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Buddha, Vol. 2: The Four Encounters

(Buddha #2)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  4,092 ratings  ·  206 reviews
Osamu Tezuka’s vaunted storytelling genius, consummate skill at visual expression, and warm humanity blossom fully in his eight-volume epic of Siddhartha’s life and times. Tezuka evidences his profound grasp of the subject by contextualizing the Buddha’s ideas; the emphasis is on movement, action, emotion, and conflict as the prince Siddhartha runs away from home, travels ...more
Hardcover, 411 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Vertical (first published 1983)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  4,092 ratings  ·  206 reviews

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Start your review of Buddha, Vol. 2: The Four Encounters (Buddha #2)
Riku Sayuj

It is fun, no point denying that. It is also far away from any Buddha narrative I am familiar with. This is an imaginative series filled with characters and events almost wholly invented, but that is not to say that it has no connection to the original -- Tezuka is a creative spirit at play here and he takes the most tenuous connections and spins wild yarns around them.

In the spirit of the Buddhist narrative tradition, it is the ideas that predominate; and the events are twisted, modified, dele
Gorab Jain
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
And the addiction continues!
Luckily got my hands on a borrowed paperback copy.

Quite creative rendering of Buddha's tale. So many characters and stories intertwined. Throwing in modern day dialogues adds to the fun factor. Often reminds of Amar Chitra Katha tales, except for the nudity and gore. The artwork is amazing.

This volume also lands straight to my favorite list.
David Schaafsma
Jul 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked this better than the first volume, because we now see the Buddha growing up, childhood through adolescence, seeing how he separates himself from his (apparent) destiny to become king, and marry in caste, to his rejection of caste, to his destiny to become a monk. His spiritual, ideological transformation, in part through connections to ascetics and other wise men he meets who all seem to know from the start that he is special, Going to be Great, most can see it. I'm also sort of seeing l ...more
Jigar Brahmbhatt
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic
There is great narrative control here. Osamu Tezuka is a first class artist, using graphic techniques to recount the life story of the Buddha with such exquisite and breathtaking command of the material that I ended up reading the 400+ pages manga in just one sitting, which is rare for me.

The story, which might be familiar to people interested in the life and teachings of the Buddha, is re-imagined by a man who seems to have a firm grasp on the subject and who also happens to be the godfather o
Nicolo Yu
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga
I rescued this copy of Osamu Tezuka's Buddha volume 2 from Booksale recently. A hardback edition with a badly creased cover and faulty binding without its jacket if it had one.
I've heard some raves about this series and I figured this could be a great introduction into the original manga god that is Tezuka. Reading it feels familiar. No wonder, I've already been acquainted with Tezuka's work since I was old enough to enjoy cartoons, having watched Kimba the White Lion.
The book itself, is great.
David Schwan
Oct 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
In a continuation of the story we are brought up to the point where the Buddha is married and questioning life and eventually gives up being a prince and becomes a monk. There are also side stories of other people which I assume will converge later with the main story. Graphics are nice, maybe not as good as volume 1.
Mateen Mahboubi
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Filled with anachronisms and jokes, Tezuka's imagined journey through the life of Buddha continues here in his sickly adolescence, marriage and ultimate departure from home. Still not sure why just about every woman has to be topless.
Feb 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: manga
Quintessential Tezuka. Interesting and never dull.
Sometime in the early 90s I picked up the Japanese series in bunkobon (small-format paperback; Goodreads has only one of those registered, so I'm listing the English versions instead). I recently found the set stashed away in some boxes, so I decided to read through it again.

Tezuka playfully inserts anachronisms from lots of periods, but especially modern times. And he uses comically ridiculous depictions throughout. It works for me. But if you're looking for straight-up historical fiction, thi
Jul 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tezuka's style is all over the place, jumping back-and-forth between the ancient world and modern anachronisms, between the horror of violence and comedic one-liners, between political and spiritual and quasi-erotic. The artwork too vibrates on a scale from scrawled doodles and abstractions to gorgeous splash pages of Indian architecture and lush nature—the trees are specially fantastic. All this makes for a fun read, though it's inconsistencies render it far from a masterpiece. And I really cou ...more
Kimberley Hope
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I didn't think it was possible to top the incredible first installment of Tezuka's epic "Buddha" series, but book two, "The Four Encounters" blew me away. With every work of his I consume, I fall more and more in love with Grandaddy Manga, Osamu Tezuka. I just can't get enough of his highly animated characters, functional anatomy (to hell with sensible and scientific designs), minimalist yet realistic backgrounds, and the mature, often devastating story lines these cute characters are forced to ...more
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
The first volume of this series focuses on what happened before the birth of Siddartha Gautama, and this one focuses on his childhood and the increasing unhappiness he feels in his pampered life in his father's palace. Through various encounters and events (hence the title of this volume) Siddartha learns more about then world around him, and wants to do something about it. Truly a wonderful and important volume in this incredible series.
Lachlan Harris
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
excellent graphic novel, well structured. excellent story line. wondrous graphic and drawing.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Osamu’s Tezuka’s Buddha (book 2), THE Four Encounters, Paperback edition
On the chance you are coming to these 8 book series via book two, this is not a religious teaching text. This is a lax graphic novelization of a history. So far not much on the religion of the young Prince Siddhartha, the man who will with enlightenment become Buddha, founder of Buddhism. The introduction of highly anachronistic terms is more noticeable and less excusable than was present in book one. Overall I found the st
Tarique Ejaz
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"What is one man's life compared to an eternity of time and space? It is like a snowflake having its moment in the sunlight before melting into the flow of time."

Throughout the second volume, we are introduced to the main protagonist of the series as we journey along with him through his early years. A sickly prince, weighed down by the burden of the responsibilities of an entire kingdom and one who simply seeks the simple truth that has remained unanswered for too long. Along with that we a
Alex E
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the second volume of Buddha, Tezuka steps up not only his artwork, but also the plot by taking what the first volume did and taking it to the next level to continue the story of Siddhartha. The fact that I read a 400 page book in less than a day tells of the wonderful storytelling and pacing that Tezuka uses as he lays out what is essentially an epic tale.

Tezuka's art is much more advanced from the first volume. You can see this in the drawings of tree's, mountain sides, the architecture of t
Ganesh Sree
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Started off this series directly at Vol 2 - The Four Encounters, that's because I managed to borrow a physical copy from a friend. Was a pleasant break to read a physical copy after the numerous eBooks.

The book jumps directly into the royal but mind numbingly boring life of Siddhārtha, that is until he comes across the harsh truth of life (cliché anyone ?). He begins to see the inequalities of the human race - Shudra (The slaves), Vaisya (Commoner), Kshatriya (Warrior) and above all the Brahmin
Wow. This one made me feel things.

First things first. I know next to nothing about the life of the real Buddha. I may have learned things about him during my very brief study of Buddhism that I had to do years ago (all of that information I have since forgotten), but other than that, I don’t know anything. While reading this, I imagined Siddhartha as someone completely separate from the real Buddha so that it was an easier read for me.

However, I found this story to be very entertaining. I read n
Kelsey Dangelo-Worth
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The epic saga of Siddhartha continues as he grows up and realizes his calling, not as a prince, but as a teacher seeking enlightenment. Before this, he escapes the palace, falls in love with a forbidden woman, and must sacrifice her for his father's demands of a royal marriage. Meanwhile, war threatens his country, but Siddhartha begins to see the world differently, as a world of suffering and unnecessary castes.
There's not much to say about this except that it is magnificent epic storytelling,
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was originally skeptical of Prince Siddhartha's choice to follow the mysterious sage's advice and become a wandering monk: Why abandon your country and your people when a war is at your doorstep? Kapilavastu appears in the story so far as a country that seems reasonably prosperous and its court mainly functional. Why throw this all away and basically condemn everyone to probable conquest and misery? This is revisited and answered in the last book, but I wish the choice would have seemed less u ...more
Juan Manuel
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
No wonder Tezuka is called the godfather of manga. The story doesn't miss a beat and the illustration is simple, but exceedingly expressive, playful and just plain beautiful to look at.
Buddha's youth is depicted in this book and his reluctance to be what is expected of him. My previous gripe with female characters is somehow lessened by giving a couple of them distinguishing features and a bit of a personality but I am still looking for a strong female character in this series.
It remains a fun a
Nadia Costa
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second volume on the path of Siddharta in following his call and leaving the paternal kingdom. There is no doubt, humanism goes far more back than in modern philosophy's treatises. Tezuka's vivid characters remind us that humanism is the very base, the first and most important pilar of religions. It is never enough to keep reminding it.
Humourous yet far reaching in thoughts, along with a simple yet unparalleled art. Tezuka it is!
Ajay Kamath
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Osamu Tezuka has an amazing quality of presenting deep ideas in a very simple manner. I found the story to be compelling and finished the book in a single sitting. The humor is subtle and you'll have a laugh from time to time. Every graphic drawn is a work of art and conveys emotion. I'm in love in Japanese manga. For philosophers, this is a great book to ponder on the questions given.
Capili April
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
As engaging as the first volume, this second installment shows the young hero growing in wisdom and resolve. While many panels depict human suffering and wretchedness, there are plenty of humorous moments as well--though these meta and anachronistic jokes are jarring most of the time.
Nicholas Siebers
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting story, with twists and turns. Doesn't completely explain everything, but more may be clear as the volumes unfold. Good art, although most of the characters do not appear Indian. Interested for the next one!
Julianne Rathbone
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Buddha Vol. 2 is easy to jump into for anyone new to manga! Tezuka’s work is a great representation of Japanese comics, with his iconic characters and realistic backgrounds. Engaging and easy to read without being simple, I never had trouble reading in preparation for class.
Shivangi Yadav
May 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
I only finished it because I do not like leaving books midway. The two stars are for the artwork, which despite the mind boggling storyline are an absolutely delight.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm quite torn between reading on and quiting this series... There's something about the style and substance that rubs me the wrong way sometimes...
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Entertaining indeed but one might not take the messages in the book directly as lessons or historical facts on Buddhism.
Steven Peck
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Continues from the first. Well done and enjoyable.
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Dr. Osamu Tezuka ( 手塚治虫 ) was a Japanese manga artist, animator, producer and medical doctor, although he never practiced medicine. Born in Osaka Prefecture, he is best known as the creator of Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion. He is often credited as the "Father of Anime", and is often considered the Japanese equivalent to Walt Disney, who served as a major inspiration during his formative yea ...more

Other books in the series

Buddha (8 books)
  • Buddha, Vol. 1: Kapilavastu (Buddha #1)
  • Buddha, Vol. 3: Devadatta (Buddha, #3)
  • Buddha, Vol. 4: The Forest of Uruvela (Buddha, #4)
  • Buddha, Vol. 5: Deer Park (Buddha, #5)
  • Buddha, Vol. 6: Ananda
  • Buddha, Vol. 7: Prince Ajatasattu
  • Buddha, Vol. 8: Jetavana

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“What is one man's life compared to the eternity of time and space? No more than a snowflake that glitters in the sun for a moment before melting into the flow of time.” 50 likes
“I was a bird. I lived a bird's life from birth to death. I was born the thirty-second chick in the Jipu family.

I remember everything in detail. I remember breaking out of the shell at birth. But I learned later that my mother had gently cracked the shell first to ease my way.

I dozed under my mother's chest for the first few days. Her feathers were so warm and soft! I was strong, so I kicked away my siblings to keep the cozy spot.

Just 10 days after I was born, I was given flying lessons. We all had to learn quickly because there were snakes and owls and hawks. My little brothers and sisters, who didn't practice enough, all died. My little sister looked so unhappy when she got caught. I can still see her face.

Before I could fly, I hadn't known that our nest was on the second-lowest branch of a big tree. My parents chose the location wisely. Snakes could reach the lowest branch and eagles and hawks could attack us if we lived at the top.

We soared through the sky, above mountains and forests. But it wasn't just for fun! We always had to watch out for enemies, and to hunt for food.

Death was always nearby. You could easily starve or freeze to death. Life wasn't easy. Once, I got caught in a monsoon. I smacked into a tree and lay bleeding for days.

Many of my family and friends died, one after another. To help rebuild our clan, I found myself a female and married her. She was so sweet. She laid many eggs, but one day, a human cut down the tree we lived in, crushing all the eggs and my beloved. A bird's life is an endless battle against death.

I survived for many years before I finally met my end. I found a worm at some harvest festival. I came fluttering down.

It was a bad mistake. Some big guy was waiting to ambush hungry little birdies like me. I heard my own guts pop. It was clear to me that I was going to die at last. And I wanted to know where I'd go when I died.”
More quotes…