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Vagabond  
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Description
Growing up in the late 16th century Sengoku era Japan, Shinmen Takezō 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, Takezo 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. Takezo and his friend manage to survive the battle and afterwards swear to do great things with their lives. However, after their paths separate, Takezo becomes a wanted criminal and must change his name and his nature in order to escape an ignoble death.

Note: Won the Kodansha Manga Award for Best General Manga and the 24th Kodansha Manga Award in the general category in 2000. Won the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2002 and was nomination for the 2003 Eisner Award in the Best Writer/Artist category.

Type
Manga

Related Series

Associated Names
バガボンド

Groups Scanlating
DMXX
Freelance-Manga
Guren no Heya Kara
HappyScans!
More...

Latest Release(s)

Status in Country of Origin
37 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?
No

Anime Start/End Chapter
N/A

User Reviews
N/A

Forum
8 topics, 62 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 8.9 / 10.0 (1315 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.84 / 10.0
10
 45% (588 votes)
9+
 28% (366 votes)
8+
 15% (199 votes)
7+
 6% (79 votes)
6+
 2% (24 votes)
5+
 1% (12 votes)
4+
 0% (5 votes)
3+
 0% (5 votes)
2+
 1% (8 votes)
1+
 2% (29 votes)

Last Updated
April 22nd 2015, 4:50am PST


Genre

Categories

Category Recommendations

Recommendations

Author(s)

Artist(s)

Year
1998

Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Morning (Kodansha)

Licensed (in English)
Yes

English Publisher
Viz (37 Volumes - Ongoing)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #374 increased(+4)
Monthly Pos #423 increased(+35)
3 Month Pos #419 decreased(-69)
6 Month Pos #334 decreased(-101)

List Stats
On 4321 reading lists
On 1595 wish lists
On 157 unfinished lists
On 430 custom lists

Note: You must be logged in to update information on this page.

Forum Posts
Vagabond to Resume on January 29 193 days, 19 hours, 23 minutes ago
Vagabond's Return Delayed Until Fall 411 days, 3 hours, 13 minutes ago
Vagabond Returns March 15 764 days, 7 hours, 10 minutes ago
Why is there no discussion thread for this masterpiece? 1127 days, 9 hours, 33 minutes ago
Vagabond VizBig 11 1171 days, 8 hours, 28 minutes ago

Click to view the forum

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]
 

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Incredible   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Jheregreign
March 23rd, 2015, 1:00am
Pretty far removed from the genres I usually read, it has immediately become the manga I would rate above all others. Everything, although for me in particular the art, character development, observations & philosophy have left me in want of other manga can live up to this standard. I'll be searching.

His journey to enlightenment has given me inspiration in my own life.
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Emotionally moving, adrenaline pumping   
Rating: N/A
by mangamario
August 6th, 2014, 6:54pm
It might not be believed, but I do not use the word 'masterpiece' lightly, but you know what? Vagabond qualifies.

It is an artistic rewrite of the story of the great warrior Miyamoto Musashi. It begins after a pivotal moment in his life (Battle of Sekigahara), but the manga also takes pain to provide a relentless amount of exposition/back story/different perspectives/etc, so one always seem to have a strong grasp of the story and characters. It is also incredibly helpful in creating very human characters who are at times repulsive and sympathetic at other times.

All in all, I feel that the manga's strength lies in the artwork (unsurprisingly) and its ability to weave an immersive, moving, and emotionally involving tale. When there is a battle, I really felt a rush of adrenaline and a sense of excitement. When there is a death, I really felt touched and, admittedly, I sometimes bawled like a baby. Some subplots in the manga really hit me hard with that and the manga definitely likes throwing tearjerkers.

The manga takes an unflinching approach to the realities the characters face. Battles are bloody and full of maimed body parts, prostitutes are plentiful and celebrated, secondary characters faces incoming terror with a mix of blatantly cowardliness, resignation, and stoicism. It can get a bit intense at times, but it works.

I speak highly of the manga and rightfully so, but it does have its weaknesses. Not all of the characters are written well (including some very important characters) making for a weaker story at times, story arcs sometimes drag on and this feels worse during the less interesting arcs or moments in the story, a tendency for the characters to sometimes get into self-important nonsensical preaches about life, and etc.

Overall, the problems are relatively minor and Vagabond is still easily among the best mangas around. All possible recommendations to give this a chance!
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Masterpiece...   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by rennov
January 8th, 2014, 10:00pm
May the opinion will differ among the readers, I will still say that this manga is one of the masterpiece that I found during my journey in life. Hahaha... well, I guess a bit exaggeration will bring no harm, especially for this manga... Okay let's start reviewing...

The story is magnificent overall (truly...), yet may some readers can not tolerate the slowing pace in some arc. As for me, this slowing pace is quite understandable and necessary. It's necessary because with the slowing pace, I could relate more with the "enlightened" process that Musashi got during some arc. And somehow, I get "enlightened" too...

The art... is magnificent (truly...), some reviewers has said it before, so no need to restated it again

The romance, comedy, saddening event, etc. is composed magnificently (truly)... no too much, not too little, all is put with the right amount.

I mus say I learn a lot by reading manga... it forms my perspective in seeing life and, I can say, it forms my personality as well. This one... is the one who taught me a lot... once again... a lot.

Thanks for the author of the manga and the novel (and of course, the scanlators)... Hope the God will repay you somehow... Good luck!
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sounds like i'm going against the grain, but..   
Rating: N/A
by jjkyxr
October 12th, 2013, 1:32pm
this is one of the biggest pieces of poo of a storyline i've read in awhile. has great art, great action scenes but by god you have the stupidest of protagonists for the sake of making this manga last forever. you had a grandmaster on his deathbed practically spell out what he was looking for, and then he later sits around thinking about what he should be looking for.. i literally couldn't care for anything after awhile when i started having zero interest in the main character.

i'm probably more angry about it than other (even more) badly developed stories since i put so much time into this thinking that "it's going to get better, right?" and then getting my hopes constantly squashed over and over again.

... Last updated on October 12th, 2013, 1:34pm
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Philosophy meets Action: Epic   
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by Fantasier
October 1st, 2013, 8:39am
Someone warned me before I started buying this manga that I would eventually be addicted to it. I didn't believe him back then, and, I ended up being just exactly what he said--addicted.

Vagabond is drawn by Inoue Takehiko, the person who made Slam Dunk a massive hit. The art is extremely detailed. I said extremely and I mean it. I really like the art style, which not only suits the tone of the story but is often made fabulous with Inoue's exceptional watercolor skill. The art seen here is much better than Slam Dunk's, and probably the best of all his work. Of all the manga arts, Vagabond's is one of the best with no doubt.

Backed up with wonderful art is the epic story. It is a great adaptation of Japanese history's trivia about the renowned Samurais Musashi and Kojiro. The story combines philosophy and action very well. The characters are fairly real. The story involves things like 'life', 'true strength', developments of a person's spirit, stuff like that. Seems boring right? Well, it's actually enjoyable! The presentation of the story's sequences is really engaging. There are symbols, and symbolic action to consider in the manga too.

If you decide to pick this to read, you will be watching Musashi as he grows up both physically and mentally. The story will also give you some deep thoughts about life.

... Last updated on October 1st, 2013, 8:50am
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very good but its not for everyone   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by nakie08
August 7th, 2013, 10:03pm
reviews on vagabond seems to be mixed. the way i see it, most of people start reading this manga expecting action-packed scenes with a lot of gore and endless enemies and continuous fighting.

vagabond is not just about fighting its about musashi's journey to enlightenment and the fighting is just one of the ways through which he hopes to achieve that. i think it's very deep. i've heard martial arts masters learning through observing nature and i think that's one of the things the author the hopes to portray in this manga. you will see musashi observing rivers, the flow water, honing his skill through plowing the earth into paddy fields, things like that. that's why its full of your so-called philosophical "mumbo jumbo". you may get into expecting a lot of battles and find yourself seeing musashi alone in the road contemplating the scenery.

i read the book after i caught up to the manga and its mostly the same. i think the portrayal of his growth in the manga is better.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
in the book, the young and wild musashi spent 3 years in a dark room filled with books (he mostly quotes the art of war) and he came out a changed man. while in the manga he gradually matures during his journey
and about the romance in the manga..
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
the relationship between the musashi and otsu is apparently the idea of romantic love in japan at the time or something like that according to the introduction in the book. i personally didn't like the romantic parts in the story it seemed weird to me.

so if you'd like to try reading this manga, be warned that this is more philosophical than action and if you didn't like it you can just read berserk or something else.

... Last updated on August 7th, 2013, 10:26pm
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Exceptional work   
Rating: N/A
by jpsensei
April 20th, 2012, 3:22pm
I read the novel from Eiji Ishikawa after starting Vagabond. The manga is not following the novel 100% but captures really well the ambiance/spirit.
In addition to the philosophical questions, I just love the drawing which is just beautiful. Each and every drawing is a work of art.
I read a lot of manga from different styles but none like this ne. Definitly my favorite with GTO :-)
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Great manga   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by ddvdsv
April 8th, 2012, 1:15am
This manga is amazing. If you find it boring, go read some shonen manga. Inoue takes a philosophic, naturalistic approach to describe Musashi's growth and tribulations to find what it truly means to be strong.
The art is mangificent and helps to convey the feeling of a realistic and historical accurate atmosphere.
The fights are gory but beautifully drawn and devoid of the usual blabber about special techniques or egomaniacal rants.
Midway trough the manga art shifts from a polished, accurate style to a more raw, minimal one, similar to the classical japanese paintings of the era.
A new classic.

... Last updated on April 8th, 2012, 1:25am
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Off Hiatus!?!?!?!?!!!   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Shadowlink
March 16th, 2012, 12:07am
Wow this series is finally off hiatus... I never thought I would see the day again that another chapter was released. Soo happy! I look forward to more chapters being released in the future.
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Amazing.   
Rating: N/A
by Muraka6
March 3rd, 2012, 5:04am
This manga is amazing. This manga is amazing. This manga is amazing. This manga is amazing. This manga is amazing. Seriously, some things take time fully develop, and when they do develop, they turn out to be a grand masterpiece. This book was loosely based Miyamoto Musashi, and tells his life - his way of the sword philosophy and legendary two sword art. And as for the art, it looks like Japanese people to me - realistic.
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