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Vagabond  
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Description
Shinmen Takezo is destined to become the legendary sword-saint, Miyamoto Musashi--perhaps the most renowned samurai of all time. For now, Takezo is a cold-hearted killer, who will take on anyone in mortal combat to make a name for himself. This is the journey of a wild young brute who strives to reach enlightenment by way of the sword--fighting on the edge of death.

Won the 24th Kodansha Manga Award for Best General Manga.

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
36 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?
No

Anime Start/End Chapter
N/A

User Reviews
N/A

Forum
6 topics, 54 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 8.9 / 10.0 (1222 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.84 / 10.0
10
 45% (549 votes)
9+
 28% (337 votes)
8+
 15% (184 votes)
7+
 6% (76 votes)
6+
 2% (21 votes)
5+
 1% (11 votes)
4+
 0% (5 votes)
3+
 0% (4 votes)
2+
 1% (8 votes)
1+
 2% (27 votes)

Last Updated
March 21st 2014, 8:16pm PST

Sponsored Links
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Genre

Categories

Category Recommendations

Recommendations

Author(s)

Artist(s)

Year
1998

Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Morning (Kodansha)

Licensed (in English)
Yes

English Publisher
Chuang Yi
Viz (35 Volumes & 11 Omnibuses - Ongoing)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #326 increased(+13)
Monthly Pos #369 increased(+10)
3 Month Pos #326 decreased(-38)
6 Month Pos #257 increased(+2)

List Stats
On 3918 reading lists
On 1415 wish lists
On 142 unfinished lists
On 362 custom lists

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Forum Posts
Vagabond Returns March 15 301 days, 16 hours, 44 minutes ago
Why is there no discussion thread for this masterpiece? 664 days, 19 hours, 6 minutes ago
Vagabond VizBig 11 708 days, 18 hours, 2 minutes ago
Vagabond to Resume Next Month 792 days, 20 hours, 17 minutes ago
Takehiko Inoue Now Drafting Return of Vagabond Manga 860 days, 0 hours, 41 minutes ago

Click to view the forum

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User Comments [ Order by time added ]
 

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right into the centre of the warrior's heart   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Isara
May 11th, 2009, 2:40pm
Seriously, sometimes I wonder what people expect in a picture-carried story about a man who dedicated his whole life to the way of the sword.
This is a story about THE one person who revolutionized sword techniques, starting off as a wild brute with nothing but anger and hatred inside (the problem with his father - very much the number one Freud theory) pushing and fighting his way through his darkest feelings to become the somewhat genius swordsman he later was.
Killing people comes with mastering a weapon build to do just this and Inoue Takehiko did an awfully great job trying to show us modern people what living for the art of killing and fighting must have meant.
Musashi grows into a man and an artist and Inoue lets us be a part of his struggling, with all of these hallucination-scenes and wandering of the mind as well as pure technique and hardship.
Fighting 70 men in a ridiculous effort to save himself from being followed and killed in the dark, while knowing that this will most likely make his life even harder (revenge and such), is a truly unnerving way of showing a situation with no possible peaceful solution. There is no way of getting out of this situation alive and well and thus he chooses alive.
Scenes like these almost tore my heart out, imagining the pain, exhaustion and distress.
Definitely the best read about the meaning of martial-art I know.
And the art is just breathtaking. Someone wrote a comment about the scenery and realistic ancient culture, I second that.
For someone who can take realistic thoughts and is interested in the overall topic, this is a must-read.

... Last updated on May 11th, 2009, 2:43pm
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Ahhhh.....   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by GoldenKaos
June 23rd, 2011, 1:07pm
Amazing art. Fantastic action. One man on a journey.
Sure, this manga can be quite slow, with all the philosophy about sword-fighting, but that's what makes it an authentic samurai manga. Forget the fact that samurai were essentially sell-swords in real life, we remember them as semi-spiritual warriors that lived by a code of honour. Hey, if we read manga to escape real life, you might as well do it properly. This is the tale of Shinmen Takezo, who would later become the most famous swordsman of all, Miyamoto Musashi. It tells of how he ran away from his home village in search of glory and fame, and his bitter struggle with the realities of the world and creeping realization that his goal might only be an empty prize. A good, solid samurai manga with fantastic art and some of the best fights I've seen in seinen. I rate out of enjoyment more than quality, which is why this got a 10.
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Not for kids who desire only action.   
Rating: 9.7 / 10.0
by brown pillow
October 10th, 2010, 9:53pm
If you're just looking for sword fights, and don't like deep thinking or philosophy, save yourself the trouble.
Anywho, art's rad, realistically rad with some water paintings thrown in here and there; easy-to-follow action scenes won't have you wondering what's going on in the middle of a fight; plus good mix of adventure, philosophy, action and even a smidgen of romance. The way you're led through his life in these (currently) three-hundred chapters is such a beautiful gradient of his sort of metamorphism from beast to enlightened-- super Kafkaesque. I love this. The differing perspectives (Musashi, Kojiro, Matahachi) take a while to get used to, but once you do it's really quite something. Really sort of contextualizes the roles and lives of the three even more, and helps you appreciate them and this great piece of work even more.

... Last updated on December 7th, 2011, 10:34pm
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Very good... though not without problems   
Rating: 9.3 / 10.0
by VampireBanana
April 25th, 2009, 1:22am
The drawing is technically very good. In fact, everything from the characters, backgrounds, tones, etc., are accurately depicted and very well-constructed. In fact, I feel that the scenery is rather gorgeous and same for certain depictions of certain characters. However, at times, I feel like the art has sacrificed the ability to emote in favour of technicality.

The story is intriguing. I'm sure I've read a simpler version before but never has it been told and etched out in such detail. The conflicts, the various motives and lives of the entire cast is depicted and written with care. And the historical settings are very well-done, from the buildings to the food, to the clothings and behaviours of the people. (In fact, the story feels very historically realistic as opposed to an interpretation from a 21st century viewpoint.) And the action scenes are fairly cool too as even the varying sword techniques are depicted accurately and interestingly in terms of art and writing.

However, such an in-depth, panel-intensive approach to storytelling is not without risks when considering the immense cast involved as the series is what? Probably halfway through the total intended story arcs. This is further complicated by the philosophical aspects. Though interesting as they lend an introspective layer to this series, the author seems bent on repeating them so it adds on even more pages to an already lengthy saga.

And to me, the final blow is that by focusing too much on action and bloodshed at times, the writer has diminished the characterisation of Musashi by making him seem too murderous when he fights for other purposes. Yes, I understand the need to depict the blood-thirsty era of the samurai ages but without constant narration or other forms of storytelling techniques, it's hard to seriously and properly maintain the layers of his character or of the other cast. In contrast, I feel that Cesare, Historie and Vinland Saga do a much better job of preserving characterisation while depicting a story amidst blood-drenched histories. That is: showing the characters to be capable of extreme violence while not allowing the bloodthirst to overshadow the storytelling.

... Last updated on April 25th, 2009, 3:22am
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Awesome Series   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by stabby
May 19th, 2007, 3:08pm
Awesome. Especially enjoy not having to read the main character shouting out the names of his moves during every fight bigrazz

People complain it's slow, but that's because they're used to reading Bleach and Naruto. This manga seems to be aimed a bit higher than that ^_^
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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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Already a classic   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by gjoerulv
August 30th, 2006, 7:42am
As stated it's a bit slow, but not that slow. Allmost every manga with a deep story is slow so why complain? Did I mention the arts? It's magnificent!!
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The Best in its Genre!   
Rating: 9.7 / 10.0
by palabasa
June 7th, 2007, 7:58am
Spiritual but brutal is the approach of this manga..The story is great with some surprises, and more on character development is the focus. How to be enlightened using the way of the sword...Artwork is also awesome and just perfect for the brutality of the plot. Although i was hoping for a stronger romantic influence, it doesnt have to be major, just add some more..hehe
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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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Surprising   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by alexj2936
May 26th, 2011, 8:10pm
I have to admit I was dodging the manga every time it came up in the recommendations of pretty much every good manga I've ever read, thinking it was your typical hack and slash with a crappy storyline. Boy was I wrong, this manga is ridiculously good and the art is fantastic. If only Mutuhashi would just DIE it'd be perfect. Read it
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