Vagabond Vol. #17 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A

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  • Art Rating: A+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 1-59116-455-9
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Vagabond Vol. #17

By Jarred Pine     April 26, 2006
Release Date: December 01, 2004

Vagabond Vol.#17
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Takehiko Inoue
Translated by:Yuji Oniki
Adapted by:

What They Say
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.

The Review
Most of this 17th volume is made up of the fight between Sasaki Kojiro and Yoshioka Denshichiro, the burly one of the Yoshioka brothers we met at the beginning of this series. Just one sword battle, but Takehiko Inoue illustrates the entire event with poetic beauty and crystal clear intensity. As the waves crash on the shore behind them, Kojiro and Den grow from sword-training boys into sword-wielding men by putting their lives on the line. The violent battle is passionate and romantic, two men having a "discussion" and sharing each other's love for their swords.

The battle is also one of those rare occurrences where the outcome, and battle itself, actually enable the characters to grow and develop. This is not a meaningless tournament or chest-bumping affair. Kojiro must learn about the fear of death after living without the sense of hearing and growing up in a bubble under Jisai's care. Den must now find his own confidence, his entire life up until this point overwhelmed by the shadow of his brother and current head of the sword school, Yoshioka Seijuro. And for those who enjoy seeing the historical characters show up, keep you eyes peeled for Gonnosuke Muso--jojutsu master and another famed rival of Musashi's.

VIZ production continues to be their best effort out of all their releases. The larger trim size allows the fantastic artwork to shine and the print reproduction is crisp with 12 wonderfully illustrated color pages included!


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