Hey, did you know that Rambo‘s first name was John? I never knew that! I just always assumed that when he came out of the womb, his parents took one look at him and shook their heads, knowing he would be too awesome for whatever first name they might want to give him, and thus just called him “Rambo” from the get-go.
Ogami Itto, on the other hand, is also known as “Lone Wolf and Cub” in the supra-excellent manga “Lone Wolf and Cub,” and that name totally fits him because he is a lone wolf/assassin, with a cub (Ogami Daigoro, his 3-year-old son).
What do Rambo and Lone Wolf and Cub have in common?
I think it’s obvious. They are unstoppable killing machines.
But which killing machine is the unstoppable-est of all?
Let the battle (Note: not an actual battle; there would be far too much carnage) begin!
Physicality already: John (hee!) Rambo is a young Sylvester Stallone. He’s also an older Sylvester Stallone. Hermm. Ogami Itto is a samurai in the peak of his bloom (or something), and has these crazy eyebrows (for which I blame artist Goseki Kojima, ’cause he drew everyone with those eyebrows). Winner? Ogami Itto, because he is Japanese, and I think we all know Lokifire has a weakness for Japanese men and if we don’t all know that, we haven’t been reading this blog for very long now, have we?
Body count: Whoooo! This is a tough one! Piles and piles and piles of bodies in both cases. I mean, throw either of these guys into the jungle or something with an entire ninja clan and you know who’s coming out alive! Not the ninja! But, in the end, Ogami Itto destroyed three different clans, as well as performed various assassinations, won multiple duels against other samurai, butchered police and bounty hunters and basically halved the population of Tokugawa-era Japan. Winner? Ogami Itto, but this is open to some debate.
Weapon of choice? For Itto, it’s the sword. He was a samurai after all. For Rambo? Whatever he can bloody well lay his hands on. Winner? Well, I love Ogami Itto and katana very much, but Rambo did get to use a rocket launcher on occasion. Rambo.
Traumatized a small child? You’d think the obvious answer would be Ogami Itto for dragging his 3-year-old son Daigoro around Japan on various assassinations, but you’d be wrong. Dead wrong. (Well, maybe not dead wrong, but I felt this post needed that phrase at least once. Now it has it twice! Huzzah!) Daigoro is a precocious little cutie-pie who helps his father fight the Yagyu clan as a true samurai would: with a stick of dynamite. (Hey, he was only 4 years old at the time! Cut him some slack! By the way, I’m not mixing up my ages here. Daigoro had a birthday in the course of the manga.) In any case, he avenged his father’s (spoiler alert!) tragic, tragic, tragic death at the hands of Yagyu Retsudo with a piece of a spear he found lying on the ground. Not something a traumatized kid would do, am I right? OK, fine, kid was messed up from the get-go. Winner? Ogami Itto.
Survived to star in countless (I mentioned I’m too lazy to count stuff like that, right?) sequels? As I felt I was being biased in the favor of Ogami Itto, whom I liken unto the gods themselves, I thought I owed Rambo a gimme. Winner? Rambo.
Exemplified the spirit of bushido? Well, now, this doesn’t seem fair, either, does it? I mean, bushido is a Japanese word. However, it means “the way of the warrior,” which both of these men followed devoutly. Rambo lost his way a bit, but he came ’round in the end. Winner? We’ll call this one a tie.
Coolest nickname? As the assassin Lone Wolf and Cub, Ogami Itto got to say this a lot: “Assassin! Lone Wolf and Cub! I come for your life!” The name Rambo is cool and all, but, man, you wouldn’t believe how often I use Ogami Itto’s catchphrase in my daily life! (Or perhaps you would, as it is never, but I would like the opportunity to say it more often.) Winner? Lone Wolf and Cub aka Ogami Itto.
Overall winner? The answer is a resounding Ogami Itto, because he stabbed a lot of people and was a samurai among samurai, even as a masterless ronin. And unlike Rambo, he had the good sense to die and stay that way, and not star in a series of sequels unto an age that was truly innapropriate for the character.