Ranked #14

Vagabond (Manga)


Alternative Titles

English: Vagabond
Japanese: バガボンド


Type: Manga
Volumes: Unknown
Chapters: Unknown
Status: Publishing
Published: Mar 23, 1999 to ?
Authors: Inoue, Takehiko (Story & Art), Yoshikawa, Eiji (Story)
Serialization: Morning


Score: 8.921 (scored by 14885 users)
Ranked: #142
Popularity: #55
Members: 39,000
Favorites: 4,623
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page. Please note that 'R18+' titles are excluded.


Growing up in 17th century Sengoku era Japan, Shinmen Takezou is shunned by the local villagers as a devil child due to his wild and violent nature. Running away from home with a fellow boy at age 17, Takezou joins the Toyotomi army to fight the Tokugawa clan at the battle of Sekigahara. However, the Tokugawa win a crushing victory, leading to nearly three hundred years of Shogunate rule. Takezou and his friend manage to survive the battle, and afterwards swear to do great things with their lives. But after their paths separate, Takezou becomes a wanted criminal, and must change his name and his nature in order to escape an ignoble death. Based on the book "Musashi" by Eiji Yoshikawa, Vagabond is a fictional retelling of the life of Miyamoto Mushashi, often referred to as the "Sword Saint" - perhaps the most famous and successful of Japan's sword fighters.

(Source: ANN)


In 2000, Vagabond won the Japan Media Arts Festival Manga Grand Prize and the 24th Kodansha Manga Award in the general category. The series won the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2002 and has had over 82 million copies sold worldwide.

Vagabond has been published in English by VIZ Media under the VIZ Signature imprint since April 5, 2002, and in large 3-in-1 omnibuses under the VIZBIG imprint since September 16, 2008. The English release got Takehiko Inoue a nomination for the Eisner Award in the Best Writer/Artist category in 2003.


Miyamoto, Musashi
Miyamoto, Musashi
Sasaki, Kojiro
Sasaki, Kojiro
Honiden, Matahachi
Honiden, Matahachi
Takuan, Soho
Takuan, Soho
Shishido, Baiken
Shishido, Baiken
Kanemaki, Jisai
Kanemaki, Jisai

Write a review | More reviewsReviews

May 3, 2009
Some seinen manga, I believe, take the meaning too far. The gore and nudity found in them is simply disturbing, no longer artistic, just omnipresent and absolutely in-your-face.

Vagabond is not like those seinen manga.

From the beginning, Vagabond has this strange allure to it. Drawn to this manga by the promise of awesome fight scenes, [oh yes, I assure you, you will not be disappointed by the fight scenes], you find yourself hooked to this manga.

Absolutely, completely, utterly, hooked.

It starts off with a rather rude and yet beautiful jerk, depicting the scene of a battlefield in splendid watercolor. The manga just rides on from there, rising read more
I found this review Helpful
Jan 6, 2008
Vagabond is perhaps the very epitome of a great manga. It has everything: action, suspense, excitment, drama and even a little romance - everything that is packed into Eiji Yoshikawa's amazing original story.

That's not to say it is to everyone's tastes. While I personally love Takehiko Inoue's drawings, the imagery at times is very graphic, bordering on grotesque at times. Limbs, guts, heads fly off in the heat of battle, the drawings are literally so good it's sickening. If blood is not really your thing, you might be better leaving this on the shelf.

For those who don't mind a bit of blood however, read read more
I found this review Helpful
Sep 12, 2014
Vagabond is, in my opinion, one of the most important titles in recent manga history, and perhaps ever. It is, in many ways, one of the most ambitious manga ever created, and although it's impossible to measure individual effort, it wouldn't surprise me if Takehiko Inoue worked twice as hard as most mangaka.

Vagabond follows the exploits of Shinmen Takezo, who would eventually become the legendary sword-saint Miyamoto Musashi, and his childhood friend, Hon'iden Matahachi. The two start off as very different people to begin with, and their inherently different natures set them off on completely different life paths. Though based on a famous novel read more
I found this review Helpful
Feb 18, 2015
Vagabond is one of the greatest manga ever written. The manga is totally different from the majority of seinen manga who focuses on gore and storylines without any depth to it. It is a gift to all those readers who enjoy philosophy and realistic stories.

Vagabond is a journey of a samurai named Miyamoto Musashi focusing on his life and the hardships & challenges he faces throughout his journey. The mangaka has done a brilliant job in portraying his life right from the first chapter.

The artwork is on a level of its own and the narration is exquisite. The story progresses at a read more
I found this review Helpful


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Both focus on an antihero of sorts with extreme proficiency in slicing dudes. Beautiful artwork, complex and mature themes, and a (while not yet present in Vagabond) hostile rivalry between the two main characters. Berserk is set in a high-fantasy setting while Vagabond is set in medieval Japan and on historical events.  
reportRecommended by Veronin
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Both are historical mangas with a great focus on the details to each titles respective eras, the detail is so good that sometimes it will make you wonder if these titles were produced and or directed by members of the history channel, discovery channel or national geographic. Both titles show considerable amount of action and violence and both titles don't make use of super powers or special moves but rather focus on technique to keep the action going (although vinland saga has some characters that posses super human strength)  
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Manga: Kokou no Hito
Make me feel similarly. Vagabond - about great samurai. Kokou no Hito - about great mountain climber. Both are loosely based on real people/story. Both arts are interesting and enjoyable. Though, Vagabond has more fine details (and is the best what I've seen in manga). Don't let Koko no Hito to let you think that it is a typical shounen sport manga if you start reading the first couple of chapters. It will become a real seinen story later. Closer to the end of the story: Both main characters are looking deep within themselves. They are trying to find why did they come to this almost perfection in what they do.  read more 
reportRecommended by GDL-URAHARA
Manga: Blade of the Immortal
Both feature a story about a swordsman in Feudal Japan. these titles boast spectacular art, a riveting story and epic samurai action. Arguably the 2 of the best seinen manga today. 
reportRecommended by avrc
Manga: Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan
If you enjoyed Kenshin, Vagabond should be up your alley. Main character is a swordsman, takes place in Japan, historical fiction, great story and great characters. 
reportRecommended by Serg
Manga: Shamo
Both stories are centered around a protagonist striving to become the strongest warrior. They are both men who walk their own paths, furiously pursuing their dreams and stepping over bodies if necessary. They are both perceived as evil by the majority of people they encounter, but both are shown to be in possession of redeeming qualities even though their hearts are filled with darkness. Still, they do in fact have people who care for them and support them from the sidelines, and it's through these people as well as the people they encounter during their quests that allow them to grow as humans, negating the down-ward spiral  read more 
reportRecommended by AfterGlow

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Recent Forum Discussion

[Vagabond] What should be my expectation before reading?
ExTamplier - Dec 22, 2015
16 replies by Meiri »»
Jan 6, 6:44 PM
Any idea when the manga will end?
vasanth6009619 - Apr 19, 2009
6 replies by ExTamplier »»
Dec 28, 2015 1:39 AM

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