Takemitsuzamurai was published in Spanish by Ediciones Glénat from October 2009 to December 2012.
The manga won the Excellence Prize in the manga division at the 11th Japan Media Arts Festival Awards in 2007, along with the Grand Prize at the 15th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2011. It was nominated for Best Comic at the 2012 Angoulême International Comics Festival.
Your typical samurai with a haunted past moving to a new place to try and forget about it all. (Rurouni Kenshin, Sword of the Stranger, Gintama even) The manga pulls from historical, action, and slice-of-life genres, culminating in an amazing battle between Senou and a larger-than-life assassin. Moments of serenity, sorrow, sentimentality, and savagery intermix in a simple but poignant plot.
Takemitsu Zamurai is filled with tropes from the samurai canon, but it paints these cliches anew with vivid brush strokes, truly making the story and exploiting the essence of manga as a medium as opposed to the (light) novel, making
full use of splash panels, dialogue-less scenes, and humorous doodles to convey much more than words can. The style is entirely unique in manga (at least in my limited experience), as if drawn from a Japanese calligraphic painting, or perhaps a darker Okami. The art is really what makes this piece; it creates the atmosphere and absorbs the reader into it.
Senou Souichirou is our hero here, and a great deal of time is spent on his characterization. However, his interactions in Edo bring him into various vignettes of the lives of others around him, contributing to the slice-of-life feel, although in TZ, these slices-of-life will often come from a katana.
Nothing to complain about, just not enough to bring it to a full 10. Certainly worth my time.
This manga is not ground-breaking in any fashion (except for perhaps the artistic direction), but it is an exemplar example of the classic samurai tale and if you enjoy that sort of thing - I know I do - Takemitsu Zamurai very much deserves your attention.
Glorious, subtle, beautiful, moving, detailed, evokes Hokusai, the Edo era, unusual-don't be put off by the art, it is so against the grain of mainstream manga but it is astonishing, the use of shade and light and ink blots. I think the only manga I have even given 10 in every category, but I cannot fault it. The story is so perfect as well, interweaving and intensely thought-provoking
PLEASE read it or try-a fantastic story and piece of artwork-just..wow
A mysterious Ronin that lives in a town, wandering and displaying a somewhat strange behaviour throughout the days: despite being so passionate about nature and life, why is it that some greatly fear him, while others love him? The premise of Takemitsu Zamurai is quite interesting on its own, yet what really makes it stand out is the peculiar art that magnificently blends with the narrative, portraying itc characters greatly.
The very first thing any reader would notice is the peculiar art style of the manga. For many, their first impressions would range from being an unappealing, lazy style, or even plain terrible, where only the
story could keep this work appealing. However, it becomes sooner or later apparent that the art style is in fact of very high quality: while other mangas have highly detailed and realistic art style, Takemitsu Zamurai could be seen as the opposite, being quite abstract. It manages to portray the various character's very personality, difficult to the more "realistic" approach. Furthermore, there is hardly any need of dialogue as the author managed to even include the various emotions and atmospheres through the art, with great fluidity that matches narrative and art in a fantastic manner. It could have no dialogue at all, and readers would still know what the main story is about.
Regarding the story itself, it is mainly focused upon Senou Soichirou, a Ronin with a passion for life - to such a degree that he does bizarre things such as chasing a butterfly in the very same manner as a butterfly. This naturally raises caution in the villagers, which makes for some endearing interactions with those; be it the landlord, the little child living next to him, or even some high-ranking officials. The manga does have a main drive, which is exploring Soichirou as a character, while delving in the mystery surrounding him and the people who know him.
This may appear as something complex, yet in essence it is not quite: although the uncertainties surrounding the protagonist do get gradually revealed, it is not that impressive as it may seem at first sight - the intrigue about people wanting him dead is of simple nature as well. Rather, the execution of it is quite impressive. Now when it comes to the conclusion of the manga it is both satisfying and a bit disappointing at the same time. The final message of noble family being righteous and loved by all is was a bit jarring at a personal level, which of course is not the same to every reader.
As for the characters of the manga, once again, the main focus lies on the protagonist, where all the characters take a backseat. This does not mean that those are of lesser importance: these help Soichirou grow as a character, being influenced likewise. Be it exploring his true nature, or simply exploring the situation of some of the cast. However, this does not really apply to the antagonist, which leaves a bit of disappointment in the reader as he has is hardly explored as a character. The protagonist himself may seem bizarre, as the initial impression of anyone would be that of weirdness and what not. Surely enough, he receives appropriate characterisation alongside some great interactions with the people surrounding him.
Tekemitsu Zamurai was as a whole a very satisfying read, where seemingly simplistic story would not really be that much of importance. The art style was surprisingly good and befitting, although admittingly, I myself was quite swayed by the style and doubted its validity. This is definitely a manga I would recommend to anyone who is not adversed by the art style; it is after all still a great read.
Thank you for reading.