The sixth book in the series of graphic novels charting the life of Buddha introduces a new character to the mix. Ananda is an orphan, saved and protected by a snake demon called Mara, who feels she can use him to eventually eliminate Buddha – something that no supernatural being is capable of doing.
Most of this volume is taken up with Ananda’s story, who uses his own apparently divine indestructibility to become a bandit. His path crosses with Buddha’s towards the end of the book but, as you’ve probably worked out, Buddha has a knack of absorbing his worst enemies into his growing band of followers and Ananda is no exception. In fact, things really backfire for Mara as Ananda proves to be the catalyst for turning Buddha’s band from a handful of oddball monks into a legion of organised followers.
The story is as compelling as ever and wonderfully written, with a light comedic touch that adds a special magic to the proceedings. The artwork is similarly handy, lifting any chance of a hard, dull edge from the subject matter.
If you haven’t already sampled this series we’d recommend starting at the beginning, but readers following the series should continue their wonderful path to graphic novel enlightenment with this volume.
Other titles in the Buddha series:
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Other books by Osamu Tezuka:
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