Vagabond 2 (Big ed.)Posted: February 17, 2009
I actually read this a couple weeks ago, but the review I wrote up for it was swallowed and I’ve been mad about it ever since. It was a long one, and I haven’t been able to coerce myself into re-writing it with the same enthusiasm, which is no less than what this series deserves.
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this if it kept going just as a story with Musashi fighting stronger and stronger opponents in order to better himself. Something like that can get old fast. But the magic of this series is that every fight, every scene just looks so fantastic that it draws you in. You HAVE to know how the battle finishes, how the psychological impact of the fights affects each of the men, and how other people are going to react to the fights.
I do find it strange that each of the fights so far seems to have gathered a crowd. I suppose that’s just how these things work.
I actually prefer the rural setting in the monastery to the school that we saw last volume. I also prefer the characters that are populating the monastery to the ones at the school, too. They just have more personality, both the disciple that Musashi wound up fighting and the legend he set out to meet. The crazy guy from the school also follows him there, I’m not entirely sure why since it’s clear that Musashi didn’t burn down the school, but he’s up for a fight, too.
I’m always slow to start a big volume like this, but I honestly don’t think there’s anything that reads as fast as this series. I don’t normally comment on artwork, but it is fantastic here. All the battles look amazing, and there is a powerful story told even when there is no commentary. The reason it reads so fast is because there’s not a lot of dialogue, but the art more than makes up for it.
These editions also continue to be amazing. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy the huge size and the color pages. I’m definitely getting this series for a real deal buying it in this format.