Going into this manga, I had not read Cooper's novel, nor seen any of the multiple Hollywood films adapted from it. I had no idea what the story was about. Having finished Sugiura Shigeru's book, I can confidently say I still have no idea what the story is about.
The plot meanders through kidnappings and skirmishes between Native Americans of various tribes, the French and the British/Americans. I couldn't tell why anything was going on at any time. The setting seemed only to exist to showcase the amazing talents of Hawkeye-the guy gets into and out of trouble much like Bugs
Bunny- or for cheap gags and slapstick. Historical and geographical inaccuracies abound: I'll bet you never knew there were that many barren cliffs and canyons in upstate New York, or that the Delaware were horsemen to rival any plains tribe. The art varies from highly detailed and realistic to offensively cartoonish, usually combined in the same panel.
The main highlight of the English edition is the extensive essay at the end of the manga about Sugiura Shigeru's life, career and particularly his artistic influences. This makes up close to half the volume, and takes longer to read than the manga. Presented among the historical information is a persuasive argument that the mangaka was heavily influenced by US western movies and comics, from borrowing poses and backgrounds to wholesale plagiarism of panels.
If one is interested in the historical development of manga and the US comic influence upon it, the essay is worth reading. Check it out from your local library and skip the actual manga. The Cliff's Notes of the novel would be better reading if you want actual entertainment.