Amanda's Reviews > Buddha, Vol. 2: The Four Encounters

Buddha, Vol. 2 by Osamu Tezuka
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's review
Nov 13, 2011

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bookshelves: graphic-novel, series, nonfiction-buddhism
Read on November 13, 2011

Really 3.5 stars.

The second entry in the novelization of the Buddha's life takes us through Siddhartha's youth spent as a prince. He meets a mysterious Brahmin who tells him he is destined to help the whole world, not rule a single kingdom. Siddhartha is weak, frequently sleeps, and has visions. He is discontent as a prince yet reluctant to abandon his people. On an adventure outside the castle walls he meets a grown-up Tatta and falls for a slave woman, Migaila. Conflict between what he believes and his duties as a prince seem central to the plot, yet in fact it is Siddhartha's reluctance to follow his calling and leave the castle to be a monk that is at the core of the conflict.

An improvement over the first entry with more focus on Siddhartha instead of the made-up side characters. Although the parts focusing on him are much stronger, alas the side storyline still takes away quite a bit of the energy of the book. I again found myself wishing this was a straight graphic novelization of Siddhartha.

That said, it is an interesting new way to explore the life of the Buddha. I would not recommend it to those new to his life or to those who do not generally enjoy graphic novels, though.

Check out my full review. (Link will be live on November 16, 2011).

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