September 21, 2007

A New Look At The Legendary Swordsman

vagabond inoue takehikoTitle: Vagabond
Story & Art: Inoue Takehiko
Status: On-going
Genre: Seinen

Vagabond is a manga adaptation of Yoshikawa Eiji's Miyamoto Musashi. If you like Japanese history, or samurai for that matter, you should try to read Vagabond. The story is told in a flowing manner, even the flashbacks are incorporated well into the story, so it doesn't become confusing for the reader. The artwork is great -- it's still similar to Inoue's other works like Slam Dunk, only, Vagabond's art is more mature and detailed, with lesser super-deformed (SD) scenes.

Inoue's Vagabond details the life of Miyamoto Musashi based on the mangaka's perception of him. It's a grand tale of finding and accepting oneself while living free despite the limitations a person's environment sets down upon him. You'll also get to meet characters that Musashi met during his lifetime including Sasaki Koujiro and Takuan Souhou, both celebrated personalities in Japanese history.

The battle scenes are well-drawn. Sure, it gets gory from time to time, but all the blood just adds up to the beauty of the battle, victory and defeat. Besides, they're samurai. It's impossible to cut down a person without blood, right?

Anyway, the manga is still on-going, currently at volume 27. Don't let the double-digit number of volumes dishearten you and scare you from reading Vagabond. I didn't notice that it was already that long when I started reading Vagabond. I couldn't stop reading and I get agitated when the volume's done and I don't have the next one yet.

Read Vagabond now and I'm sure you'll get hooked in no time ^_^
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