5 things to be considered before adapting Vagabond anime

5 things to be considered before adapting Vagabond anime

Vagabond is a historical manga based on the life of a Japanese swordsman named Shinmen Takezo (also known as Miyamoto Musashi). Though this anime has been running since 1998, however, it being on hiatus for almost a decade now makes us worry whether this story will ever be completed? We can expect a Vagabond anime to finish what Inoue started but will it justify the artistic brilliance of the manga? In this article we are going to explore 5 things that anime producers must keep in mind when adapting Vagabond anime.  

5 things to be considered before adapting Vagabond anime

1. Capturing the essence of Vagabond manga’s detailed and stylized artwork

A still from Vagabond manga
A still from Vagabond manga (Image via Viz Media)

Vagabond’s visual allure is undoubtedly a significant factor in its popularity. Its detailed and stylized artwork is the result of detailed research that Inoue Takehiko put into before writing the manga. With its expressive lines and dynamic compositions, it seamlessly captures the raw emotion and intensity of the story. 

Replicating this artwork in an anime format will be a significant challenge, as it requires striking a balance between maintaining the essence of the original art style and translating it effectively into the medium of animation. The studio entrusted with this task must possess a deep understanding of Vagabond’s visual language and the ability to translate it into an anime aesthetic.

2. Considering length of the source material

A still from Vagabond manga
A still from Vagabond manga (Image via Viz Media)

Vagabond has released about 37 volumes until now and it has relatively slower pacing compared to other manga of similar themes, each panel of manga is significant, delving into the life and trials of Miyamoto Musashi. Adapting such a vast story into an anime series demands careful consideration and a well-structured approach to divide into animated episodes. It is necessary to ensure that the story remains engaging and accessible to a wider audience. 

3. Preserving the dark and violent undertones of the story

A still from Vagabond manga
A still from Vagabond manga (Image via Viz Media)

Vagabond being a seinen manga, confronts mature themes of violence, and redemption, often depicted in graphic and visceral detail. While media censor regulations are a huge barrier to recreate it, Berserk manga has already been a victim to it, an anime adaptation must be willing to embrace these dark undertones without resorting to gratuitous violence or sensationalism. Whoever produces it must make sure that censoring certain scenes does not impact the overall story of Vagabond nor should reduce the character growth of Musashi. 

4. Use of appropriate soundtrack

Recently Vagabond manga panels have been gaining a lot of attention on Instagram reels with ambient music in the background with Musashi’s quotes written on the sides. This shows that the biggest advantage a Vagabond anime could have over its manga is its use of appropriate soundtrack. Depending upon the scene, accompanying music should touch the soul of its viewers. 

5. Meeting the high expectations of dedicated fans

Vagabond boasts a passionate and devoted fan base who have long anticipated continuation of manga. Vagabond’s fanbase is so dedicated to Inoue’s original work, that some of them do not even have any requirement of anime adaptation, while the remaining have high expectations for any attempt to bring it to life on screen. The studio entrusted with this project must approach it with a commitment to deliver an anime series that meets the standards of these cultured fans. 

Also explore: 5 Reasons why Vagabond Anime will never be made

Conclusion

By carefully considering these five factors, Vagabond anime can be adapted such that it is both faithful to the source material and appealing to a wide audience, especially its fanbase. Along with maintaining the balance between historical and philosophical aspects, the aspiring creators must show respect for Inoue Takehiko’s work through their art. By doing so, they can create a truly remarkable anime series that pays homage to the legacy of Vagabond.

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