Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 10 by Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki (A J!-ENT Manga Review)

May 1, 2017 by  


If you love mystery, action and well-written, smart stories, “Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

© 1989 Naoki Urasawa/Studio Nuts, Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki. All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 10

STORY AND ART BY: Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki



RATED: OT for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: March 21, 2017

Taichi Hiraga Keaton is a busy insurance investigator who yearns to make a living as an archaeologist. Just how long does he have to continue working as an investigator? Keaton is uncertain of his future, but he does know that a string of difficult cases awaits him!

A bar keeper’s son is killed.  Who is responsible?

A woman gets close to Keaton and wants him to pretend that he is her husband.  But why?

Someone is murdering people in a smuggling ring.  But what relationship do they have with the Nazis?

A young girl’s mother is getting married, but the mother thinks her daughter Alice is defective and not a proper young lady.  She hires Keaton to teach tutor her, but can Keaton get through to Alice?

What happens when Oliver Woodworth returns, wanting to become Keaton’s assistant?

And something sinister is going on in the mysterious Landberry Village in Wales.  Can Keaton and Detective Neville find out what is going on in the village?

All this and more in “Master Keaton – Omnibus vol. 10”.

What is “Master Keaton” all about?

In 1998, “Master Keaton” was a manga series serialized in “Big Comic Original”.

Created by Hokusei Katshika and Naoki Urasawa, the series was released through 1994 and ran for 144 chapters. In Japan, a total of 18 tankobon volumes were released and in 1998-1999, a 24-episode animate adaptation was aired on Nippon Television plus an additional 15 OVA episodes were created and were once released in the United States.

In 2012, Urasawa would create the sequel to the series titled “Master Keaton Remaster” with writer Takashi Nagasaki and the series was serialized in “Big Comic Original” and was set 20 years after the original series ended.

And now, Viz Media is releasing an omnibus of the manga series which includes 12 chapters and part of the Viz Signature imprint.

The story of “Master Keaton” revolves around a man named Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, the son of Japanese Zoologist Taihei Hiraga and Englishwoman Patricia Keaton. Because his parents separated when he was young, Taichi was raised in England by his mother.

He studied archaeology at Oxford University under Professor Yuri Scott. While married, like his father, he also divorced and has a daughter named Yuriko who was raised by her mother but recently has been visiting her father now that she is a high school student.

While Master Keaton teaches archaeology at Kotozawa University and is often taking jobs as an insurance investigator with Lloyd’s of London that require his expertise. Sometimes the job can be very dangerous. But the other side of Keaton is that he was also a member of the British Army, and its SAS (Special Air Service) division…special forces. Keaton was a survival instructor and saw combat in the Falklands War and one of the team members who responded to the Iranian Embassy incident.

He skills of survival but also combat is remarkable but his knowledge of archaeology and antiques are also uncanny. And now, he must take on various jobs around the world that puts him and his clients at risk.

“Master Keaton” is an entertaining and smartly written manga series.

On the outside, you think Keaton is just a normal man but not only is he able to outwit anyone who tries to hurt him, his survival skills are uncanny. But yet, he is a man with faults and that lies more in his life as a father (he’s so busy that he hasn’t really been there for his daughter) and his concern for his ex-wife (he no doubt loves her but also too busy to be a married man).

While I won’t go so far as calling him a James Bond-ish type of character, as he isn’t actually suave, he is a survivalist and an knowledgeable about ancient history and antiques.

Not many know of his special forces training, they just know of his knowledge of antiques, and thus he goes into areas that are a bit dangerous.

In omnibus volume 10, you get a good number of diverse stories. From Keaton helping out the bar owner who’s estranged son was murdered.  Who was responsible?

Another story revolves around Oliver Woodworth coming back and leaving his father’s wealthy business to become Keaton’s assistant.  But Keaton tries to prevent Woodworth from being his assistant due to the danger of the job.

There is also an intriguing story that involves a smuggling ring with each of its members being killed.  With a link to the Nazi’s, Keaton must find out who is murdering members of the smuggling ring.

And another fascinating chapter involves Dr. Neville going to Landbery Village in Wales to find an escaped convict.  Neville finds Keaton also on the scene but something sinister is happening around the village.

For the most part, I was very impressed with each of these stories as they were well-researched, well-written and really go into the historical details of an item, of cultures and more.

The art and the ancient history portion of various chapters are well-researched and Hokusei Katsuhika did a wonderful job, while the artwork by Urasawa is wonderful as always.

It’s absolutely wonderful that Viz Media has released the “Master Keaton” omnibus in North America. It’s one of the most intriguing, smartly written manga series available in the United States. And the good thing is you can pick up any volume and not really miss out on continuity because each chapter is a different case for series protagonist, Keaton.

If you love mystery, action and well-written, smart stories, “Master Keaton” is highly recommended!

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