrations: Nicola Genzianella
Coloring: Fabien Alquier
Publisher: Casterman

William Adams, Samoerai #1 Aan het Einde van de Wereld – Comic Book Review

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Good: Very story driven
Bad: Not everyone's cup of tea
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Rating: 8.0/10 (3 votes cast)

While we have all probably had quite a few history lessons about the seventeenth century and the Dutch Golden Age, the Japanese history of this era is a completely blank canvas for most of us. The new comic book series ‘William Adams, Samoerai’ is about much more than Japanese history, but still we were quite curious to find out more, as it seems to have been quite an interesting time in Japan. An ideal setting for the story that is about to unfold.

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William Adams, an English sailor on the Dutch ship ‘De Liefde’, has been floating around Japanese waters for days, after a storm rendered his ship useless. It’s the 17th century, and Japan is on the verge of a civil war, thus when Adams’ ship finally reaches shore, he and his crew are certainly not welcomed heartily. Instead, all men are taken prisoner, including Adams. Portuguese Jesuits, who are in Japan to convert the people to Christianity, take care of them. Alessandro Valignano, leader of these Jesuits, questions Adams, telling him that he and his men will be crucified for piracy if they don’t come up with a decent excuse.

The next day, Adams tries wholeheartedly to convince Mr. Terasama, who will decide about his fate, that they are just innocent sailors, and lucky for him, Terasama believes him. This means that a decision about Adams’ destiny, as well as that of the men, will have to be taken higher up, by the shogun, the leader of the country. As the shogun is only seven years old, the real leadership of the country is in the hands of five wise men though, and thus they will have to decide what will happen to Adams. In the meantime, tensions are rising within the Japanese population, and a civil war seems unavoidable. Tokugawa, one of the wise men, has a plan to unite the people once again, be it so that he can be the only ruler of the country, leaving no room for the other four of the wise men. He counts on having Adams on his side, but at this point, that seems to be more of a wish than a reality. Nonetheless, Tokugawa is not one to be fooled, and he still has quite some tricks up his sleeve.

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From the beginning, there is no fooling around in this series. It starts off right away, and every panel has its value to the story. It may seem a bit difficult to follow, after reading through the story portion of this review, but even though the story is definitely not one of the easiest to understand, it is quite well explained. As this comic book is part one of two, the story still needs to develop quite a bit, but at the same time, this issue quite sets the tone already. We found this story quite interesting, but we must say it is quite action packed and story driven, so if you’re not looking for a history lesson combined with the odd fight, than you might want to pass on this one.

Nicola Genzianella’s illustrations look a bit dark and grim, which suits the story well. It gives the story a feeling of a long, shady, dark story that is laid out before you. Also Fabien Alquier’s coloring attributes to this feeling.


William Adams, Samoerai #1 Aan het Einde van de Wereld jumps straight into the story, without fussing around one bit. You’ll be treated to a comic book where every panel has its meaning, with a story that is quite complicated, but also quite interesting. As the illustrations work perfectly with the theme of the story, the comic book forms a nice whole for you to enjoy. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for an airy plot with a lot of likeable characters, you might want to let this one pass.

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William Adams, Samoerai #1 Aan het Einde van de Wereld - Comic Book Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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