Master Keaton (vol. 5) by Naoki Urasawa, story by Hokusei Katsushika and Takashi Nagasaki, translated and adapted by John Werry
For those of us of a certain (old) age, we might remember an animated rabbit used to sell artificially colored, chemically flavored powder that altered milk into some sort of sweet goop: Quiky the Quik Bunny would quip “You can’t drink it slow, if it’s Quik.” Well, what can I say … reading Keaton is not unlike that. You just can’t read it slow … once tasted, gotta binge the whole volume. For lucky newbies, make sure to start at the beginning and enjoy the series in order.
Volume 5 finds Taichi Hiraga Keaton, our favorite British/Japanese hapa professor/insurance investigator (yes, of course, he’s so much more than that, and only reading sequentially will reveal that super-secret background!) in an English village, searching for of a woman who might or might not exist, who may or may not have last been seen in a crumbling, abandoned cinema where Bride of Frankenstein was its final feature. Marriage, murder, and monsters can often go hand in hand.
From fatal mayhem, Keaton has spies to chase in Germany and through various countries in the Middle East. He’s got a robber hero to apprehend back in England, and a ringing reward to share off the Brittany coast of France. And he also needs to make time for his family, including a visit to seaside Cornwall with his teenage daughter as he recalls his own bittersweet childhood memories, and a stopover in Japan to check on so his father who stands accused of kidnapping his fussy neighbor’s over-pampered pooch.
Keaton is definitely an indisputable master of all things perilous and seemingly impossible. For armchair voyeurs in search of peripatetic adventures, look no further – here’s to risk-free, guaranteed fun!
Readers: Young Adult, Adult
Published: 1989 (Japan), 2015 (United States)
Master Keaton © Naoki Urasawa/Studio Nuts, Hokusei Katsushika, Takashi Nagasaki
Original Japanese edition published by Shogakukan