I saw previews for the movie before I heard of the book. I enjoy watching films like "The Last Samurai," or reading books with samurai in them like Ghost in the Tokaido Inn. For modern Americans, it may be hard to imagine that all the samurai loyal to a lord who has been disgraced would also share that dishonor, or that the shogun would disband the domain rather than appointing someone else to rule it. The strict adherence to their code of honor set the samurai apart from other professions, even other warriors. The story of Lord Asano's death and the revenge planned by his samurai has survived since the actual events in 18th century Japan and become a national legend.
There are many wordless panels where the action in the illustrations is all that is needed to tell the story. The black and white graphics prevent the violence from being overly gory in presentation, although the severed heads are quite dramatic. I would recommend this for ages 12 and up due to the violence and a word that most elementary school families would consider inappropriate. The publisher's website has more information about the book. You can check imdb.com for more details about the movie. Author Sean Michael Wilson currently lives in Japan. Illustrator Akiko Shimojima lives in Tokyo and has been a professional manga artist for several years.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. The book will go on sale November 5, 2013.