Ranked #17
Vagabond (Manga)

Vagabond

Alternative Titles

English: Vagabond
Japanese: バガボンド

Information

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

Statistics

Score: 8.911 (scored by 13320 users)
Ranked: #172
Popularity: #59
Members: 34,396
Favorites: 3,881
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page. Please note that 'R18+' titles are excluded.

Synopsis

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)

Background

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.

Characters

 Musashi
Miyamoto, Musashi
Main
 Kojiro
Sasaki, Kojiro
Main
 Matahachi
Hon'iden, Matahachi
Main
 Soho
Takuan, Soho
Supporting
 Baiken
Shishido, Baiken
Supporting
 Otsu
Otsu
Supporting
 Jisai
Kanemaki, Jisai
Supporting

Write a review | More reviewsReviews

Tanequil
May 3, 2009 6:21 AM
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
bigjig
Jan 6, 2008 5:28 AM
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
Neiru2013
Jun 17, 2011 5:58 PM
I read Vagabond to see what all the fuss is about. It's a very fast read. There are huge image panels and barely anything happening per chapter, which flows well if you're reading straight through but hellish if you're waiting chapter by chapter. The art is simply gorgeous - probably the best I've ever seen in a manga - but stands in stark contrast to the lack of actual story... sort of like special effects in a movie.

The "story" appears to be the warrior's drive to be the best, err, I mean "invincible under the sun." This results in such battles as the infamous "lets read more
I found this review Helpful
Wehrmacht
Sep 12, 2014 5:13 PM
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

Recommendations

Manga: Berserk
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
Manga: Vinland Saga
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)  
reportRecommended by kuglefang
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: 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
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: 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

Recent News

North American Anime & Manga Releases for April
Snow - Apr 9
21 replies by Roloko »»
Apr 16, 7:12 PM
Manga Vagabond To End Within 2010
dtshyk - Jan 4, 2010
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Apr 14, 2013 8:44 AM

Recent Forum Discussion

Vizbig volume 4 out of print?
Milky_way1886 - Aug 13
3 replies by surcire »»
Aug 23, 7:01 PM
Will this manga ever get anime release ?
ssjdodo - Aug 20
4 replies by »»
 

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