|Romanized Title:||Shinmen Takezō-sama|
|Weekly Morning:||Issue #40 (1998)|
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Shinmen Takezo (新免武蔵様, Shinmen Takezō-sama) is the 1st chapter of the Vagabond manga series.
Characters in Order of AppearanceEdit
[Contains spoilers and heavy violence]
The chapter opens with the main character, Shinmen Takezo, lying in a battlefield. The battle of Sekigahara has just ended as Takezo recounts it. The scene switches to another man, Matahachi, lying in the field as well. He apologizes to his mother and Otsu for leaving Sakushu in vain as he has not made a name for himself. Soon Takezo finds him and for a moment Matahachi mistakes it as a refugee hunter but soon Takeo says, “I survived too”. On hearing these words, Matahachi bursts into tears and they depart from the field.
Night dawns and Takezo helps Matahachi limp in the forest. While they take rest, Takezo reassures Matahachi that once they find a village they will find medicine as well but Matahachi asks him “Is this all we amount to?”. They become disappointed that they did not make a name for themselves in the field, realize that the only thing they cut was grass and acknowledge that they were on the losing side. Takezo soon notices something behind him. While Matahachi continues to ramble, he asks Takezo to take care of Otsu if he dies but someone soon holds a sword to his neck. Mistaking him as Takezo, Matahachi jokes around. As he turns around he realizes that it is actually a samurai! Matahachi stumbles backward, trying to avoid the samurai’s sword, but gets cut on the arm and runs away screaming Takezo’s name to warn him. Takezo is battling a samurai himself and takes their head, bashing it into a tree. Takezo picks up a boulder and hits one of the other samurai’s heads to save Matahachi. With wide eyes, Takezo comes back to hit the samurai on the head with a stick and pierces it into his throat. With heavy breaths, Matahachi and Takezo say nothing. The last samurai lies nearby trembling in fear and with a blood splattered face, Takezo smirks as he notices him.
The moon shines bright as Takezo and Matahachi continue their journey. With a determined expression, Takezo says that there was no way he would die, since he was “Shinmen Takezo” and Matahachi repeats the same with his own name and with a faltering breath, he says “We will make a name for ourselves”. Matahachi collapses and Takezo runs out in the forest to find a village. The field is abundant with corpses and Takezo notices something is wrong with him as well as he vomits over one of the bodies. As he lies down, he notices a figure brooding over him but it appears to be a woman in a kimono.