The short answer is – we don‘t know for sure yet. But as a huge Vagabond fan myself, I‘ve done some deep research into the details of this long hiatus, when we might expect its return, and how you can read the available chapters online in the meantime. So strap in as we take a journey through the rich world of Vagabond and the quest to see it return!
Vagabond‘s Publication History and Background
First, let‘s do a quick recap of Vagabond‘s publication history so we have context on its hiatuses:
- Vagabond began serializing in Weekly Morning Magazine in 1998
- It went on hiatus for the first time in September 2010, returning in January 2011
- After the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, it went on another break from March to June 2011
- In February 2014, Vagabond went on hiatus again, returning in May 2015
- The current hiatus began in May 2015 after Chapter 327
As of today, there have been 37 tankobon volumes released in Japan. Viz Media has published 35 volumes of the English translation.
So why has this incredibly popular manga gone on hiatus so many times? The primary reason is the health issues of Vagabond‘s creator, Takehiko Inoue. The hyper realistic artwork he draws is incredibly time consuming and taxing. Inoue has cited deteriorating wrist health from overwork as a reason behind the breaks.
Will Vagabond Continue Publication?
In December 2022, Inoue stated in an interview that he does intend to finish Vagabond someday. However, he did not provide any timeline on when that might happen.
So the future is still uncertain. But as a huge Vagabond fan myself, I‘m optimistic Inoue will regain the passion to give us a conclusion to this masterful manga when the time is right. Some key points:
- Vagabond still has unfinished storylines, with key events like Musashi‘s duel with Sasaki Kojiro still unresolved.
- Inoue previously estimated 1-2 more years of content to reach the ending he has planned.
- The longer hiatus could mean more remaining story than originally expected.
- Inoue is still actively creating other manga projects like Real.
My personal guess is we could see Vagabond return in 2024 or 2025 based on Inoue‘s workload and recovery pace. But this is complete speculation – only time will tell!
How to Read Vagabond Manga Online
While eagerly awaiting any news on Vagabond‘s return, here are some options for reading available chapters online now:
Official Viz Media Release
Viz Media has digitally published the official English translation of Vagabond up to Volume 37 on their website and apps. You can buy volumes individually or subscribe to their Shonen Jump to get access to the full manga catalog.
- High resolution, official translation
- Supports the creators and manga industry
- New volumes frequently go on sale for 25-50% off
- Requires paid subscription after 1 week free trial
- Latest chapters not yet released
Unofficial Scanlation Sites
Scanlation groups have translated most of Vagabond online for free, with latest chapters going up to 327. Some popular scanlation sites include:
- Read all chapters online for free
- Frequent updates with new chapter translations
- Lower resolution scans
- Large ads on site
- Does not support creators
Buy Digital Volumes
You can buy digital copies of Vagabond volumes through apps/sites like:
- Amazon Kindle
Digital volumes give you high quality scans alongside the convenience of reading on a tablet or e-reader. Prices are usually between $5-$10 per volume.
Purchase Physical Volumes
As a manga collector myself, I love having Vagabond‘s stylish physical tankobon volumes on my shelf. You can purchase these online on sites like Amazon, RightStufAnime, and Book Depository. Or check your local bookstores and comic shops.
Vagabond has 37 volumes released in English so far. Having the physical copy allows you to fully appreciate Inoue‘s intricate artwork in person.
Vagabond Story Summary for New Readers
If you‘re new to Vagabond and want to quickly catch up on the story so far, here‘s a summarized recap (no major spoilers):
- It‘s a fictionalized retelling of the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi‘s life in 17th century Japan
- Early on we see Musashi‘s origins as Takezo Shinmen, an incredibly skilled and violent young swordsman
- Takezo joins his friend Matahachi Hon‘iden in the Battle of Sekigahara, which ends Japan‘s civil wars
- After the war, Takezo descends into a nihilistic philosophy, wandering Japan as a "vagabond" and dueling opponents
- He gradually matures by overcoming trials and rivals, eventually adopting his iconic name of Musashi Miyamoto
- Musashi quests across Japan on the "way of the sword", seeking enlightenment through duels with skilled opponents
- He interacts with many historical figures that lived during the Tokugawa era of Japanese history
- Currently the manga has followed Musashi from age 17 to around 21 years old
Vagabond‘s storytelling drops readers straight into this turbulent historic era, anchored by Musashi‘s coming of age tale.
Other Similar Manga/Anime Recommendations
While waiting for Vagabond‘s return, here are some other epic historic manga and anime to enjoy:
- Rurouni Kenshin – A wandering swordsman seeks redemption during the Meiji Restoration
- Blade of the Immortal – An immortal warrior helps a girl take revenge in feudal Japan
- Vinland Saga – Vikings vie for power in 11th century England and beyond
- Inuyasha – A time traveling school girl ends up in feudal Japan full of demons
- Dororo – A swordsman battles demons to regain his stolen body parts
- Sword of the Stranger – A young boy and ronin flee Chinese assassins
- Samurai Champloo – Two samurai accompany a girl seeking a mysterious samurai
- Demon Slayer – Tanjiro becomes a demon slayer to cure his sister
These shows provide other sweeping historical tales to enjoy while waiting for Vagabond‘s return!
Final Thoughts on Vagabond‘s Future
Vagabond‘s indefinite hiatus has left fans like myself longing to see the continuation of this gripping manga. While the end of Musashi Miyamoto‘s journey remains unknown for now, I‘m hopeful that Takehiko Inoue will revive Vagabond when he is ready.
Until then, I plan to re-read through all 37 volumes and maybe check out some anime recommendations. What do you think – will Vagabond return soon? How have you been keeping up with the series during the long hiatus? I‘d love to hear your thoughts!