Nothing too heavy today, just some suggestions for samurai fans. If you like ANY of the following characters, you should check out the rest of them.
1. Miyamoto Musashi - The main character of Takehiko Inoue's "Vagabond". This series follows a sensationalized account of the legendary swordsman's life. Arguably the greatest swordsman to have ever lived, Musashi is already an interesting historical figure. When coupled with Inoue's artwork, his journey to become the "strongest under the sun" is beyond compelling. Beyond beautiful. Beyond words.
5. Usagi Yojimbo -The titular character of Stan Sakai's long running epic, Usagi is the epitome of what we expect from vagrant swordsmen. He is honorable, spiritual, gullable, and deadly fast with a blade. "Usagi Yojimbo" is a anthropomorphic window into the world of feudal Japan. Every issue of this series is a testament to Sakai's skill as a story teller. Don't ignore this series because you harbor an aversion to rabbits. Usagi is a stand up guy, but he doesn't hold back when it comes to cutting down enemies.
6. Ogami Ittō -This guy is probably the one you should hire if you want a protector or an assassin. If you imagine Batman for hire, you get this guy and his kid. The stories in "Lone Wolf and Cub" are incredibly deep. Anything I say about this series is going to fall short to the majesty of its reality. You should know this is, in large part, what inspired Frank Miller (Sin City, Dark Knight Returns, Ronin) as a creator and artist. Read this series, by Kazou Koike and Goseki Kojima, to light your creative fire.
7. Takeshi Yamamoto -Being a swordsman to the captain of a pirate ship is pretty cool, but being the swordsman to a mob boss might be a little bit cooler (it's up for debate). Enter: Yamamoto. This guy was the star baseball player at Namimori Middle School before falling in with Vongola the 10th (future mob boss) and his crew. Yamamoto believes the mob thing to be a game (he's a dumb jock), but that doesn't stop him from learning his family's secret sword style to protect the others. Look for this guy in "Reborn!" by Akira Amano.