Will Vagabond return in 2020? Is the end near?

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
I'll accept another delay from Inoue on this front as long as he delivers Slam Dunk: The College Years -- The Continuing Adventures of Sakuragi Hanamichi.
 
Do you feel it too? Or have you lost all hope ..?
Sounds like a rhetorical question, but to be honest, I don't think Inoue will resume Vagabond in 2020 since he just went back to Real. Especially when we see how passionate he is concerning basketball and the Olympic Games being held in Tokyo. So if he's coming back to work actively, it would surely be on Real as he already started to.

Speaking of Real, do we have any news concerning the next chapter or Inoue disappeared again? :schnoz:

Just read the Novel or watch the Trilogy with Mifune, boys.
Yes, I'm planning to watch the movies soon. They seem to be pretty good, especially with Mifune.
 
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Griffith

My posts are better.
Ha, I wasn't the only one getting buzzed this week (and we both had our minds on figurative beaches). I almost brought this up in the Half-Life discussion when you said you feel like HL: Alyx is the de facto HL3; the same way The Last Manga Exhibition is the de facto ending to Vagabond!
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
My default state regarding Vagabond not getting a proper ending has become [deadened] peace. I can synthesize how it likely would have gone down based on where things were headed, and of course all the other Musashi material out there. But sometimes it's a real blow, knowing that he is still really close to reaching an ending and there being no word for so long.

In instances like these I try to take a broader perspective: If Inoue has truly lost his spirit for the series, then I wouldn't want the ending he'd create anyway. I'm reminded of an introduction to a Robert E. Howard story collection (gifted to me by @Griffith a long time ago), in which Howard said he wrote furiously because Conan "took complete possession of my mind and crowded out everything else in the way of storywriting." Conan "stalked full grown out of oblivion and set me at work recording the saga of his adventures." Clearly that's not the case when it comes to Inoue and Musashi.

The kind of spirit that makes great stories can’t be manufactured. And I wouldn’t wish anyone dispossessed of that storytelling spark to be forced to crap out an ending merely because fans want a bookend to their shelves. But if circumstances change, and Inoue somehow rediscovers that spirit, I'll still be here ready to read.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
I can synthesize how it likely would have gone down based on where things were headed
This is actually what galls me the most because despite knowing most of the history and mythology of this story and everything Inoue has setup in addition... I just know there would have been several delightful left turns, surprises, and wrinkles we'll never think of or would have seen coming. Maybe Kojiro would have won! =) I'm not even totally joking, look what happened with Ittosai; and what else happens with him and those two, ultimately, if anything? Answer: We'll likely never know.

In instances like these I try to take a broader perspective: If Inoue has truly lost his spirit for the series, then I wouldn't want the ending he'd create anyway. I'm reminded of an introduction to a Robert E. Howard story collection (gifted to me by @Griffith a long time ago), in which Howard said he wrote furiously because Conan "took complete possession of my mind and crowded out everything else in the way of storywriting." Conan "stalked full grown out of oblivion and set me at work recording the saga of his adventures." Clearly that's not the case when it comes to Inoue and Musashi.

The kind of spirit that makes great stories can’t be manufactured. And I wouldn’t wish anyone dispossessed of that storytelling spark to be forced to crap out an ending merely because fans want a bookend to their shelves. But if circumstances change, and Inoue somehow rediscovers that spirit, I'll still be here ready to read.
That's an awesome callback, and despite my pining above I also basically reached the acceptance stage with Inoue/Vagabond otherwise a while back, to the point I don't even want him to continue for the wrong reasons as you alluded to. He's such an empathetic, emotional writer I don't want to see him merely making a dutiful effort with a character and story he's clearly lost touch with. Just look what he had to say about Musashi, Vagabond and himself 11 years(!!) ago:

https://www.skullknight.net/forum/index.php?threads/inoue-takehiko-the-last-manga-exhibition.11141/post-179313 said:
"I thought 'The LAST Manga Exhibition' could become an opportunity for me, to turn the "Musashi" I depicted and his lifetime of killing dozens of people into a positive, despite everything.

What I'm trying to say is--The people that read "Vagabond" all along. The people that accepted my many twists and turns during these 10 years, and kept following me.
I really, really wanted to make them feel good. "I'm glad I kept reading." --I absolutely wanted to make them feel that way.

Drawing "shadows" to draw "light."
Conflicts and killing people are "shadows."
I thought I had to draw that side, or I wouldn't be able to see the "light." I thought that was what I was proceeding towards.

However, even if it was something along the path to my destination, the pictures that depict killing people, although pictures, also had the power to unconciously hurt people's
hearts. Unseen thorns were left remaining in the reader and the artist. When I discovered a part of myself that felt, I don't want to show these to people that still have God-like, bare open souls, like young children, I felt this was a certainty.

I'm glad I was able to draw this story at this time. No, it had to be this time, and it had to be a "Manga drawn in space, experienced with one's entire body," or it really wouldn't have been possible to get across.

I now truly feel that I finally had an opportunity to depict "light" itself. When I think so, it all wasn't a mistake. It turned into the exact form I was proceeding to.

Even when I depict sorrow, it is no longer sorrow without a destination.

July 2008
Inoue Takehiko"
Doesn't sound like someone excited to be living and breathing this material, to say the least. It bums me out because it makes it seem like he feels his own creation is largely irredeemable, despite the positive note he tries to end on in this quote and The Last Manga, and obviously nothing has happened since to change that impression. I think Musashi, or at the very least his Musashi, is better than that so it's a bit tragic if he so anguishingly disagrees. I thought a potential key to turn everything on was basically to show Musashi eventually using his sword to protect/give life. The potential was certainly there with the farmers for Musashi to come full circle and go from a tormenter as a youth to a protector as a man, and it could simultaneously make his swordsmanship sharper given this renewed and noble purpose; we know how that goes in the book, but Inoue skips and seemingly forgoes that direction before he stopped rather than emphasizing it further as I thought he might. Like Inoue came to the realization that whatever else Musashi may be, he is fundamentally a killer, and there's really no "positive destination" to go with that. Yeah, bummer, man.
 
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