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Buddha, Vol. 2: The Four Encounters Paperback – 2010

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Amazon.com: 15 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Our family read it non-stop, cover to cover Dec 26 2003
By Keith M. Ela - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Our family read this book and it's companion, Kapilavastu, cover-to-cover, just about non-stop. They were both totally engaging.
As a Buddhist, I was wondering what this treatment of the Buddha's life would be like. This is my first exposure to manga style. My only reference point is comic books. I had enjoyed another "comic book," illustrated treatment of the life of a Buddhist saint, Milarepa. That was well done. I very much wanted a book that would capture the interest of my two children, 10 and 14 years old. It did. My 14 year old read the book in two days. My 10 year old and I read it aloud together.
What is facinating is the way the author creates the historical context using a mixture of historical figures and people of his own imagination. We are given an insight to the caste system of ancient India and the stage is set for the Buddha's questions about suffering, it's origins, and his strong desire to put an end to suffering.
I'd say that this is appropriate for 9 year olds and up. For adults: my wife and I kept reading ahead. It is captivating. It has the air of an adventure story. I also enjoyed explaining and discussing the context of the story with my children.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Sweeping Vision of the Buddha's Time Dec 12 2003
By Franz Metcalf - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I read a lot of books on Buddhism (I even write some), but, alas, very few have pictures. This elegant (if one is allowed to use such an adjective to describe a graphic novel) series from Vertical of course goes way beyond "pictures." It tells the story of the Buddha and, in effect, the society he came from, through the expansive envisioning of Tezuka, The Man of La Manga. (Sorry, couldn't resist the pun. In case you don't know, "manga" means "graphic novel" in Japanese, and Tezuka really is The Man, having pretty well created the genre). So it's not about a text with pictures, it's about telling the story of the Buddha as a *vision*, rather than as a collection of words. It works.
Seriously, volume two carries on the dual track of intriguing characters who illustrate overarching themes, bringing them to life in a way that mere text almost never does. These are not scholarly books, by any means, but they depict the cultural milieu from which the Buddha and Buddhism arose. We haven't yet gotten to where Tezuka lets the Buddha expound the dharma, but, if he follows his established pattern, he's going to get things pretty straight.
I'm really looking forward to future volumes this series and think a whole range of others will soon be waiting with me.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Funny and yet... June 13 2004
By Jenn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There was some substance to the book and yet at the same time it managed to stay funny which is a rarity if I do say so my self. I am not particularly a fan of manga art but I loved this book, story and art work and I read both volume one and volume 2 without setting them down. Now I just have to get my hands on the third one :)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Cinematic, Powerful Tale, Meaningful Dec 25 2009
By Paige Turner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Osama Tezuka is a legend, often called "Japan's greatest cartoonist." He is worthy of this praise. His detailed black and white drawings are moving, vivid and cinematic. In this wonderful volume, he tells the tale of young Siddharta, a prince born into wealth and leisure, who struggles to determine the meaning of his existence. Despite the philosophical depth of the book, Tezuka is able to keep the action moving. His art is so engaging that it appears to move on the page.

The secret to Osama Tezuka's power is his story-telling ability. His tales are like the Arabian Nights fables, stories within stories within stories. He astounds readers by his raw story-telling finesse. Throughout all of his work, he advances themes of environmentalism, the dangers of modern society, redemption, and the simplicity of Buddhism. What is remarkable is he is able to do this while entertaining; as readers, we become spellbound by his picture-perfect drawings and fantastical settings. Even though this second volume of Buddha is largely expository in nature as he lays the foundation for future volumes, it is more engaging than most graphic novels. Even if you are not a fan of Japanese manga, try this one; Tezuka may win you over.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Very very enjoyable June 11 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
More of the story of young Sidhartha struggling with his posh prince place in a strongly caste system, and his fear of death and suffering. An 'enlightened' Sidartha fights against the caste system, which is paramount to treason, and slowly learns his true place in all things.