Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 5 by Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki (A J!-ENT Manga Review)
June 15, 2016 by Dennis Amith
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 to come out in the United States and the seventh volume is absolutely riveting. “Master Keaton” is highly recommended!
© 1989 Naoki Urasawa/Studio Nuts, Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki. All Rights Reserved.
MANGA TITLE: Master Keaton – Omnibus Vol. 7
STORY AND ART BY: Naoki Urasawa, Story by Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki
FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan
PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ SIGNATURE/Viz Media, LLC
RATED: OT for Older Teen
RELEASE DATE: June 21, 2016
Master Keaton volume 7 features art by Naoki Urasawa with story by Hokusei Katsushika and Naoki Urasawa.
When the wall that separated the East and West falls, the 20th century comes to an end and brings radical change to the world. During this turbulent time, Taichi Hiraga Keaton has difficulty finding a job in archaeology even though his long line of cases as an insurance investigator doesn’t seem to end. As he navigates through dangerous adventures, Keaton encounters some bittersweet lives…
Keaton investigates a man who disappeared. Meanwhile, in Czechoslovakia, Keaton is carjacked by a man who is being followed by thugs including a Soviet soldier.
Meanwhile, why are people who touches the golden statue of the goddess Isis ending up dead?
Keaton investigates a case of British soldiers who have been murdered and their noses removed. Also, Keaton gives a man a lesson about tapestries and learns from the man as well.
Also, a story in the perspective of a cat and dog from the canine unite.
All this and more in “Master Keaton – Omnibus vol. 7”.
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 7, you get a good number of diverse stories. Some that are very deep, as British soldiers have been murdered and their noses removed. All soldiers are part of a regiment, but can Keaton prevent any bloodshed?
Another story revolves around Keaton’s friends, one who falls for a woman, who may be more than meets the eye. And another friend who has fallen for a woman in an area where he is working on an archaeological dig.
There is also action as Keaton finds a man who is on the run inside his car. Keaton decides to help the man who has a group of thugs and a Soviet assassin after him. Another storyline featuring a deadly member of the Camorra mafia going after another Detective, responsible for the death of the Detective’s wife and child. Can Keaton help the detective before he is killed by the mafia?
You also have stories that are not necessarily about Keaton, involving a cat, another with a former police dog and also a boy who is trying to protect a friend who is under investigation for murder.
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 a culture 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 to come out in the United States.
“Master Keaton” is highly recommended!
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