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A fairly papular MMA/ fighting manga in japan. The manga follows Bunshichi Tanba, 31 year old fighter and dojo smasher who goes from dojo to dojo to defeat the strongest fighter the dojo has to offer in order to prove to himself that he is strong. One day Bunshichi with his best friend and sparring partner Ryoji Kubo came to the FAW dojo, a dojo that trains professional wrestlers and requested to fight the strongest wrestler they had, so Bunshichi was put against Toshio Kajiwara the best wrestler the dojo has with years of fighting expereince in street brawls and years more in wrestling matches and was around the same age as Tanba. The match started with no rules, Bunshichi was beaten rather easily and humiliated then casted aside. Bunshichi disappeares for 3 years and trains intensely then comes back and is nearly unbeatable. The first thing Bunshichi does is head out to avenge his loss and find more strong fighters thus setting up the beginning of Garouden.
Garouden is the best serious martial arts manga in Japan but not very well known in america or at least as well known as Baki The Grappler. this can be do to the fact that Baki The Grappler was made into an anime by Funimation so it was more papular that way, however unlike Baki, Garouden was made into a live action movie and two video games: Garouden Breakblow, and Garouden breakblow Fist Or Twist the sequal, both of these were for the playstation 2. Garouden started in 1999 and is still ongoing with a total of 23 volumes currently.
Garouden was made into one live action film that was only released in Japan, it covered the events from the manga from the fight with Toshio Kajiwara to major fights like Jyohei. Garouden also had a game made the first one being Garouden breakblow which came out in 2005 and covered the manga from vol. 1-15:
And the sequal, Garouden breakblow Fist Or Twist which came out two years later in 2007 also for the Playstation 2:
Also the Garouden manga was never translated or came to america despite it's fame in Japan.
Differences from the original novel
- Character looks and facial features were vastly different
- The story and events that took place and their order were slightly changed
- Some characters were in the novel that did not appear in the manga (Jyoji Umekawa)
- Fights happened in the novel that did not occur in the manga (Hiroshi Nagata vs Soichiro Izumi & Bunshichi Tanba vs Jyoji Umekawa)
The stories/chapters in Garouden are divided, one half are street fights and things on that level while the other half are tournaments. Even though Bunshichi Tanba is the main character the story follows the most, there are other characters that have big roles in the story such as Soichiro Izumi Tanba's trainer in the art of the Takemiya Ryuu style, Shozan Matsuo the self proclaimed strongest martial artist who made his own tournament, and many other characters. The story does not only follow Bunshichi though some times he does not even make an appearance. As well as the tournaments there are plenty of flashbacks on the characters even minor ones to get a better understanding of the character, all in all Garouden is divided into about 3 different arcs/ parts.
FAW (Federation of Amateur Wrestling) is an underground wrestling club owned by "The Great" Tatsumi a half Brazilian half Japanese man, very wealthy and feared in the ring by many. The FAW's rival is the Hokushin school owned by Shozan Matsuo, both schools are totaly different but share the same distast for each other. Both schools also try to recruit Bunshichi Tanba into their team.
Hokushin school owned by Shozan Matsuo. The Hokushin school is one of the best karate schools in Japan in a bitter rivalry with FAW and has tried to recruit Bunshichi Tanba into their group. Hokushin school is the most papular school in Japan as many wish to join to train under "The strongest fighter of all time" Shozan Matsuo. It is also home to many great fighters Bunshichi fights along the way such as: Jyohei Tsutsumi and Tsutomu Himekawa.
The Takemiya Ryuu is a style taught by Soichiro Izumi an old man who fights Bunshichi Tanba and loses but later ends up training him and his best friend Ryoji Kubo. The best student in Takemiya Ryuu was Fujimaki Jyuzo, who deserted the school after commiting murder years ago. The Takemiya Ryuu is hybrid of Aikido, jiujitsu, and karate. Currently there are only four known users in this style: Soichiro Izumi (Master) Bunshichi Tanba (Who surpassed the master) Fujimaki Jyuzo (WHo also surpassed the master), and Ryoji Kubo (Still a rookie). The Takemiya Ryuu also has many secret hard to master moves, the most sacred one being Ko-ou (Tiger king) A attack/submission move only mastered by Soichiro Izumi, Bunshichi Tanba, Fujimaki Jyuzo,Hiroshi Nagata, and Kensuke Kudo.
The Takemiya Ryuu's secret move Kou-ou TIger king
A style only used by Teruo Kataoka, a cruel and extremely painful style that's purpose is to inflict damage on the user's body (Via headbutting rock until you bleed, karate chopping corners, punching thick bamboo ect) in order to make it extremely tough. If you master this your body will be strong enough to break solid concrete, ice, even metal. Also in order to be able to absorb damage from opponents. So far Teruo is the only character in Garouden to use this style. It's training is said to be more harsh than even the Hokushin schools.
The training of Shisei Kan
And it's results
3 years laterThe begining of the adventure for Garouden, after Tanba returnes from his training his first order of business is to find and beat Kajiwara who is now a black belt in Hokushin karate in order to avenge his loss. He returnes to the FAW dojo that he was defeated in 3 years ago to announce his plan to beat Kajiwara, everyone noticed the results of Tanba's training immediately:
Tanba's training results.
Soon Tanba goes off to the FAW arena where Kajiwara is having a match a dresses up as a teddy bear in order to sneak in, after Kajiwara beats his opponent Bunshichi easily takes out security and confronts Kajiwara, the rematch between the two takes place and this time Bunshichi wins rather easily via breaking Kajiwara's arm in front of an entire audience and on live T.V. Tanba is then attacked by all the wretlers and beaten senseless. The entire fight was viewed by Shozan Matsu from his dojo along side Himekawa, and Mokoto Tatsumi backstage, both fighters loved it and became very interested in Tanba.