Title: Master Keaton Vol. 12
Author: Naoki Urasawa
Publisher: VIZ Media
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Naoki Urasawa’s episodic series, Master Keaton, has come to an end after 12 omnibus volumes. I highly enjoyed the ending to the series as it was a long, continuous story from beginning to end in this volume, something that I felt the series really needed throughout. Volume 12 kicks off with Keaton applying for a job at Toto University. He needs the funding and the backing into order to continue digging and doing research. He had a paper with him that he wrote about an ancient civilization on the Danube River that could have rivaled Mesopotamia. Things didn’t go his way at Toto, though as the only way to succeed there is to play politics. Talk to the right people, do the right things and always do what you’re told and you can make it, but Keaton didn’t want to be limited in his research so he ended up abandoning it.
He made this decision after his mentor Professor Scott passed away. It was said that he had left Keaton something so he went on a journey to try and track that object down. His granddaughter Maggie ended up having what he was looking for which turned out to be a plate which could be the key to proving his thesis! Keaton finally returns to work as an investigator which leads him to a case in Romania, the place that may just hold the final pieces of the puzzle. Of course, Keaton can’t just walk into Romania and dig, though. He is sidetracked by his job as an investigator. During the process of his investigation, he ends up getting shot. Even though he is wounded he recovers. Once his investigation blows over, he heads to a dig site where he proclaims that he may not find anything, but he’s going to dig on the off chance that something does come up and that is how the series ends.
Throughout the series, a lot of Keaton’s cases didn’t really have a definite ending to them. While, yes, the cases were solved, it left a lot of things open or up in the air about them. While most of the cases were episodic, this kind of thing didn’t really hurt the series overall; however, I find it kind of ironic that the entire series ended the same way. It was never really stated if Keaton would ever find what he was looking for. It will be never known if his thesis about the ancient Danube civilization can be proven. Naoki Urasawa would rather leave that ending up to the readers so we can interpret it any way we would like. It left things very open, but in a good way because it makes you reflect back on the previous chapters and allows you to draw your own conclusions.
If you are a fan of world culture and want to read about it in an entertaining medium, then Master Keaton will be a stellar series for you. Some people who don’t like things such as history or culture may not find this series to their liking, but that’s okay. It is a niche series that not everyone will enjoy, but it’s not all about archaeology and culture, though. A lot of the cases deal with murder, fraud and other crimes. Some of which, over the course of the series, have been pretty touching. There’s a lot of heart and emotion poured into Master Keaton that makes the series something that can be enjoyed by anyone.
It was a pleasure to get to experience this series and if you want something to kill time and entertain you all the while, then Master Keaton is a series you should most definitely pick up!
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**This item was provided for review by VIZ Media