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


Related Series

Associated Names

Groups Scanlating
Guren no Heya Kara

Latest Release(s)
c.325-327 by Imperial Scans over 2 years ago
c.327 by HappyScans! & Guren no Heya Kara over 2 years ago
c.326 by HappyScans! & Guren no Heya Kara over 2 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
37 Volumes (Hiatus)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews

9 topics, 67 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 8.9 / 10.0 (1433 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.85 / 10.0
 44% (631 votes)
 28% (404 votes)
 15% (221 votes)
 6% (88 votes)
 2% (30 votes)
 1% (11 votes)
 0% (5 votes)
 0% (5 votes)
 1% (8 votes)
 2% (30 votes)

Last Updated
September 28th 2017, 4:31am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Morning (Kodansha)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Viz (37 Volumes - Ongoing)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #228 (No change)
Monthly Pos #146 decreased(-21)
3 Month Pos #117 (No change)
6 Month Pos #110 increased(+17)

List Stats
On 4754 reading lists
On 1755 wish lists
On 163 unfinished lists
On 509 custom lists

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

Forum Posts
70 Vs 1 over 2 years ago
Vagabond to Resume on January 29 over 2 years ago
Vagabond's Return Delayed Until Fall over 3 years ago
Vagabond Returns March 15 over 4 years ago
Why is there no discussion thread for this masterpiece? over 5 years ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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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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Rating: 1.0 / 10.0
by remi39
November 13th, 2011, 11:49pm
i was anticipating a lot considering the hype, but i was greatly disappointed. the art and the sporadic action sequences are decent, but the story, though realistic it may be, is just plain annoying. i really can't stand any of the characters throughout and for me to want to read a manga, i have to have at least have one character in it i can root for

... Last updated on November 13th, 2011, 11:52pm
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Your Mileage May Vary   
Rating: 6.0 / 10.0
by blackmokona
July 12th, 2011, 7:22pm
Well, I agree with people saying Oh I should have loved this but for some reason I didn't. I like brutal fights, slice of life and general badasses, but I can't love Vagabond. Yes it might be too slow, and the author just had to keep implying that the story will be like an epic too. I found myself asking: will anything remotely resembling a plot twist take up a volume by itself? If an entire chapter or two, I can't remember, were spent building up tension for and fighting simple small fries, what will the arc for the big boss look like? Well yes those pages were also introducing our characters, but it doesn't justify so many one-two pages spreads.

For the length of the pages I read which might have numbered close 200, I noticed that Inoue didn't set out to impress. His style of slice of life might have resembled a little too nearly the period life, which could have worked, had it not been a century since then. We tend to prize realism with regard to the current period and appreciate its criticism of society, but this series of a man's struggles plainly wasn't interesting enough to hold attention, much less cause controversy.

In fact, I was basically unmoved by anything except the occasional instances of great artwork. Oh look, they're survivors of war! They're sympathetic thieves! Even though their circumstances inspire, their personalities are far too removed from me to be able to give a damn. Add that to the simple plot (but not simplistic, to be fair), ugly women littering the panels, and Vagabond proves to be a frustrating read. Of course, this is apparently a case of Your Mileage May Vary.

... Last updated on July 14th, 2011, 11:54pm
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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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Rating: 5.0 / 10.0
by TaoPaiPai
June 17th, 2011, 1:15am
There is ALOT of standing around in this manga
there is lots of philosophical mumbojumbo about sword fighting[that gets annoying fast]
the art is nice for the most part...the woman tend to look ugly and dissfigured but most of the characters are male and look overall good

the biggest problem for me is the standing around and having inner dialogues...oo he is so strong if i beat him ill be famous
im not scared
im strong ... i can win,im not afraid,i know he is afraid of me,my speed is great,he might be fast,no,i can not lose,i will win,my sword is superior,i will become the greatest swordsman ever ASO ASO
then its the other guys turn to have inner dialogues

then we have a couple of pages showing how the fight might turn out if musashi do one move
then some more pages on how the outcome will be if he does another move

Musashis first "real" fight took 7 volumes of 90% standing in one spot imagining the fight

DBZ dragged on the fights sure
this is DBZx10
and to me this is boring
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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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Good, but lacking   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by barbapapa
January 18th, 2011, 5:39pm
I definitely agree with the comment below. Stylistically Vagabond is rather accomplished, but Inoue's characters lack a humane aspect. Not that it's not there, but it doesn't feel real. They act almost like robots, who have had emotions programmed into them.
Now I'm not saying this is a bad manga, but I feel that its status is exaggerated.
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Is this really amazing!?   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by taiga2009
October 18th, 2010, 11:08pm
I know I am going to get nasty messages for this statement but this series just doesn't bring me to my knees. I think the art is violent, raw and beautiful and at the beginning I had sympathy for the characters but then I lost it. I started to not care what happened, there was no feeling of anticipation. The series could have ended with our hero impaled on a tree and I would not have blinked. The fact that I did not fall entire fall this manga leaves me wondering why, the story line is the type I like and the art is beautiful, I should rightly love it! I think perhaps some aspect of the delivery is lacking for me, perhaps the way the manga goes from character to character or is so disjointed or something. What ever the reason after the first 4 volumes I felt no emotional response to the characters whatsoever. I should have some feeling or response, even if it is not affection. I merely didn't care enough to hate it.
Someone commented on the manga feeling 'real and accurate' above but while the manga style is less stylized than many other type there was still a certain feeling of unreality to the manga. I think this feeling of unreality is also part of my lack of reponse to this on an emotional level. If I can't believe in the characters I can't feel anything for them perhaps.
As this mangaka's work is beautiful artistically I hope he can improve his delivery also.
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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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Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by evil4hunter
September 15th, 2009, 5:54am
This manga is just so great . When i 1st read this manga . i knew right away it's inoue's.The art and the story are awesome . the battle scenes are good.I would have given it a 10 if there wasn't a man called Mushashi in real life biggrin

... Last updated on September 15th, 2009, 5:55am
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