Master Keaton Volume 3 sees Taichi Hiraga-Keaton performing his job as an insurance investigator at Lloyd’s of London. His investigations tend to lead to danger and to touching stories of the people he interacts with.
Many of the stories in Volume 3 see Taichi traveling around Europe as Lloyd’s of London sends him on various assignments to discern the truth for the incidents that are brought to the company’s attention. He’s sent to Scotland to look into a supposed cultural treasure, becomes involved in a kidnapping case in Britain, intervenes in a conflict between two men in France, helps find and disarm some bombs in London, attempts to recover ill-gotten insurance money from a man in Spain, becomes involved in an archaeology related adventure in the Isles of Scilly, meets up with an old friend during an investigation, and investigates a supposed murder case in London. It always impresses me how Taichi’s various talents, such as archaeology and the skills he learned while in the military, are able to come in handy during his insurance investigations. For his career at Lloyd’s of London, it’s really paid off for him to be a “jack of all trades.”
To me, the strongest story that appeared in Master Keaton Volume 3 is the one where Taichi is brought in to serve as a negotiator for the kidnapping case. The tension was built up so well in this story, and the reader is left on the edge of their seat, wondering whether or not the victim would be recovered safe and sound after each interaction with the kidnappers.
Volume 3 also presents the occasional story that focuses on Taichi as a character. In one of these stories, Taichi meets up with an old friend from his military days in Wales who is obsessed with flying like a local legend named Osborn. Taichi is ultimately the one who comes up with an idea for how to help his old military buddy achieve his dream. Taichi also makes a trip back to Japan in the hopes of being able to provide archaeology lectures again, and his father takes him to see an elderly woman. And while he’s in Japan, Taichi ends up helping out one of his daughter’s friends. The very last story in Master Keaton Volume 3 is set at Christmas, and Taichi meets up with three businessmen and ultimately helps them to find a brief moment of joy during the holiday season. Of these character driven stories, I’d have to say that the one where Taichi’s father introduces him to the elderly woman was the most touching.
Naoki Urasawa, the artist who provides the illustrations for the Master Keaton series, continues to produce some impressive looking drawings that help to connect the reader to the stories they’re reading. Urasawa also manages to capture some wonderful facial expressions and reactions for Taichi, and these help to draw the reader’s attention to the protagonist throughout the volume. The remastering that VIZ Media has done for the pages continue to make Urasawa’s art look so crisp, clear, and engaging.
Readers who have read the previous two volumes of this series should enjoy what they read in Master Keaton Volume 3. This volume presents similar stories and storytelling aspects to its two predecessors, which means that readers who are already familiar with the first two volumes of the Master Keaton series will also appreciate what they see in Volume 3.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media