All posts tagged: Takehiko Inoue

Vagabond (VIZBIG Edition): Volume Eleven – Review

Often, people are quick to tell you that it’s never a good idea to meet your idols. When you admire someone, be they an actor, musician, public figure, etc. there’s always a great chance that they simply aren’t the people you believed them to be. A celebrity’s image is only one of two, sometimes, strikingly different personas that those in the public eye tend to play host to, so that particular warning is not one that goes unwarranted. During Japan’s Sengoku Period, one’s level of celebrity was not spread through television appearances, or with the release of their latest album. It was through sheer word of mouth, and often those who look up to these legendary few go to their graves never even knowing what they look like, let alone fulfilling their dream of meeting them. For a young Takezo (Miyamoto Musashi), it was Ito Ittosai, the “Sword Demon”, that inspired him to become the renowned swordsman he is today, but when the two finally come face-to-face, it is a meeting unlike every fantasy that swelled …

Vagabond (VIZBIG Edition): Volume Ten – Review

Each of us, every single human being, has a path to walk. Wrong or right, it is a path regardless, and what must be known is that with every step forward comes incredible change. Some say that there are many paths to take, which can often instil a sense of anxiety in an individual: Where to go next? What to do now? Have I made the right choice? These are but only a few of the questions that come with a life of choice, but what if I was to say that the choices are not our own, that are lives have been predetermined by some higher power? Pose this question to Monk Takuan and what he’ll tell you is that such a belief allows for us to be completely free. Instead of thinking, pondering, wondering what comes next, we walk forward with determination, facing what comes in our way only when it does so, all the while staying true to ourselves on an instinctual level. Such freedom is a gift few of us have …

Vagabond (VIZBIG Edition): Volume Eight And Nine – Review

To live the true life of a Samurai, one must master not only the art of combat but poetry, painting, illustration, conversation, and everything in between. The road of the warrior does not lead straight ahead, there are turns to make through avenues unexpected that will teach a man to master the lifestyle. Miyamoto Musashi, the greatest swordsman in all of Japan, wrote about this in The Book Of Five Rings saying: “You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain”. What is interesting about the life of Miyamoto Musashi, a famed Samurai and philosopher, is that it was only through years of combat that he was able to come to develop a practice not entirely based on swordsmanship. Some time in his life something had changed him. Whilst a young Miyamoto Musashi would grin at the possibility of combat, an older Miyamoto Musashi would write about why one believes such a situation to be beneficial, or the inverse. In volumes Eight and Nine of Takehiko Inoue’s Vagabond, provided to …

Vagabond (VIZBIG Edition): Volume Seven – Review

It takes a special Mangaka to be able to make a deaf/mute man one of the most interesting characters in a story that spans as long as the award winning Vagabond. Takehiko Inoue is one of those special Mangakas. So special, in fact, that I can literally only think of one other who has attempted to write such a character and has succeeded; Kohske, who you’d know is the brains and talent behind the neo crime series Gangsta. Spanning all of volume six and continuing long into volume seven is the story of Sasaki Kojiro; an incredibly skilled master of the blade who has now taken a huge step into his adulthood and towards that same immortality Miyamoto Musashi himself longs for so dearly. The readers continue to take leave from the story of Takezo (Musashi) so as to remain with Kojiro as he’s taken to the battle of Sekigahara and left to fend for himself, a deaf man in a war zone. Later on in the story we return to Musashi’s side as he …

Vagabond (VIZBIG Edition): Volume Five and Volume Six – Review

The month of March saw the release of two volumes of the critically acclaimed “Vagabond” Manga by legendary graphic novelist Takehiko Inoue. For someone like me that absolutely adores the series it was comparable to that of Christmas day when my review copies of the volumes finally arrived. With three volumes per Vizbig Edition I felt somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer number of chapters I had ahead of me, but my excitement to see just what comes next in the story of Miyamoto Musashi possessed me to spend every possible waking moment engulfed by the series that has not only inspired me but millions around the world. After completing the first volume I then made the decision to combine what would usually be two individual reviews into one. It was only at those final pages of volume five did I realise that the series had entered a new arc that would likely span not only the next volume but long after that. Volume five took us back in time to a point in history long …

Vagabond (Vizbig Edition): Volume Three – Review

  “If you wish to control others you must first control yourself”, an excerpt from Miyamoto Musashi’s “The Book Of Five Rings”. With every new volume of “Vagabond” comes another lesson about combat and about life, as well as a very happy Frank Inglese because recently “Vagabond” has quickly become one of my favorite Manga titles of all time. Based on the true-to-life story of Miyamoto Musashi, “Vagabond” follows the young warrior on his way to worldwide supremacy as history’s greatest master of the sword. From the battle of Sekigahara all the way up until his death, famed Mangaka Takehiko Inoue takes us on a visual journey through the blood-filled times of an ancient Japan and thanks to Madman Entertainment I’ve, once again, been given the chance to review the latest volume. Musashi suffers a humiliating defeat against Inshun, the second-generation master of Hozoin 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 …