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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.


Related Series

Associated Names

Groups Scanlating
Guren no Heya Kara

Latest Release(s)

Status in Country of Origin
37 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews

8 topics, 62 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 8.9 / 10.0 (1288 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.84 / 10.0
 45% (574 votes)
 28% (359 votes)
 15% (194 votes)
 6% (80 votes)
 2% (23 votes)
 1% (12 votes)
 0% (5 votes)
 0% (5 votes)
 1% (8 votes)
 2% (28 votes)

Last Updated
February 4th 2015, 7:27pm PST

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Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Morning (Kodansha)

Licensed (in English)

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

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #125 increased(+22)
Monthly Pos #108 increased(+51)
3 Month Pos #161 increased(+65)
6 Month Pos #218 increased(+64)

List Stats
On 4210 reading lists
On 1540 wish lists
On 153 unfinished lists
On 404 custom lists

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

Forum Posts
Vagabond to Resume on January 29 40 days, 20 hours, 24 minutes ago
Vagabond's Return Delayed Until Fall 258 days, 4 hours, 14 minutes ago
Vagabond Returns March 15 611 days, 8 hours, 11 minutes ago
Why is there no discussion thread for this masterpiece? 974 days, 10 hours, 34 minutes ago
Vagabond VizBig 11 1018 days, 9 hours, 29 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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Loving it   
Rating: N/A
by sunglasses
April 29th, 2009, 5:16pm
I don't know why I love Takehiko Inoue's work so much. Maybe it's because of the character development. Maybe it's because of the magnificent and mesmerizing artwork. Maybe, it's because... of the overflowing and havoc-wrecking emotion that fixes your attention on the action... and the drama... I recommend this to anyone who liked Slam Dunk.
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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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Rating: N/A
by GodOfMadness
April 13th, 2009, 7:44am
The art is amazing. The storyline is amazing. This manga is amazing. I don't think Otsū and Musashi will develop a relationship, he's "The way of the sword" all the way. But I don't want her with Musashi's childhood friend either >.< He's a coward and a jerk.
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by serobins
April 9th, 2009, 10:33pm
I read this religiously, buy the books, and rate it a ten based on the art alone. The drawing is just plain amazing.

The story is alright. It's usually a dozen chapters of gritty sword fights followed by a dozen chapters of Musashi moping around and philosophizing while he heals/trains. I like a good samurai disemboweling as much as the next girl, but I think I'm missing the point of a lot of the way of the sword stuff. Oddly, I like the side stories about Kojiro and Musashi's childhood friend better than the main story a lot of the time.
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rofl, you guys try too hard   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by xGunner1
February 23rd, 2009, 6:40pm
Reading some of these reviews, pretty god damn funny. Here's a quote

"For instance, there's this scene in which Musashi fights 70 samurai. The fight lasted...what? 20, 30 chapters? By the end of it, I was literally EXHAUSTED I wonder if the author did that on purpose to let us experience a bit of how tiring it must have been for Musashi to fight that many people..."

EXHAUSTION, happens when you sit in a chair reading manga. lmao

"First off, the art just makes me hyperventilate..."

0_o, im sorry but when I read mah manga I don't overexcite myself to the point of hyperventilation

*breathes heavily*

Main point is that you guys need to chill out and lighten up on your reviews a little, then again it gave me agood laugh XD!
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Very violent   
Rating: N/A
by JHax9999
February 16th, 2009, 8:39am
To the laughing idiot above me:

Heh, you're a peculiar one. I don't know why you feel the need to critique other people's reviews, but obviously you've never been taught any courtesy or manners. Dude, everyone reads manga differently. Some read it for a good laugh, others get caught up in the plot. Nothing wrong with either case. I don't give a damn how you read your manga, and neither do I tell you how to state your opinion. So, how about you stop telling others how to write their own review and actually contribute something relevant to the topic. Just a suggestion.
This manga is great. Beautiful art, riveting plot, morally ambiguous characters... all these make for a very interesting read.
But I just have to say, there is so much needless violence. And the brutality of the killings can be quite off-putting, especially when you're continuously bombarded with it throughout the whole manga.

For instance, there's this scene in which Musashi fights 70 samurai. The fight lasted...what? 20, 30 chapters? By the end of it, I was literally exhausted. I wonder if the author did that on purpose to let us experience a bit of how tiring it must have been for Musashi to fight that many people, or if he's really just doing fan-service for his gore-hog readers... but anyway, there's a whole bunch of bloodshed and really awful, just awful, killings.

My point is, it's just kinda hard to like a character when you see him kill a man in cold blood, and then see the man's little kid come running out and crying over his dead body. Pretty hard to clap for the victor there, unless of course, your a bit of a jerk and that stuff amuses you. If that's the case, good for you, you've hit the goldmine with this manga. Anyway, this isn't a criticism, it's just to show you how morally ambiguous and dark the tone of the story is, and what a tough position this can put you in as a reader. This manga is heavy reading, not the rainbows and lollipop stuff you get from most manga.

Anyway, if your a bit of a saddist, and you like gorey stuff, along with a pretty great storyline, this manga is for you. But be warned, things are gonna get ugly, fast.

... Last updated on March 11th, 2009, 7:33am
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reaaally good   
Rating: N/A
by elalendi
February 14th, 2009, 8:33pm
First off, the art just makes me hyperventilate. I mean, you have to be blind not to appreciate it. Everything's so realistic... the color pages make me squeal... action scenes are just awesome and every detail is just PERFECT.

Now the story is surprisingly good too. I'm not a big fan of historical/samurai stuff, and I had no idea who the heck Musashi was before I read this, and didn't care to learn about him, but when I picked it up just to look at the art I was surprised to find myself immediately absorbed. THe pacing's kinda slow but really consistent. The plot's very interesting, got all the good elements of violence (but not too graphic or annoyingly pornographic with so many sex and rape scenes like you'd see in other seinen works), in-depth characters, blah blah, and it's "orderly" (as in not confusing and all over the place). And I love how the story is told sometimes, with flashbacks and POV changes coordinated really well. Oh, and the protagonist is very likable, and there's even a heroine (sort of) who's super likable too.

So... I definitely recommend this. But you might need a lotta time on your hands since this is looong.
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by strayed
January 27th, 2009, 4:34am
looking for a masterpiece? perfect proportional drawing? great samurai fighting? then VAGABOND is your choice!
this manga doesn't have even a single point of unsatisfying!
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Fantastic artwork coupled with slightly above average story telling   
Rating: N/A
by kiron216
January 13th, 2009, 9:44pm
Artwork is good. Very good. So good that it makes up for a lackluster story. I like how the injuries and sword fights are realistic in comparison to other mangas but it does not deserve an 8.9 when hajime no ippo got 8.71.
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Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by mono-sama
October 27th, 2008, 5:10am
a good seinen samurai epic
the artwork is fantastic, character development good and the pace is nice.
im still getting a bit bored of it though......
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