During the closing years of the civil war period and uneasy reign of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, when men high and low scramble to follow conventional propriety so that they don't attract undue notice (or death) to themselves, there is one very bizarre individual who is known for his legendarily outlandish and wild personality, physical appearance and behavior. This series traces the dramatic adventures of Keiji Maeda from personal conflicts with his adopted Maeda family, brave combat exploits, travels to the capital, and relationships with famous existing figures such as Iyeyasu Tokugawa, Rikyuu the tea master, and Hideyoshi himself, to experiences with the foreign and Japanese Christian faithful.
Such an underrated manga. To be honest, I'm not actually fond of samurais or even knew anything about the Warring Kingdoms era (Sengoku era) in Japan. However, this manga actually taught me many things about how the Sengoku Era in Japan was, plus, it has good comedy and manliness!
The story focuses on the life of the legendary Maeda Keiji, our main protagonist. He's a tall, handsome and muscular man with a carefreeing and sometimes childish attitude. However, he is a respected warrior as his strength and mastery in swordsmanship is unequaled. This is the story about the Sengoku Period where factions from all over Japan enter in combat to claim their lands, notably the confrontation between the troops of Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi to claim the right to become the Supreme Shogun. The tale of Keiji is how he lived during this confrontation era. The story goes from drama to comedy, action to manly tears, all you can expect in MANLINESS!
Its illustration and art are familiar, right? It looks like Fist of The North Star for some reason? You've guessed it! Its art was designed by the same artist as FOTNS, the one and only Tetsuo Hara. That being said, you can expect some quality desgins for every character you can expect. Maeda Keiji's design, is an exact replica of Kenshiro. I'd like to call it "Samurai Kenshiro". He's got a giant horse that only him is suitable to ride, just like on FOTNS Kokuoh is a massive horse that only Raoh is suitable and worthy to ride him (yes Kenshiro became his owner after Raoh's death). Sukemon, Keiji's friend, looks exactly like Rei. So basically it's like reading FOTNS but in the Warring Kingdoms era setting, instead of the Post-Apocalyptic era found in Fist.
Actually there are a lot of mangas and animes based on the Warring Kingdoms era (Vagabond, Kenshin, etc) but I think everyone should give this manga a go. Imagine how Kenshiro with FOTNS took a personality change and became a samurai, and then you got Keiji!
However, the whole manga still hasn't got an english release, only fan scanlations you can find on the internet and they're still not finished scanning the whole manga yet. This review is only until the last english translated part I've read.read more