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Topics - Griffith

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Vagabond / Smile
« on: March 12, 2011, 06:43:22 AM »
What do you do when you burn out on your heavy samurai epic? You draw smiles, lots of them, on twitter:

Judging from the recent hash tags (#tsunami, #prayforjapan) the latest flurry, 20 and counting in 6 hours, is obviously inspired by the earthquake and its aftermath. Though, the whole concept can't help but remind me of old man Yagyu's last advice to Musashi...

 "Smile more."

Inoue certainly believes it.:ganishka:

News & Not News / Japanese 9.0 earthquake thread
« on: March 11, 2011, 07:24:24 AM »
Massive 8.9 quake, tsunamis hit Japan

My first thought, besides "wow" of course, was, "I hope Miura's okay." :schierke:

Seems that was as silly in more ways than one though, as they're not talking about deaths yet; so far so good then when they're discussing it in terms of homes without power rather than homes and people destroyed. Helps when you have a modern infrastructure so you don't get flattened like when these quakes hit developing countries.

Creation Station / MOVED: Casca Sculpture
« on: September 30, 2010, 06:03:53 AM »

Anime Asylum / BERSERK: RECUT (ベルセルク:再切断)
« on: September 29, 2010, 01:23:59 AM »

The BERSERK: RECUT (ベルセルク:再切断) Project

BERSERK: RECUT (ベルセルク:再切断) is a fan project with the goal of editing the Kenpū Denki Berserk (剣風伝奇ベルセルク) anime to more faithfully represent the manga and Miura's vision. The result is hopefully a more faithful and streamlined anime adaptation of Berserk using the manga as script and storyboard. Feel free to compare it to the original anime as well as the manga. As a matter of fact, for the best experience it's recommended that you read the manga along with it. All feedback is welcome.

Releases (updated weekly): Part 01, Part 02, Part 03, Part 04, Part 05, Part 06, Part 07, Part 08, Part 09, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24 (New!)

Next Release: TBA

BERSERK: RECUT (ベルセルク:再切断)


BERSERK: RECUT (ベルセルク:再切断) 1

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Speculation Nation / Was Rakshas there to follow Skull Knight?
« on: September 15, 2010, 07:57:17 AM »
One of the questions during the final showdown with Ganishka was what Rakshas was doing there. It still hasn't been answered, but this is one idea. It's not a new idea, but it deserves further exploration. The hypothesis of this thread is that during their brief encounter on top of Ganishka, Rakshas, as per Griffith's plan, jumped from Zodd onto Skull Knight, whom he stayed with thereafter. Griffith/Femto said he knew Skully was coming, was expecting him in fact, and even used him in his plans already. The most likely and knowable motive behind this move, beyond tracking Skull Knight's movements, would be to pinpoint the location of Skellig and Elfhelm itself, which all encompass the largest known threats to Griffith's rule.

So, lets establish the plausibility of Rakshas being able to make such a move and blend in with Skully undetected, as well as iron out some other wrinkles. First, examine Rakshas' appearance, abilities, and freedom of movement below:

Now, let's recreate the scene on top of Ganishka, focusing on Zodd, Rakshas, and Skull Knight:

While there's certainly no conclusive evidence of Rakshas making his way onto Skully (you have no idea how long I stared at these images zoomed to the max looking for a "Zodd on the rocky knoll"-type smoking gun shot of Rakshas =), it's quite easy to imagine him making the transition. Hell, with it mind, it's hard not to imagine it in those pictures. You could literally be looking at Rakshas in all three of those images but not be able to discern him from Skull Knight's cape. That coincidence both adds to the plausibility of him hiding on Skully while making it impossible to confirm or deny without a positive ID. Of course, I'm not saying Miura actually drew him in those shots, he didn't, but he didn't have to in order to maintain the plausibility of Rakshas having jumped on and hid there later (the point is he's supposed to be hiding after all). Rakshas remaining undetected is another matter, and where this idea becomes most theoretical. Rakshas would need to be able to hide his presence, albeit a specialty of his, from Skull Knight for the duration. A prohibitive notion, only our combined ignorance of the extent of Rakshas' and Skull Knight's abilities makes this inconclusive as well. On that note, since we've established there's little conclusive evidence, let's examine the circumstantial evidence next.

Back to the original question, after Rakshas was revealed to be on Zodd's wing, we naturally tried to guess what role he would play in the events to follow; what was he doing there? Well, unless you guessed "nothing we'll see," you were wrong. After his initial reveal, Rakshas wasn't just seemingly inconsequential, he was conspicuously absent; no further involvement, no reaction shots, not even another token appearance under Zodd's wing. Rakshas' complete silence in all this is pretty damn loud when you think about it. For instance, it's been established that he and Zodd are Griffith's personal bodyguards, so he could have been there merely in that capacity, except he sure did a piss poor job of it. When Skully attacked, Zodd reacted immediately and lunged at him, conveniently getting Rakshas extremely close, yet Rakshas didn't attack, or appear at all. If he was there as a bodyguard, shouldn't he have attacked Skully then as well, or at least had a reaction to the situation?

Speaking of reactions, considering that Griffith turned into Femto, Skull Knight attacked him, Zodd attacked Skull Knight, Ganishka died, the world was remade, and Falconia appeared as from nowhere, that's a lot to ignore. Every character of significance there, and even Guts' party at sea, had a reaction at some point:

Except Rakshas.

Why didn't we see Rakshas' reaction to any of this? He was at the epicenter of it, so why didn't we see his eyes lighting up along with Femto, Zodd, and Skull Knight? Why wasn't he included among the other Apostle lieutenants and everyone else when Falconia appeared? Well, if he was still hiding under Zodd's wing at the time, I guess we wouldn't see his reaction with the other... wait a minute, was he still on Zodd's wing at the time?


Back, and to the left.

Do you see Rakshas there? I don't. There's some dark splotches or shadows, but they still look consistent with the texture of the rest of Zodd's wings. Now, again, this is inconclusive at best, I even checked Zodd's wings in episode 302, as he's flying toward Ganishka, and you can't see Rakshas there either. Still, that was before his presence was established, this was after. At the very least, it means his whereabouts after the encounter with Skull Knight on top of Ganishka are inconclusive at best as well. Taken altogether, it doesn't just seem like coincidence, but design.

As a matter of fact, going back to the original question about Rakshas' purpose there, about the only thing you can say for sure that he was doing there was hiding. Now that might sound obtuse, but don't overlook it or think of it as passive happenstance and a non-action, because it certainly didn't go down that way. Extremes were taken for him to remain hidden, literally, and figuratively from the audience, like there was purpose behind it. So, if he was actively hidden, there was really only one person there for him to hide from, and at least one good reason I can think of...

Speculation Nation / Casca killing Griffith...?
« on: September 08, 2010, 12:25:23 AM »
While thinking about how Berserk's three main characters have all been the victims of abnormal and unhealthy sexual encounters in their youth, it occurred to me that all three would also have revenge and find empowerment over their perpetrators.

Revenge and empowerment are obviously major themes of Berserk, and these examples show a consistent sexual sub-cycle of those themes with the main characters. This got me thinking, what if Guts is not the one destined to get revenge against Griffith, as one would assume, but Casca is?

What say you, Vote, and share your thoughts, feelings, and scenarios for and against the idea of Casca killing Griffith. :idea:

Vagabond / Vagabond: Volume 33
« on: May 18, 2010, 08:03:04 AM »

Out May 27th in Japan.

Shootin' the Breeze / What'd you do over the weekend?
« on: April 12, 2010, 08:09:23 PM »
I went to visit MY GIRLFRIEND and ended up running around doing various things, even "DJing" (playing the music), at a scholarship dance event she put on at UCLA with real dancers. That same night got my drink on and played and won two games of tournament style Texas Hold'em Poker with some friends, one game in dramatic fashion by getting called all in with pocket aces (seriously =). Beat Mega Man 10 the next day, went back to see the girl Saturday night, did nothing but stay in Sunday, complete with pizza, beer, and a movie later; a winning weekend to that point, until I got some very sad news about a friend. This morning I got home just in time to get my car in for repairs so I can do it again.

How about you all?

And of course, it begins in Texas:

The nation’s public school curriculum may be in for a Texas-sized overhaul, if the Lone Star state’s influential recommendations for changes to social studies, economics and history textbooks are fully ratified later this spring. Last Friday, in a 10-to-5 vote split right down party lines, the Texas State Board of Education  approved some controversial right-leaning alterations to what most students in the state—and by extension, in much of the rest of the country—will be studying as received historical and social-scientific wisdom. After a public comment period, the board will vote on final recommendations in May.

Don McElroy, who leads the board’s powerful seven-member social conservative bloc, explained that the measure is a way of "adding balance" in the classroom, since "academia is skewed too far to the left." And the board's critics have labeled the move an attempt by political "extremists" to "promote their ideology."

The revised standards have far-reaching implications because Texas is a huge market leader in the school-textbook industry. The enormous print run for Texas textbooks leaves most districts in other states adopting the same course materials, so that the Texas School Board effectively spells out requirements for 80 percent of the nation’s textbook market. That means, for instance, that schools in left-leaning states like Oregon and Vermont could soon be teaching from textbooks that are short on references to Ted Kennedy but long on references to conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly.

Here are some of the other signal shifts that the Texas Board endorsed last Friday:

- A greater emphasis on “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s.” This means not only increased favorable mentions of Schlafly, the founder of the antifeminist Eagle Forum, but also more discussion of the Moral Majority, the Heritage Foundation, the National Rifle Association and Newt Gingrich's Contract With America.

- A reduced scope for Latino history and culture. A proposal to expand such material in recognition of Texas’ rapidly growing Hispanic population was defeated in last week’s meetings—provoking one board member, Mary Helen Berlanga, to storm out in protest. "They can just pretend this is a white America and Hispanics don’t exist," she said of her conservative colleagues on the board. "They are rewriting history, not only of Texas but of the United States and the world."

- Changes in specific terminology. Terms that the board’s conservative majority felt were ideologically loaded are being retired. Hence, “imperialism” as a characterization of America’s modern rise to world power is giving way to “expansionism,” and “capitalism” is being dropped in economic material, in favor of the more positive expression “free market.” (The new recommendations stress the need for favorable depictions of America’s economic superiority across the board.)

- A more positive portrayal of Cold War anticommunism. Disgraced anticommunist crusader Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin senator censured by the Senate for his aggressive targeting of individual citizens and their civil liberties on the basis of their purported ties to the Communist Party, comes in for partial rehabilitation. The board recommends that textbooks refer to documents published since McCarthy’s death and the fall of the Soviet bloc that appear to show expansive Soviet designs to undermine the U.S. government.

- Language that qualifies the legacy of 1960s liberalism. Great Society programs such as Title IX—which provides for equal gender access to educational resources—and affirmative action, intended to remedy historic workplace discrimination against African-Americans, are said to have created adverse “unintended consequences” in the curriculum’s preferred language.

- Thomas Jefferson no longer included among writers influencing the nation’s intellectual origins. Jefferson, a deist who helped pioneer the legal theory of the separation of church and state, is not a model founder in the board’s judgment. Among the intellectual forerunners to be highlighted in Jefferson’s place: medieval Catholic philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas, Puritan theologian John Calvin and conservative British law scholar William Blackstone. Heavy emphasis is also to be placed on the founding fathers having been guided by strict Christian beliefs.

- Excision of recent third-party presidential candidates Ralph Nader (from the left) and Ross Perot (from the centrist Reform Party). Meanwhile, the recommendations include an entry listing Confederate General Stonewall Jackson as a role model for effective leadership, and a statement from Confederate President Jefferson Davis accompanying a speech by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

- A recommendation to include country and western music among the nation’s important cultural movements. The popular black genre of hip-hop is being dropped from the same list.

None of these proposals has met with final ratification from the board—that vote will come in May, after a prolonged period of public comment on the recommendations. Still, the conservatives clearly feel like the bulk of their work is done; after the 120-page draft was finalized last Friday, Republican board member Terri Leo declared that it was "world class" and "exceptional."

So, goodbye to Thomas "Declaration of Independence" Jefferson from American thought; don't feel bad though, Tom, if this is any indication, it wasn't going to last much longer anyway.

Vagabond / Will Vagabond surpass Berserk...?
« on: February 05, 2010, 11:24:15 AM » official episode # before it's finished? :guts:

This is a fun little bet on account of their official episode designations being currently so close, Vagabond having been gaining for a while. This isn't really a question of "which is/will be bigger," Berserk is clearly the winner in that department with a few volumes worth of episodes that aren't even a part of its current tally, and unless Inoue lied to us, Berserk will continue long after Vagabond ends.

Anyway, as of today, Vagabond is at 289 and Berserk is at 310. Vagabond is released at a much faster pace than Berserk, but it might not last past the end of the year.  Obviously, starting with Vagabond #290 this week, Inoue has 20 episodes to make up, with Berserk #311 and Vagabond #291 on their way; which, wouldn't be a problem as Inoue can easily pump out ten episodes in ten weeks, except that he's said Vagabond will be done by the end of the year, which makes things rather tight depending on how many episodes Miura puts out in that time to offset Inoue's production.

That's where the debate gets interesting :zodd: ...or not. :ganishka:

Vagabond / Vagabond: Volume 32
« on: January 07, 2010, 09:51:51 AM »

January 15th in Japan, and Viz is releasing volume 31 only four days later.

Shootin' the Breeze / MLB Playoffs '09
« on: October 10, 2009, 06:32:24 AM »
Sports talk!

Watching the baseball playoffs, rooting for my beloved Dodgers, and loving all the match ups and even potential match ups to come, except where Rockies/Phillies series is concerned... does one of them really have to advance? Not that they're bad, it's just personal.

Anyway, my dream would be to see the Dodgers in the World Series of course, but if it were against the Yankees, or especially the Angels, that would be amazing!


Just got home from work with my first volume of Vagabond!  :guts:
It'll take me a while to catch up to you guys, but I'll be working at it.
Congrats man, awesome news! Let us know your impressions in the new readers thread when you're ready! :badbone:

P.S. Sports thread was an instant failure, as always, so I just merged it here. Maybe I'll try again during the World Cup. :ganishka:

Vagabond / Musha shugyō in YouTube
« on: September 25, 2009, 04:19:34 AM »
Another in my vain attempts to rip off every popular section of :zodd:

Post videos that even remotely relate to the Inn, like anything with swords, kung fu, fighting, basketball, sports, history, Japan, whatever.

First: the opening of Vagabond turned into a video.

And a spoiler alert for these two:
An actual Vagabond music video of Musashi vs the 70 Yoshioka set to Metallica. :magni:

Same deal as above except this one is with Musashi, Kojiro, and Ittosai at Sekigahara. Weird.

And since this thread doesn't have to really relate to Vagabond in particular, here's a kickboxing match with a guy named Musashi in it. :badbone:

Finally, the classic Home Shopping Network katana mishap. :casca:

And the remix. :ganishka:

Note: Musha shugyō is a warriors journey to practice and hone their art.

Vagabond / Merchandise (Open Thread)
« on: September 24, 2009, 02:59:47 AM »
Water: Vagabond Illustratiion Collection - Takehiko Inoue
ISBN: 1-4215-2058-3
Length: 164 pages

Water features Inoue’s masterful work in color. It also highlights artwork created specifically for this volume.

In a recent interview, Takehiko Inoue claimed that in his first major follow-up to Slam Dunk, he wanted to delve as deeply as possible into visual artistry. The result was the incredibly realized world of Vagabond, the Sistine Chapel of manga. This artbook captures the very best of Inoue's work, with images hand-selected by Inoue himself. Not one to skimp on color and image quality, Inoue also hand selected the specific printer. Water features Inoue’s masterful work in color. It also highlights artwork created specifically for this volume.

Sumi: Vagabond Illustration Collection - Takehiko Inoue
ISBN: 1-4215-2057-5
Length: 164 pages

Sumi presents Inoue's magnificent pen and brush work in black and white. It also includes a behind the scenes look at Vagabond with rough sketches and photos of Inoue's studio.

In a recent interview, Takehiko Inoue claimed that in his first major follow-up to Slam Dunk, he wanted to delve as deeply as possible into visual artistry. The result was the incredibly realized world of Vagabond, the Sistine Chapel of manga. This artbook captures the very best of Inoue's work, with images hand-selected by Inoue himself. Not one to skimp on reproduction and image quality, Inoue also hand selected the specific printer.

Sumi presents Inoue's magnificent pen and brush work in black and white. It also includes a behind the scenes look at Vagabond with rough sketches and photos of Inoue's studio.

Draw - Takehiko Inoue
DVD about the drawing of Vagabond.

Vagabond, Vol. 1 (VIZBIG Edition) - Inoue Takehiko
A Collection of Volumes 1 - 3
ISBN: 1-4215-2054-0
Length: 728 pages

Invincible Under the Sun
Real-life figure Miyamoto Musashi was the most celebrated samurai of all time. The quintessential warrior philosopher, Musashi authored A Book of Five Rings, a theoretical guide to military strategy still used today. But the path to enlightenment in feudal era Japan was fraught with peril. At seventeen years of age, Musashi--still known by his childhood name, Shinmen Takezo --was a wild young brute just setting out along the way of the sword.

In the aftermath of the epic Battle of Sekigahara, Takezo finds himself a fugitive survivor on the losing side of the war. Takezo's vicious nature has made him an outcast even in his own village, and he is hunted down like an animal. At this crucial crossroads in Takezo's life, an eccentric monk and a childhood friend are the only ones who can help him find his way.

Vagabond , Vol. 2 (VIZBIG Edition) - Inoue Takehiko
A Collection of Volumes 4 - 6
ISBN: 1-4215-2244-6
Length: 632 pages

Real-life figure Miyamoto Musashi was the most celebrated samurai of all time. The quintessential warrior philosopher, Musashi authored A Book of Five Rings, a classic treatise in the canon of world philosophy and military strategy. But the path to enlightenment is an endless journey, and to get there through violent means--by way of the sword--makes mere survival an even greater challenge.

Musashi sets out for Nara intent on challenging the warrior monks of legendary Hozoin Temple. But Musashi's growing feelings for his childhood friend Otsu may prove to be a fatal distraction in his match against Inshun, the austere master of Hozoin's deadly spear technique!

Vagabond , Vol. 3 (VIZBIG Edition) - Inoue Takehiko
A Collection of Volumes 7 - 9
ISBN: 1-4215-2245-4
Length: 616 pages

One With Heaven and Earth
Musashi suffers a humiliating defeat against Inshun, the second-generation master of Hôzôin Temple. To prepare for a rematch, Musashi undertakes an intense spiritual and physical training regimen with a most unlikely teacher--Inshun's predecessor, the founder of the Hozoin Spear Technique. To attain the focus necessary to take on the most technically proficient and deadliest fighter he has ever faced, Musashi will first have to confront his own deep-seated personal demons.

Vagabond , Vol. 4 (VIZBIG Edition) - Inoue Takehiko
A Collection of Volumes 10 - 12
ISBN:   1-4215-2246-2
Length: 664 pages

Infinite Universe
Musashi endeavors to take on sword master Yagyû Sekishûsai, a man recognized by many to be the greatest swordsman of his time. But with Sekishûsai far past his prime, does Musashi truly believe that killing a seemingly helpless old man in his sleep will take him further along the path?

Vagabond , Vol. 5 (VIZBIG Edition) - Inoue Takehiko
A Collection of Volumes 13 - 15
ISBN: 1-4215-2247-0
Length: 624 pages

Glimmering Waves
In a remote seaside village, an abandoned infant is left to the care of a reclusive old man who has all but renounced the ways of the world. This helpless child is destined to become Sasaki Kojirô--the legendary archrival of Miyamoto Musashi. Inoue's unique take on this enigmatic figure lays the foundation for his fictional account of the most famous rivalry in Japanese history.

Vagabond , Vol. 6 (VIZBIG Edition) - Inoue Takehiko
A Collection of Volumes 16 - 19
ISBN: 1-4215-2280-2
Length: 584 pages

Sasaki Kojirô is the man destined to become Miyamoto Musashi's greatest rival and opponent in the most well-known duel in the annals of Japanese history. As a deaf-mute young man coming of age in a remote seaside village, Kojirô's innate ability with the sword is compelling him to strive to become even better. This drive takes him beyond the borders of his peaceful village into the violent and chaotic world of feudal era Japan in the midst of a bloody war. Striving for enlightenment by way of the sword, Miyamoto Musashi is prepared to cut down anyone who stands in his way.

Musashi - Eiji Yoshikawa
The classic samurai novel about the real exploits of the most famous swordsman.

Miyamoto Musashi was the child of an era when Japan was emerging from decades of civil strife. Lured to the great Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 by the hope of becoming a samurai--without really knowing what it meant--he regains consciousness after the battle to find himself lying defeated, dazed and wounded among thousands of the dead and dying. On his way home, he commits a rash act, becomes a fugitive and brings life in his own village to a standstill--until he is captured by a weaponless Zen monk.

The lovely Otsu, seeing in Musashi her ideal of manliness, frees him from his tortuous punishment, but he is recaptured and imprisoned. During three years of solitary confinement, he delves into the classics of Japan and China. When he is set free again, he rejects the position of samurai and for the next several years pursues his goal relentlessly, looking neither to left nor to right.

Ever so slowly it dawns on him that following the Way of the Sword is not simply a matter of finding a target for his brute strength. Continually striving to perfect his technique, which leads him to a unique style of fighting with two swords simultaneously, he travels far and wide, challenging fighters of many disciplines, taking nature to be his ultimate and severest teacher and undergoing the rigorous training of those who follow the Way. He is supremely successful in his encounters, but in the Art of War he perceives the way of peaceful and prosperous governance and disciplines himself to be a real human being.

He becomes a reluctant hero to a host of people whose lives he has touched and been touched by. And, inevitably, he has to pit his skill against the naked blade of his greatest rival.

Musashi is a novel in the best tradition of Japanese story telling. It is a living story, subtle and imaginative, teeming with memorable characters, many of them historical. Interweaving themes of unrequited love, misguided revenge, filial piety and absolute dedication to the Way of the Samurai, it depicts vividly a world Westerners know only vaguely. Full of gusto and humor, it has an epic quality and universal appeal.

Go Rin No Sho (The  Book of Five Rings) - Miyamoto Musashi
The Book of Five Rings  is one of the most insightful texts on the subtle arts of confrontation and victory to emerge from Asian culture. Written not only for martial artists but for anyone who wants to apply the timeless principles of this text to their life, the book analyzes the process of struggle and mastery over conflict that underlies every level of human interaction. The Book of Five Rings was composed in 1643 by the famed duelist and undefeated samurai Miyamoto Musashi.

The Unfettered Mind - Takuan Soho
So succinct are the author's insights that these writings have outlasted the dissolution of the samurai class to come down to the present and be read for guidance and inspiration by the captains of business and industry, as well as those devoted to the practice of the martial arts in their modern form.

Miyamoto Musashi: His Life and Writings - Kenji Tokitsu
Miyamoto Musashi, who lived in Japan in the fifteenth century, was a renowned samurai warrior. He has become a martial arts icon, known not just as an undefeated dueler, but also as a master of battlefield strategy. Kenji Tokitsu turns a critical eye on Musashi's life and writings, separating fact from fiction, and giving a clear picture of the man behind the myth. Musashi's best-known work, The Book of Five Rings , provides timeless insight into the nature of conflict. Tokitsu translates and provides extensive commentary on that popular work, as well as three other short texts on strategy that were written before it, and a longer, later work entitled "The Way to Be Followed Alone." Tokitsu is a thoughtful and informed guide, putting the historical and philosophical aspects of the text into context, and illuminating the etymological nuances of particular Japanese words and phrases. As a modern martial artist and a scholar, Tokitsu provides a view of Musashi's life and ideas that is accessible and relevant to today's readers and martial arts students.

About the Author
Kenji Tokitsu was born in Japan and began studying martial arts when he was a child. He has taught karate in Paris since 1971. In 1984, he founded the Shaolin-mon school, where he teaches a synthesis of the original combat arts of Japan and China. In 2001, he established the Tokitsu-ryu Academy ( to teach and promote his method. Tokitsu also holds doctorates in sociology and in Japanese language and civilization.

The Samurai Trilogy - Hiroshi Inagaki
Based on the novel that has been called Japan's Gone With the Wind, Hiroshi Inagaki's acclaimed Samurai Trilogy is a sweeping saga of the legendary 17th-century samurai Musashi Miyamoto (portrayed by Toshiro Mifune) set against the turmoil of a devastating civil war. Now available for the first time together in a specially priced gift pack, the films follow Musashi's odyssey from unruly youth to enlightened warrior in an epic tale of combat, valor, and self-discovery.

Vagabond Sculpture Arts Musashi (PVC Figure)
Manufacturer: SQUARE ENIX
Material: Polyresin
Series: Sculpture Arts
Original: Vagabond
Release Date: September 2008

Vagabond Sculpture Arts Sasaki Kojiro (PVC Figure)
Manufacturer: SQUARE ENIX
Material: Polyresin
Series: Sculpture Arts
Original: Vagabond

Vagabond Sculpture Arts Yoshioka Seijuro (PVC Figure)
Manufacturer: SQUARE ENIX
Material: Polyresin
Series: Sculpture Arts
Original: Vagabond
Release Date: April

© 1998-2009 I.T. Planning, Inc.
© 2002-2008 Viz Media, LLC.

Vagabond / Volumes (Open Thread)
« on: September 24, 2009, 02:59:16 AM »
Vagabond, Vol. 1 - Inoue Takehiko, March 1999 (Kodansha) / March 2002 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328619-9
ISBN (US): 1-59116-034-0
Length: 248 pages

001: Shinmen Takezo
002: Akemi
003: Oko
004: The Brigand Tsujikaze
005: Blood Game
006: The Troubles of Hon'iden Matahachi at Seventeen
007: Farewell Takezo
008: Miyamoto Village
009: Fiancee
010: Left Behind
Striving for enlightenment by way of the sword, Miyamoto Musashi is prepared to cut down anyone who stands in his way. Vagabond is an action-packed portrayal of the life and times of the quintessential warrior-philosopher--the most celebrated samurai of all time!

Vagabond, Vol. 2 - Inoue Takehiko, March 1999 (Kodansha) / June 2002 (Viz)
ISBN (JP):4-06-328620-5
ISBN (US): 1-59116-035-9
Length: 240 pages
011: Demon
012: Takuan
013: Life
014: Cut Down
015: No Fear
016: Captured
017: Invincible Under the Sun
018: Tree of Shame
019: The Demon's Child
020: Death
021: A Place in the Sun
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.

Vagabond, Vol. 3 - Inoue Takehiko, July 1999 (Kodansha) / Sept. 2002 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328644-1
ISBN (US): 1-59116-049-9
Length: 232 pages

022: Miyamoto Musashi
023: First Step
024: The Challenge
025: Chaos at the Yoshioka School
026: The Master
027: Instinct
028: Demon II
029: Ignorance
030: A Single Stroke
031: Inferno
Tokugawa Era Japan: a new government has just taken power and the land is in disarray. Amidst the turmoil, a young man sets out on a journey seeking spiritual enlightenment by the way of the sword, prepared to slay anyone who might get in his way! Adapted from the fictionalized biography MUSASHI by Eiji Yoshikawa, Takehiko Inoue depicts the life and times of real-life "sword saint" Miyamoto Musashi.

Vagabond, Vol. 4 - Inoue Takehiko, Oct. 1999 (Kodansha) / Dec. 2002 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328658-8
ISBN (US): 1-56931-854-9
Length: 208 pages

032: Wanderers
033: Departures
034: Departures II
035: Distraction
036: Hozoin
037: Bloodthirst
038: Graceless
039: Inshun
040: Agon
Legendary sword-saint, Miyamota Musashi, was one of the most renowned samurai of all time. But the path to greatness is filled with difficulty--Musashi is divided between his aspiration to be the greatest swordman in the land and his growing feelings of love for his friend from childhood, Otsu. As Musashi struggles to deal with these issues, he heads to Hozoin Temple, to challenge the practitioners of its famous spear fighting technique.

Vagabond, Vol. 5 - Inoue Takehiko, Jan. 2000 (Kodansha) / March 2003 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328672-4
ISBN (US): 1-56931-893-X
Length: 208 pages

041: The Assassin
042: Howl
043: Inshun's Spear
044: Life
045: Unease
046: The Demon Within
047: Fear
048: Fear II
049: Fear III
Legendary sword-saint Miyamoto Musashi was one of the most renowned samurai of all time. But the path to greatness is filled with difficulty, and Musashi is confronted by the greatest challenge he has yet to face when he encounters the spear fighting technique of Inshun, the second-generation master of Hozoin Temple. Will Inshun's ferociously sublime skill be more than even Musashi can handle?

Vagabond, Vol. 6 - Inoue Takehiko, April 2000 (Kodansha) / June 2003 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328685-4
ISBN (US): 1-56931-894-8
Length: 216 pages

050: Surviving
051: Lying Low
052: Lying Low II
053: Journey
054: Vision
055: The Decision of a Formerly Kept Man
056: Osaka
057: Vermin
058: Sasaki Kojiro
059: Hozoin Pickles
Fear, failure, disgrace...Even the most renowned swordsman of all time had his low moments. For the first time ever, Miyamoto Musashi suffers a humilating loss when he takes on the deadly spear technique of Inshun, the second-generation master of Hozoin Temple. Dealing with defeat can be even more daunting of a task than facing the fiercest of warriors. Will Mushashi be up for his latest challenge?

Vagabond, Vol. 7 - Inoue Takehiko, July 2000 (Kodansha) / Sept. 2003 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328702-8
ISBN (US): 1-59116-073-1
Length: 200 pages

060: Duel's Eve
061: Duel's Eve II
062: Dawn
063: Spider's Thread
064: Heaven and Earth
065: Legacy
066: The Master
067: Kami'Izumu Ise No Kami Hidetsuna
068: No Sword
Daunting tasks lie before Miyamoto Musashi--He must overcome his own personal demons as he prepares for a rematch with Inshun, the most technically proficient and deadliest fighter he has ever faced. This time, Musashi won't run away, even if his life depends on it.

Vagabond, Vol. 8 - Inoue Takehiko, Oct. 2000 (Kodansha) / Dec. 2003 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328720-2
ISBN (US): 1-59116-119-3
Length: 216 pages

069: Life II
070: Life III
071: Inshun
072: Shinnosuke
073: Playing in the Sand
074: Sudden Storm
075: Survivors
076: Don't Put Your Life on the Line
077: They Call me Sensei
078: Ascending Dragon
Martial arts is more than just battling to defeat your opponent; it's a mental test to overcome yourself. Inshun of Hozoin Temple comes upon this realization in midst of his epic rematch against Musashi. Last time, Inshun was too much for Musashi to handle, but now the tables are turned as Inshun faces his own personal demons as well as a new and revitalized Musashi.

Vagabond, Vol. 9 - Inoue Takehiko, Feb. 2001 (Kodansha) / March 2004 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328736-3
ISBN (US): 1-59116-256-4
Length: 208 pages

079: The Yagyu
080: Coming Home
081: The Peony Message
082: Successor to the Invincible
083: Legacy
084: Promise
085: Ship of Stone
086: A Round of Discussion
087: Provocateur
To the trained eye, a single cut flower can be more revealing about a man's fighting skills than witnessing a duel to the death. When Musashi is given a flower cut by master swordsman Yagyu Sekishusai, he realizes he must seek this man out--for Sekishusai may turn out to be the greatest swordsman Musashi will ever meet.

Vagabond, Vol. 10 - Inoue Takehiko, May 2001 (Kodansha) / April 2004 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328755-4
ISBN (US): 1-59116-340-4
Length: 224

088: Disciple
089: One Man Battle
090: The Battle
091: Bamboo Flute
092: The Four Senior Disciples
093: Valor
094: Retribution
095: Longing
096: Reunion
097: Sliding Door
A master is responsible for his disciples actions. When Jotaro commits a serious offense on the estate of the Yagyu Clan, Musashi must face the penalty for his young protege's actions. Now Musashi is prepared to take out every man in the clan until he comes face to face with the great master of the house, Yagyu Sekishushi. Was this Musashi's plan all along?

Vagabond, Vol. 11 - Inoue Takehiko, Aug. 2001 (Kodansha) / May 2004 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328763-9
ISBN (US):1-59116-396-X
Length: 224

098: Unrivaled
099: Son of the Invincible
100: The Real Thing
101: Blue Sky
102: The Infinite Universe
103: Farewell at Dawn
104: Autumn Sky
105: Journey
106: Footprints
107: The Road to Ise
Japan's most celebrated samurai, sword-saint Miyamoto Musashi, wasn't always an enlightened warrior-philosopher--for the path to greatness is filled with adversity and difficult life-decisions. Musashi wants to take on Yagyu Sekishusai, a man recognized by many to be the greatest living swordsman around. But Sekishusai is an ailing old man and Musashi is on the verge of killing him in his sleep. Will this act truly take Musashi further along the path to enlightenment by way of the sword?

Vagabond, Vol. 12 - Inoue Takehiko, Nov. 2001 (Kodansha) / June 2004 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328779-0
ISBN (US): 1-59116-434-6
Length: 216 pages

108: Summit
109: Sea of Clouds
110: Uncle Gon
111: Lowlife
112: Mother
113: Osugi's Ordeal
114: He and I
115: Apparition
116: Baiken
117: Chain and Sickle
Miyamoto Musashi is a man destined to be revered as a sword-saint and one of Japan's most celebrated samurai. But Musashi wasn't always an enlightened warrior-philosopher--for the path to greatness is filled with adversity and perilous danger. In this volume Musashi seeks out Shishido Baiken, a master of the deadly sickle and chain. Will Musashi's sword be able to stand true against this most unusual of weapons?

Vagabond, Vol. 13 - Inoue Takehiko, March 2002 (Kodansha) / July 2004 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328804-9
ISBN (US): 1-59116-451-6
Length: 216 pages

118: Rindo
119: The Girl and the God of Death
120: The Resurrection of the God of Death
121: Two Swords
122: Moths
123: Akebi Fruit
124: Connections
125: Spiral
126: Tsujikaze Kohei I
127: Tsujikaze Kohei II
Miyamoto Musashi is destined to be Japan's most celebrated samurai, a man revered as a sword-saint. But for now, Musashi is on the brink of death fighting against an enemy armed with the unconventional but deadly sickle and chain. Out of pure instinct he resorts to using both his long and short swords at the same time. This single act of desperation is the historic start to what will eventually become Musashi's signature sword-fighting technique as well as a quantum leap in the world of martial arts.

Vagabond, Vol. 14 - Inoue Takehiko, June 2002 (Kodansha) / Aug. 2004 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328823-0
ISBN (US): 1-59116-452-4
Length: 208 pages

128: The Letter
129: Hands
130: Glimmering Waves
131: Seaweed
132: Fate
133: To Live by the Sword
134: Driftwood
135: The Plan
136: Kojiro and Tenki
Miyamoto Musashi is destined to be Japan's most celebrated samurai, a man revered as a sword-saint. But every great warrior needs a worthy rival and Sasaki Kojiro is destined to be Musashi's legendary opponent in the most well known duel in Japanese history. This volume goes into the background and childhood of the man famed for his deadly "swallow cut" sword stroke.

Vagabond, Vol. 15 - Inoue Takehiko, Oct. 2002 (Kodansha) / Sept. 2004 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328850-6
ISBN (US): 1-59116-453-2
Length: 208 pages

137: A Gift from the Sea
138: Farewell Kojiro
139: Butterfly
140: Flames
141: Sword against Sword
142: Savior
143: The Kanimaki Dojo
Miyamoto Musashi is destined to be Japan's most celebrated samurai, a man revered as a sword-saint. But every great warrior needs a worthy rival and Sasaki Kojiro with his deadly "swallow cut" is destined to be Musashi's legendary opponent in the most well known duel in Japanese history. This volume goes into the background and childhood of the man famed for his deadly "swallow cut" sword stroke.

Vagabond, Vol. 16 - Inoue Takehiko, Feb. 2003 (Kodansha) / Oct. 2004 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328871-1
ISBN (US): 1-59116-454-0
Length: 200 pages

144: Master and Pupil
145: The Fifth Year of Keicho (1600 C.E.)
146: Senior Disciple
147: Jisai's Cocoon.
148: Tiger
149: Blood Bath
150: Mad Tiger
Sasaki Kojiro, renowned for his deadly "swallow-cut," is the man destined to be sword-saint Miyamoto Musashi's greatest rival and opponent in the most well known duel in the annals of Japanese history. This volume further explores the background of the abandoned deaf orphan Kojiro as he comes of age and develops into a bloodthirsty swordsman with sublime skills.

Vagabond, Vol. 17 - Inoue Takehiko, June 2003 (Kodansha) / Nov. 2004 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328891-9
ISBN (US): 1-59116-455-9
Length: 192 pages

151: Numb
152: Brothers
153: Blood Battle
154: Shore of Blood
155: The Departure
156: A Complete Life
157: Ganryu
Kojiro is invincible under the sun! Sasaki Kojiro, renowned for his deadly "swallow-cut," is the man destined to be sword-saint Miyamoto Musashi's greatest rival and opponent in the most well known duel in the annals of Japanese history. While Musashi is an untamed beast driven by pure instinct, Kojiro is an icy, cold-blooded killer. This volume further explores the background of the abandoned deaf orphan Kojiro as he comes of age and develops into a bloodthirsty swordsman with sublime skills.

Vagabond, Vol. 18 - Inoue Takehiko, Nov. 2003 (Kodansha) / Dec. 2004 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328916-9
Length: 200 pages
ISBN (US): 1-59116-642-X

158: Muso Gonnosuke
159: The Stage
160: Battlefield
161: Those who Defy Death
162: Rampage of the Beast
163: Six O'Clock at Sekigahara
164: Refugee Hunters
Kojiro is invincible under the sun! Sasaki Kojiro, renowned for his deadly "swallow-cut," is the man destined to be sword-saint Miyamoto Musashi's greatest rival and opponent in the most well known duel in the annals of Japanese history. While Musashi is an untamed beast driven by pure instinct, Kojiro is an icy cold-blooded killer. Blood and carnage abound when these two young men have a chance encounter at the Battle of Sekigahara.

Vagabond, Vol. 19 - Inoue Takehiko, March 2004 (Kodansha) / Jan. 2005 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328945-9
ISBN (US): 1-59116-643-8
Length: 200 pages

165: Death Torches
166: First Friend
167: Mountain of Shattered Dreams
168: Over the Mountain
169: The Distant Ocean
170: Strands of the Departed
171: The Sword
Sasaki Kojiro, renowned for his deadly "swallow-cut," is the man destined to be sword-saint Miyamoto Musashi's greatest rival and opponent in the most well-known duel in the annals of Japanese history. But for now, Kojiro has been abandoned by his brutal master Ito Ittosai, and must contend with the vicious refugee hunters and ruthless scavengers that abound in the aftermath of the Battle of Sekigahara.

Vagabond, Vol. 20 - Inoue Takehiko, July 2004 (Kodansha) / Feb. 2005 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-328970-1
ISBN (US): 1-59116-583-0
Length: 224 pages

172: Sons
173: The Desire to Fight
174: Ichizo
175: Younger Brother
176: Open Mind
177: Koun and Kojiro
178: Koun and Kojiro II
179: Koun and Kojiro III
Sasaki Kojiro, renowned for his deadly "swallow-cut," is the man destined to be sword-saint Miyamoto Musashi's greatest rival and opponent in the most well-known duel in the annals of Japanese history. In the aftermath of the Battle of Sekigahara, Kojiro comes face to face with emotions previously unknown to him--fear and desperation. Far from being daunted, Kojiro embraces these feelings and allows them to shape him into what may be the ultimate swordsman.

Vagabond, Vol. 21 - Inoue Takehiko, Sept. 2005 (Kodansha) / June 2006 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-372464-6
ISBN (US): 1-4215-0741-2
Length: 224 pages

180: Gathering in Kyoto
181: Carving Demons
182: First Snow
183: The Same Moon
184: Eagle and Ant
185: Rendaiji
186: Altercation After Dark
187: Before Dawn
188: The Place Where I Belong
After one year, Musashi returns to Kyoto for a rematch with the Yoshioka brothers. Musashi is a changed man, but does he have what it takes to overcome the ferocity of the younger brother, Denshichiro, and the sublime skills of the older brother, Seijuro?

Vagabond, Vol. 22 - Inoue Takehiko, Feb. 2006 (Kodansha) / Aug. 2006 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-372497-4
ISBN (US): 1-4215-0818-4
Length: 208 pages

189: Burdened
190: The Death of Seijuro
191: Painting with Water
192: Koetsu and Myoshu
193: Bedlam in Kyoto
194: Talk of the Town
195: Confrontation of Rivals
196: Return of the Vainglorious
197: The Real Kojiro
A tempest of a man has arrived in Kyoto and the entire city is in a fervor, anticipating the storm to come. Musashi has returned for a rematch against Yoshioka Denshichiro, and he's prepared to take down all of the Yoshioka Dojo to defeat him!

Vagabond, Vol. 23 - Inoue Takehiko, June 2006 (Kodansha) / Oct. 2006 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-372526-1
ISBN (US): 1-4215-0826-5
Length: 208 pages

198: Grass, Snow, and Blood
199: Kojiro and Matahachi
200: Two Kojiros
201: Ladder to Success
202: Presumptuous
203: The Day After Tomorrow
204: Sword Sharpening
205: Sottaku
206: Straightforward
When the elder disciples of the Yoshioka Dojo realize that their leader, Yoshioka Denshichiro, is no match for Musashi, they come up with a dishonorable plan--to hire Sasaki Kojiro, a deaf-mute swordsman with a reputation as fierce as Musashi's, to fight their battle for them. Thus begins the saga of the greatest duel in Japanese history.

Vagabond, Vol. 24 - Inoue Takehiko, Oct. 2006 (Kodansha) / Feb. 2007 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-372553-7
ISBN (US): 1-4215-0827-3
Length: 208 pages

207: Afternoon Nap
208: Chance Encounter
209: A Long Detour
210: Rivals at Play
211: On the Eve of Battle
212: Bright New Morning
213: Worthless Junk
214: Rengeoin
215: It's Already Begun
On the eve of his duel with the leader of the great Yoshioka School, Musashi takes a step back to reflect upon his past in order to acquire a higher level of understanding and awareness. However, a chance encounter with deaf-mute swordsman Sasaki Kojiro provides an impromptu preview of what will become the greatest duel in the annals of Japanese history.

Vagabond, Vol. 25 - Inoue Takehiko, March 2007 (Kodansha) / May 2007 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-372582-7
ISBN (US): 1-4215-0975-X
Length: 208 pages

216: A Year After
217: Denshichiro Advances
218: Demise
219: Unbreakable Bonds
220: Admiration and Hate
221: Old Friends
222: Friends
223: From the Treetop
224: Ichijoji Sagarimatsu
At last, the long-awaited rematch between Musashi and the leader of the mighty Yoshioka School is at hand. Literally head and shoulders above Musashi, Yoshioka Denshichiro granted Musashi a reprieve of one year for a rematch. Now the time is up, and the climax to Musashi's epic clash with the Yoshioka is about to come to a bloody finale--or will it? Within one year's time, Musashi has grown wiser and stronger, but can he really bring this spiral of blood and killing to an end?

Vagabond, Vol. 26 - Inoue Takehiko, July 2007 (Kodansha) / Oct. 2007 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-372612-1
ISBN (US): 1-4215-1983-6
Length: 200 pages

225: Musashi Against Seventy Samurai
226: Debt to the Yoshioka
227: Army of One
228: Swarm
229: The Rapids
230: Sallowed Sky
231: Exhaustion
232: Life
233: It Finds a Way
Musashi defeats the two masters of the mighty Yoshioka, the most renowned school of swordsmanship in Kyoto. But now with the entire clan out for revenge, will Musashi be forced to hack and chop his way through seventy bloodthirsty men, or will he leap right into their fold?

Vagabond, Vol. 27 - Inoue Takehiko, Nov. 2007 (Kodansha) / March 2008 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-372640-4
ISBN (US): 1-4215-2008-7
Length: 216 pages

234: Heaps
235: The Depth
236: The End of the Battle
237: In the Way
238: Necessary to the Era
239: Mud of Blood
240: A Chance Meeting
241: One Stroke of the Sword
242: The End of the Battle
The carnage continues! Musashi single-handedly takes on the entire Yoshioka Clan, 70 bloodthirsty men out for revenge. On the brink of death, will he be pushed over the edge or will this sublime battle experience take him one step closer to his ultimate goal?

Vagabond, Vol. 28 - Inoue Takehiko, May 2008 (Kodansha) / Oct. 2008 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-372685-5
ISBN (US): 1-4215-2708-1
Length: 208 pages

243: Frogs
244: A Path All His Own
245: Reunion
246: The Two Stay the Same
247: While You Were Sleeping
248: Heartbeat
249: Rumors of Musashi
250: An End to Fighting
251: Prayer
What does a man do after he accomplishes the impossible? This is exactly what Musashi must reflect upon after he survives single-handedly taking on seventy bloodthirsty men out for revenge. But before he can take his next step, Musashi will have to recover from his battle wounds—and it remains to be seen whether he'll even be able to walk again...

Vagabond, Vol. 29 - Inoue Takehiko, Oct. 2008 (Kodansha) / May 2009 (Viz)
ISBN (JP): 4-06-372750-0
ISBN (US):   1-4215-3148-8
Length: 200 pages

252: Captive Musashi
253: To Live by the Sword
254: Home
255: Question
256: A Voice
257: Contradiction
258: The Inner Light
259: The Twig
260: Flame of Vengeance
Musashi is at the greatest crossroads of his life. After surviving his single-handed battle against the seventy men of the Yoshioka Clan, Musashi is left with an injury that may lead to the end of his sword-fighting days. Could this mean he will escape from the spiral of death and killing that has been at the very center of his being for so long, or will the way of the sword be too tempting for him to walk away from?

Vagabond, Vol. 30 - Inoue Takehiko, May 2009 (Kodansha) / Nov. 2009 (Viz)
261: Moonlight
262: Separation
263: The Facts of a Dream
264: Heat Haze
265: Just That Much
266: Fragments
267: Crossroads
268: On the Edge of the Sword
269: Light
With his right leg severely injured, Mushashi is forced to take a step back from the treacherous spiral of life and death battle. Uncertain about his future, he's sure about one thing--he wants to be where he once was, when he could all but see everything interconnected in its entirety. But what will he have to do to get there again?

Vagabond, Vol. 31 - Inoue Takehiko, Sept. 2009 (Kodansha) / 2010 (Viz)
270: Vagabond
271: Within the Ring
272: Dreams Worn Out and Returning Home
273: Mother and Child
274: Mother
275: Liar
276: A Chance Meeting
277: A Friend
278: Treasure

Vagabond, Vol. 31 - Inoue Takehiko
279: Aspiration
280: Ittosai, the Demon Swordsman
281: A Great Man Falls

© 1998-2009 I.T. Planning, Inc.
© 2002-2008 Viz Media, LLC.

Vagabond / FAQ (Open Thread)
« on: September 24, 2009, 02:57:52 AM »
This reference was compiled from information provided in the back of Viz Media's editions of Vagabond. As far as we know, this information isn't compiled altogether like this anywhere else, even in Viz Media's official Vagabond section. Therefore, the Vagabond Inn is happy to provide this information in its entirety here, broken down into six sections:

I. About the Author
II. About Vagabond and Miyamoto Musashi
III. A note on names
IV. Glossary and Extraneous Background Information
V. Awards
VI. What the critics are saying about Vagabond

I. About the Author
Vagabond was created by Takehiko Inoue, author of the best-selling manga Slam Dunk, with over 100 million copies in print worldwide. Critically acclaimed, Inoue received the 2000 Media Arts Award for manga from the Japanese Ministry of Culture as well as the 2000 Kodansha Award for best manga for his work on Vagabond. In 2002, Vagabond received the prestigious Tezuka Award for best manga, and in 2003, Inoue was nominated for a 2003 Eisner award for best writer/artist. While Vagabond continues its epic run in Japan, Inoue is simultaneously pushing the bounds of manga narrative with Real—a heavy-hitting manga about wheelchair basketball. To date Vagabond has sold over 40 million copies throughout the world. In addition to his numerous manga titles, Inoue also created the character designs for the PlayStation basketball game, One on One.

"I'm creating this character for the modern reader." -Inoue Takehiko on Miyamoto Musashi

II. About Vagabond and Miyamoto Musashi
Takehiko Inoue’s Vagabond, based on Eiji Yoshikawa’s novel Musashi, is a fictional account of the life of Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645). The historical figure Miyamoto Musashi, author of the philosophical strategy guide A Book of Five Rings, was a master of the sword and was revered as a “sword-saint.” He founded the Ninten Ichi style of sword fighting, which is typified by fighting with both long and short swords simultaneously—holding the long sword with the right hand and the short sword with the left. Musashi was also a master of the “gentler arts”—he was a master sumi-e (black in drawings), metalworking, and woodcarving. The films that comprise The Samurai Trilogy, directed by Hiroshi Inagaki and starring Toshiro Mifune, were also based on Yoshikawa’s Musashi. Inspired by the huge success of Vagabond in Japan, in 2003 NHK produced the historical period drama Musashi. Also based on Yoshikawa’s novel, this drama stars kabuki actor Shinnosuke Ichikawa as Musashi and TV star Ryoko Yonekura as Otsu.

Vagabond has been printed to read from right to left in its original Japanese format—presenting Takehiko Inoue’s dynamic artwork the way it was meant to be seen!

When most Japanese comics are published in English, a mirror image of the original artwork is printed in order to accommodate the left to right reading orientation of English. For this reason, errors in continuity occasionally occur and characters who were originally right-handed suddenly become left-handed. In order to present manga in its purist form, Vagabond is being printed to read from right to left. This way, kimono are worn with the left side over the right and the samurai’s long and short swords are carried on the left side, the way they were traditionally worn.

To properly enjoy Vagabond, start from the other end of this comic and read from right to left.

III. A note on names:
The names presented in the context of this manga are presented in the traditional Japanese order—surname followed by first name. “Miyamoto” is Miyamoto Musashi’s last name and “Musashi” is his first name. The name of the creator of Vagabond, however, has been presented first name first, last name second. “Takehiko” is the author’s first name and “Inoue” is his last name.

IV. Glossary and Extraneous Background Information

A Brief Historical Overview - The Sengoku Period and the Battle of Sekigahara
The Sengoku (warring states) period (1482-1558) in Japan was a time of chaos and conflict. Central authorities, in the form of the imperial court and the shogunate, had grown increasingly weak and land was effectively rules autonomously by numerous daimyo (domainal lords). Looking to expand their spheres of control, the daimyo were constantly at war with each other. One daimyo in particular, Oda Nobunaga, set out on a mission to unify Japan by means of conquest. Incredibly successful, by the time of his assassination in 1582, he managed to control approximately one-third of Japan. One of Nobunaga’s chief generals, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, became Nobunaga’s successor to carry on the quest for unification. Through a process of conquest and conciliation, Hideyoshi succeeded in creating an orderly federation amongst the daimyo, and by 1590, order was restored to Japan under Hideyoshi’s rule. Hideyoshi’s death in 1598, however, presented the question of succession. Most of the daimyo from the domains in the west remained loyal to the Toyotomi Clan and its 5-year-old heir, Toyotomi Hideyori. Tokugawa Ieyasu, however, leading the major daimyo from central and eastern Japan, challenged the Toyatomi clan’s leadership. The two sides clashed at the Battle of Sekigahara (1600) in Mino (located in present day Gifu Prefecture) where the Tokugawa claimed an overwhelming victory. From that point on, the Tokugawa clan would effectively rule Japan for the next 250 years. The political stability that resulted put mass numbers of samurai out of work. Masterless samurai, known as ronin, were forced to wander the land and seek out employment. This, the beginning of the Edo period (1600-1868), set the stage for many of the period dramas and chambara sword-fighting films that have popularized the image of the samurai to a Western audience.

The Battle Sekigahara (1600):
The decisive battle in which Tokugawa Ieyasu effectively took control of Japan from the Toyotomi Clan. Most of the daimyo of the west sided with the Toyotomi Clan. In the opening of Vagabond, we find Takezo and Matahatchi as young survivers on the losing side of the Battle of Sekigahara…

Located in the northern part of present-day Fukui Prefecture.

Name of the era from 1558 to 1569.

Located in modern day Kumamoto Prefecture.

Hon’ami Koetsu (1558-1636)
Famed artist and calligrapher who co-founded an influential arts movement called the Rinpa School. Koetsu was involved in numerous fields including tea ceremony, potter, and calligraphy. In addition, Koetsu succeeded the line of his family’s ancestral business of sword polishing and appraisals.

Hozoin Spear Technique
Created by the Buddhist monk Kakuzenbo Hoin In’ei (1521-1607) of Hozoin Temple, which was a sub-temple of Kokufuji Temple in Nara. This spear technique is typified by quick dexterous movements rather than the use of brute force.

Ikeda Terumasa (1564-1613):
One of the great daimyo of the Sengoku period (1482-1558), Ikeda Terumasa sided with Ieyasu at the Battle of Sekigahara after which he was awarded with Himeji Castle and the Harima domain (located in modern day Hyogo Prefecture).

Ito Ittosai (Dates unknown)
Founder of the Itto-ryu school, one of the largest schools of sword fighting. Before establishing his own style, Ittosai is said to have studied a variant of the Chujo-ryo style of sword fighting under Kanemaki Jisai’s instruction.

Located in present day Ishikawa Prefecture.

Kami’izumi Ise no Kami Hidetsuna (1508-1577(?))
The son of Kami-izumi Ise no Kami Hidetsugu, the lord of Kami’izumi Castle in present-day Gunma Prefecture. Hidetsuna founded the Shinkage-ryu Style of sword fighting, and was such and accomplished swordsman and military strategist that he was once recruited by the famed Takeda Shingen. Hidetsuna, however, declined the post, stating that he preferred to travel throughout the land so that he might perfect his swordsmanship. Many notable figures studied under Hidetsuna, including the esteemed Yagyu Munenori of and Hozoin In’ei.

Swords created by swordsmiths specifically authorized by Emperor Gotoba in the early 13th century. The tangs of these exceptional quality swords were inscribed with the imperial city chrysanthemum crest together with the characters for the numeral one.

Kitabatake Tomonori (1528-1576)
Ruler of Ise, which is located in the Mie Prefecture. Tomonori is also said to have been a master of the Kashima Shinto Ryu.

Approximately 5.1 U.S. bushels or 180.39 liters. Samurai were paid their stipends in bushels of rice. One koku was a standard measure representing the approximate amount of rice necessary to feed one man for a year.

Located in the northeastern part of Kyoto, Konpukuji Temple is small temple of the Rinzai School of Zen Buddhism.

Kyoto Shoshidai
An administrative appointment which served to govern the populace of Kyoto and to keep a watch on the daimyo in the west.

Muso Gonnosuke (dates unknown)
Founder of the Shinto Muso-ryu school of martial arts, which mainly utilized the wooden staff. Gonnosuke is said to have been one of the many to lose to Musashi in a duel. According to some accounts he defeated Musashi in a rematch.

Located in modern day Nagoya and its surrounding area.

Located in Eastern Kyoto, Rengeoin Temple, a part of the Tendai School of Buddhism, is more commonly referred to as Sanjusangendo. The main hall of Rengeoin features an amazing display of 1,001 Kannon Buddhist statues.

Also known as Mimasaka. The historical name for the area that is now the northern region of modern-day Okayama Prefecture.

Sangen’in Temple
One of the main subtemples of Daitokuji Temple in Kyoto.

Sasaki Kojiro (dates unknown)
The legendary archrival of Miyamoto Musashi, Kojiro is believed to have studied the Chujo-ryu style of swordsmanship under the instruction of either Toda Seigen or Kanemaki Jisai. Kojiro was renowned for his Tsubame-gaeshi, or “swallow cut” technique which was inspired by the movement of a swallow in flight.

Shinmen Takezo
Miyamoto Musashi’s boyhood name.

A zen term used to describe a disciple and his master in perfect sync when the time is right for the disciple to awaken to enlightenment.

Takuan Soho (1573-1645)
A monk of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism, by the time Takuan was 37, he was appointed abbot of the leading temple of the Rinzai sect, Daitokuji. Takuan was an important figure whose acute and brutally honest advice was sought by influential and powerful figures such as Emperor Go Mizuno and the shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu. His correspondence to Yagyu Munenori discussing Zen and swordsmanship entitled The Unfettered Mind has become an influential treatise in both the areas of philosophy and martial arts. The pickled daikon radish, takuan, also bears his name.

Tsukahara Bokuden (1489-1571)
Founder of the Kashima Shinto Ryu style of sword fighting. Bokuden was from the city of Kashima in modern day Ibarki Prefecture and is famous for his sword training pilgrimages, which took him on travels throughout Japan.

Ukita Hidele (1573-1655):
Daimyo of Bizen and Mimasaka (located in modern day Okayama Prefecture). One of the leading generals that fought for the Toyotomi Clan at the Batlle of Sekigahara.

The Yagyu Clan
Yagyu Muneyoshi Sekishusai (1527-1606) was the founder of the Yagyu-Shinkage school of sword fighting. His son Yagyu Munenori (1571-1646) was one of Tokugawa’s key generals at the Battle of Sekigahara. Munenori was appointed the official fencing instructor of the Tokugawa Clan, and in 1632 the Yagyu were appointed the ometsuke—responsible for the survielence of the daimyo. Although the Yagyu can has been depicted in Kazuo Koike’s Lone Wolf and Cub as the plotters of the downfall of Itto Ogami, the general Japanese popular culture take on the Yagyu Clan is more positive. Specifically, Munenori’s son, Yagyu Jubei (1607-1650), is viewed as a wandering hero protecting the people from evildoers.

The Yoshioka Clan
Yoshioka Kempo (dates unknown) was a distinguished warrior from the Sengoku period (1482-1558) and founder of the renowned Yoshioka school of sword fighting. Yoshioka Kempo mastered the Kyohachi style of swordsmanship and then modified it to form the Yoshioka style. In the context of Inoue’s Vagabond, as well as Yoshikawa’s Musashi, Yoshioka Seijuro and Denshichiro are Kempo’s sons, who are historically thought to have dueled with Miyamoto Musashi on numerous occasions.

V. Awards
Winner of the 2000 Media Arts Festival Award from the Japanese Ministry of Culture
Recipient of the 2000 Kodansha Award for Best Manga
Winner of the 2002 Tezuka Osamu Cultural Award
Nominated for a 2003 Eisner Award for Best Writer/Artist

VI. What the critics are saying about Vagabond:

"This beautifully drawn series has incredible action, a hint of romance, and a strong core of Japanese history…this book now has the possibility of taking off like a rocket with the American audience."
—Troy Brownfield, Shotgun Reviews

"I was entranced within pages of reading Vagabond; Inoue’s adaptation of Yoshikawa’s Musashi pulls you right into the story and doesn’t let you go."
-Greg McElhatton,

"Inoue’s artwork is flat-out gorgeous, whether it’s in the brief color sections or in black and white. There is a stunning amount of detail in the backgrounds and in the character designs, and it’s clear that there has been a lot of research into the costumes, weapons, and settings of the era."
—Randy Lander,

"It is a masterwork of story and art. In no time are you drawn into the characters, first by the skillful art and then by the story. I found Takehiko’s art most appealing and his storytelling ability superb."
—David LeBlanc, Comic Book Net Electronic Magazine

"If you’re interested in Japanese culture, this is a must-buy for you. The story is fast-paced; the artwork is a feast for the eyes…This is one of the best works of historical fiction I’ve ever read...."
-Patrick King,

"...this reads like an Akira Kurosawa film captured on the printed page. Takehiko Inoue’s fine line art, much more detailed for the norm for Japanese manga, is a real treat, while the storyline captivates."
—Cliff Biggers, Comics Buyer’s Guide

"Takehiko Inoue’s vibrant postmodern spin on the (samurai) genre is topnotch in every respect."
—S.A. Bennett, Comics Buyer’s Guide

"What makes Vagabond stand out, and makes this something more than just a retelling of Musashi’s life is Inoue’s feel for the characters, breathing life into figures who lived in a world so long ago and so far away."

—Matt Brady, Newsarama

"Inoue masterfully portrays the brutality of Vagabond’s setting and the interactions of the characters…Inoue can surprise and even shock the reader with the turns his story and their lives can take. Combined with the often breathtaking art, this makes for an extremely satisfying comics experience."
—Tony Isabella, Comics Buyer’s Guide

"I think this manga has something for everyone. A MUST READ!"

"An excellent manga, presented with noticeable care… If you’re a fan of Japanese history, you need this in your library. It’s that good."
-Patrick King,
"…Inoue’s skills as a comics creator makes Vagabond outstanding. This is really one of the best comics currently being produced. I buy every book as soon as it’s published and once you take a look yourself, you’ll do the same."
—Greg McElhatton,

"…a must for fans."
—Scott Green, Ain’t It Cool News

"Some of the most beautiful pen-and-ink work in any comic being published now."
—Adi Tantimedh, ArtBomb

"Viz is giving readers a lot of bang for their comic buck with this one."
—Dani Fletcher, Sequential Tart

"Flawless artistic storytelling."
—Kai-Ming Cha, Publishers Weekly

"More than just flesh-splitting battle scenes and mandala-like sequences of spiritual introspection, Vagabond seems to contain the entire world and span the entire human condition."
—Jason Thomson, Manga: The Complete Guide

© 1998-2009 I.T. Planning, Inc.
© 2002-2008 Viz Media, LLC.

Vagabond / Welcome (Open Thread)
« on: September 24, 2009, 02:57:27 AM »
Welcome to the Vagabond Inn!

          The Inn was created to be a place, separate from the rest of and Berserk, dedicated to Inoue Takehiko's own masterpiece, Vagabond. This is partly because some prominent members of this board are quite fond of Vagabond, but mainly to spread and grow interest in a most deserving series. The original cheeky tagline for the Inn, "a place to cheat on your wife" came from a joke between Walter and myself that if we're married to Berserk, then Vagabond is most certainly our mistress. So, with that and the launch of this Vagabond board, naming it after the famous motel chain of the same name was a no-brainer. Our mutual fondness for Vagabond isn't why such special treatment has been afforded to it or why this place was created though, but because Vagabond is a great work in its own right that deserves such a place. Basically, it's the only other work going on in the medium at Berserk's visual, literary, and overall artistic level. Berserk and Vagabond, or Miura and Inoue, go together like Guts and Griffith or Musashi and Kojiro, and it would truly be a shame if anybody fortunate enough to enjoy Berserk missed out on the same experience with Vagabond. That is why this place was created; so, use it to its fullest potential, and read, discuss, and dissect Vagabond here as you would Berserk on the rest of!

Thank you,

Vagabond Inn Staff

Vagabond / Slicin' the Breeze
« on: September 21, 2009, 09:03:43 PM »
General talkin' thread, but for us Vagabond folk.:slan:

Does anyone else think it's an interesting that the same week Miura is coming back with Berserk, marking it's 20th anniversary, Inoue takes the week off?


Vagabond / Favorite Vagabond covers (or just check 'em out!)
« on: August 23, 2009, 09:16:50 AM »
Here's a thread for new, old, or non-fans alike; check out the Vagabond covers, pick your favorite, and talk about it (or them as the case may be). Whether you've read Vagabond or not, you can enjoy the eye candy, though I suspect readers may be swayed by their overall favorite volume. :mushigrin:

These thumbnails don't do them justice, so I suggest looking at the larger versions linked to each.

Oh, and here's the Vagabond Inn volume information section where these images are from:

Click thumbnails to enlarge:

Berserk Miscellaneous / Ask Aaz!
« on: August 19, 2009, 03:52:13 AM »
Welcome everyone, to a new thread idea where you can post your questions about all things Berserk to resident expert, Aazealh! I don't think anybody here is more qualified than Aaz to have his own Q&A thread concerning Berserk, not only for his intelligence and knowledge on the subject, but for his careful and conservative application of them to it. Basically, there's nobody better to get some information, thoughts, or perspective from. Anyway, I'll get the ball rolling with the question that's the inspiration for this thread:

Aaz, as mentioned in volume 26, what exactly is the nature of "darkness," specifically in relation to the Qliphoth, elementals, evil, the God Hand, and its overall place in the order of astral world?

News & Not News / Les Paul passes away at 94
« on: August 13, 2009, 04:24:59 PM »

Les Paul, musical renaissance man and the father of modern music, has passed away today from pneumonia. He was 94, and seemingly on the verge of living forever, which now he will.

Vagabond / Vagabond: Volume 31
« on: August 12, 2009, 07:19:02 AM »
Well, the last drafts for Vol. 31 are finished. I'm going to take some
time to prepare for some things. I hope you understand.

I'm working on the last round of editing for it.

Vol. 31 is scheduled to go on sale in September. That's also when I'm
hoping to start my regular issues again.

Inoue also said of Ittosai:
"My brushes wear out faster for some reason when Itousai appears. That solid character consumes my brushes." :mushiguts:

So, we'll hopefully have a cover by September, and new episodes to boot (though it usually takes longer to resume than the initial estimate, so I'm expecting late September or October). Then, the countdown begins for the Viz version, but their volume 30 release (Nov. 17) won't even be out before 31 in Japan; it's like now that they've caught up they're trying to fall behind again.

Vagabond / VAGABOND emoticons!
« on: July 22, 2009, 02:33:33 AM »
Working on some Vagabond Inn exclusive emoticons:

I got down to business and have 16 ready to go:

Plenty to start, oh, and here's a bonus. :guts:

Vagabond / Favorite Vagabond Moments (use spoilers tags)
« on: June 27, 2009, 08:07:10 AM »
An early and a recent one.

1. Volume 1, "From this day on... I'm a Vagabond." =)

2. Volume 22 Everything leading up to Musashi's battle with Seijuro, his victory, and his thoughts/growth afterward. I've probably re-read volumes 21 and 22 more than any other part of the series.

News & Not News / Michael Jackson dead.
« on: June 25, 2009, 09:25:31 PM »

TMZ says he's dead already, which seems likely considering the secrecy surrounding his official condition, and people are losing their shit. I'm working very hard not to point out... ya know.

Update: Confirmed.

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