4.285 out of 5 from 39 votes
Down in the Mississippi delta, RJ has a stable life and loving wife, but what he really wants is to play the blues better than anyone around - a dream he'd be willing to give up just about anything to attain. One night at the juke he hears a rumor that if a man stands at the crossroads at midnight and plays a song, the devil will appear and transform him into an expert bluesman in exchange for his soul. Later, in a drunken stupor, RJ accidentally does just that, dooming his happy life. With nothing to return to, he sets off on the road where he'll face gangsters, a small prohibition town determined to lynch him, and the devil himself.
Not every historical event or figure will make it into the history books. Often, influential people and fascinating events fall to the wayside, where they are quickly buried beneath the sands of time. Baseball legend Ty Cobb, renowned inventor Nicola Tesla, and Typhoid Mary - a woman responsible for spreading the lethal typhoid fever during her career as a cook - are just a few significant figures that are often forgotten entirely... until now.
A couple of chapters from Lives of Eccentrics reminded my of Me and the Devil Blues, but the most obvious similarities were in the chapter on baseball legend Ty Cobb. Cobb is exactly like most of the villains in MatDB: violent tendencies, every emotion contorts his face, unrelenting egotism and racism. Additionally, both are historical, and most of the stories in both take place in early 1900s America, a setting that's rare in manga/anime.
Senou Souichirou is a ronin with a mysterious past and a terrible secret: he is possessed by a fox demon whose bloodlust awakens during combat. To escape his fate, the man relocates to Edo and replaces his blade for one of non-lethal bamboo. And while the ronin's neighbors are initially suspicious of this odd man who chases butterflies, befriends children, and can find beauty is the most unconventional of places, they eventually accept him into the community. But with assassins and his own inner demons constantly threatening to break the peace, it seems that Souichirou's new life will be far from restful...
Takemitsu Zamurai and Me and the Devil Blues are phenomenal seinen manga about two men with literal inner demons.
Both intersperse moments of graphic violence and bone-chilling creepiness with scenes of normal people doing normal things. They're also very well-researched (both are historical), have some of the most finely-crafted plots I've seen in manga, and two of the best art styles as well (though they're at complete opposite sides of the spectrum).
In sum: Go read both of them. Right now.