Following a horrific defeat at the battle of Sekigahara, two survivors, Takezo Shinmen and Matahachi Hon’iden, are deflated at having been unable to make a name for themselves and earn glory on the battlefield. But while Matahachi is anxious to go home, Takezo has vowed never to return and intends to become a vagabond, travelling the country polishing and testing his skills as a swordsman. With a beastial mercilessness when it comes to killing and a habit of cutting down all in his path, it doesn’t take long for Takezo to become a wanted fugitive. However, after being captured by a monk named Takuan and given a new lease of life, Takezo begins to live under the name of Musashi Miyamoto. Now, with a new view on life and death, Musashi continues to travel the nation challenging the most infamous fighters to achieve his goal of becoming the strongest samurai ever known.
Both of these series focus on a superbly skilled samurai who, after the wars, is left without a position and now wanders the land as a mercenary. Both stories have a similarly dark atmosphere, and a grittiness to the artwork.