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Master Keaton, Vol. 1 Paperback – December 16, 2014
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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About the Author
Naoki Urasawa's career as a manga artist spans more than twenty years and has firmly established him as one of the true manga masters of Japan. Born in Tokyo in 1960, Urasawa debuted with BETA! in 1983 and hasn't stopped his impressive output since. Well-versed in a variety of genres, Urasawa's oeuvre encompasses a multitude of different subjects, such as a romantic comedy (Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl), a suspenseful human drama about a former mercenary (Pineapple ARMY; story by Kazuya Kudo), a captivating psychological suspense story (Monster), a sci-fi adventure manga (20th Century Boys), and a modern reinterpretation of the work of the God of Manga, Osamu Tezuka (Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka; co-authored with Takashi Nagasaki, supervised by Macoto Tezka, and with the cooperation of Tezuka Productions). Many of his books have spawned popular animated and live-action TV programs and films, and 2008 saw the theatrical release of the first of three live-action Japanese films based on 20th Century Boys.
No stranger to accolades and awards, Urasawa received the 2011 Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia, and is a three-time recipient of the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award, a two-time recipient of the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize, and also received the Kodansha Manga Award. Urasawa has also become involved in the world of academia, and in 2008 accepted a guest teaching post at Nagoya Zokei University, where he teaches courses in, of course, manga.
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Master Keaton is a bit of a departure for Urasawa, who's known for epics lasting thousands of pages. Instead, each adventure lasts at most 40 pages, and then it's on to the next scenario. I particularly enjoyed this collection because I didn't feel like reading something religiously, although in the end, I did. Highly recommended for all fans of manga. ****3/4
Is this just a boring history lesson? Not at all! There is a good deal of action, adventure, and tragic stories that will tug on your heart strings. This is a very entertaining manga overall due to Keaton's quirky yet charming personality. My favorite scenes are actually of Keaton spending time with his daughter and father, which always take an amusing turn. I wonder if he will ever get in touch with his ex-wife, a brilliant mathematician, whom he gets easily flustered over when she shows interest in another man. Regarding each insurance case, I look forward to seeing how Keaton will outwit his peers and opponents and utilize his life survival skills. Stuck in the middle of a desert with no food or water? Have no fear if Keaton is stuck out there with you!
In my opinion, this book has the most attractive cover design compared to Urasawa's other manga. I like the shiny, golden title and detailed map in the background. Inside, there are a few colored pages at the beginning and middle of the book. Viz Media is planning to publish all 12 volumes in English, so I encourage you to go out and support this brilliant series. I can't wait for the next exciting installment of Master Keaton!
Most of the cases and adventures involve archeology, and the ever-resourceful Keaton solves them and outwit his adversaries with intelligence and survival skills. The best story of the volume is probably the one about him and the excavation team left alone in the Taklimakan Desert. The comic is also amusing as a character-driven drama about mild-mannered Keaton and his strong-willed daughter.
Written by Hokusei Katsushika and Takashi Nagasaki, and illustrated by Naoki Urasawa, “Master Keaton” is one of the best comics Urasawa has created. The original comic was serialized from 1988-1994 in Shogakukan’s semimonthly magazine “Big Comic Original,” following the success of his smash hit “Yawara!” (86-93).
Some manga fans may have already read Urawasa’s works like “20th Century Boys” (2000-06), but his best remains these two earlier works. Now one of them is finally out in English. Enjoy it.
As a big fan of Urasawa's manga I was excited to try out this work from earlier in his career. The story from Hokusei Katsushika has a similar feel to Urasawa's own writing in his later works. This is a dense read, with a lot of text and details about ancient art, history, and legends. It done well though and is well worth the effort. The blending of seemingly disparate professions and topics is fascinating, and the stories somehow manage a light touch despite heavy material. Keaton has an aloof exterior hiding competence and adaptability, which is used to good effect in driving the stories along. His daughter and other supporting cast members are well developed and fill out the world nicely.
The art is of course Urasawa's usual high quality.
As odd as Indiana Jones as an insurance investigator might sound, it really works and Master Keaton is a great, compelling read.