Cover of the first Japanese Butsu Zone manga volume
|Written by||Hiroyuki Takei|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Jump|
|Original run||March 1997 – August 1997|
Butsu Zone (仏ゾーン Butsu Zōn?, "Buddha Zone") is the first serialized manga by Hiroyuki Takei in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump of 1997. The term "Buddha Zone" refers to the concept by which a Buddha can appear on Earth using a Buddha statue.
The series highlights the adventures of Senju (the Thousand-Hand Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva) who has to find and protect Sachi, an incarnation of the Buddha Miroku (Maitreya Bodhisattva). Miroku is said to appear on Earth at a time when the Dharma is no longer taught and is completely forgotten, achieve complete enlightenment and then re-teach the pure dharma, becoming a successor of Śākyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. It is thus Senju's job to aid Miroku (Sachi) in achieving enlightenment, enabling her to achieve Buddha.
In 1975, a young orphan girl named Sachi protests against the planned destruction of the temple Saigan (her home) by the Minoura clan, who plans to build a hotel in its place. When one of the gangsters notices the statue of the Thousand-Hand Kannon within the temple, Sachi tells them that she will not allow anything to happen to the statue. In response, the gangsters laugh and threaten her, telling her that there is nothing the statue can do to save her. However, the Thousand-Hand Kannon comes to life, breaking the temple doors and attacking one of the gangsters. The statue shatters into pieces and inside it is a boy who tells them to lay their hands off Sachi, sending fear amongst the gangsters who then flee, vowing revenge. The boy introduces himself as Senju, the Thousand-Hand Kannon.
Senju, as an emissary of the buddha Kannon, has appeared in the human world to find and protect the reincarnation of the future Buddha, Miroku. Recognizing Sachi as Miroku, Senju reveals that it is his mission to accompany her to India where she will awaken and achieve enlightenment to save the world from destruction. However, they inhibited by the Mara, forces that seek to pollute with earthly desires, and Buddha who believe that Senju is not strong enough to protect Sachi from harm.
- Senju (センジュ?)
- Senju, known as the Thousand-Hand Avalokiteśvara, is a Bodhisattva sent to protect the incarnation of the bodhisattva Miroku by Dainichi Nyorai (Mahavairocana). He wears garments called a tenne (天衣 ,"celestial garments"?) and has an arm ring on his left arm. Because his original statue was made of wood, Senju can float.
- Sachi Saigan (西岸サチ Saigan Sachi?)
- A young girl who was abandoned by her parents 10 years before the beginning of the story and raised by a poor priest. Sachi is an incarnation of the Buddha Miroku. She is initially suspicious towards Senju, but eventually follows him to avoid being attacked constantly by the envoys of Mara.
- Jizō (ジゾウ Jizō?)
- (The Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha) Senju's childhood friend. He had waited for 2500 years for Miroku's appearance. His primary attack is the Mudra Beam (印ビーム In-bīmu?); he also has the Jizō Armor (地蔵天衣 Jizō āmā?) which he used only once in the series.
- Mike Minoura (マイク箕浦 Maiku Minoura?)
- The leader of the Minoura clan, Minoura destroyed Sachi's temple, but was defeated by Senju. He and his clan later become Buddhist monks and help rebuild the temple. The origin of the character name is American comic book artist and writer Mike Mignola.
- Ashura (阿 修罗?)
- The main antagonist. An former Bodhisattva who went towards Mara. He is the leader of the forces opposing the awakening of Miroku. He was a once friends with Senju.
- Koma (コマ?)
- A stone status who originally posed next to a temple, he was rescued by Senju when he was thrown. He followed Senju onto Earth.
- Bato (バトウ?)
- Another Bodhisattva, he was sent to replace Senju when the situation becomes critical.
- Anna Kyoyama (恐山 アンナ Kyōyama Anna?)
- An itako priestess who possesses the ability to summon the dead using her body as a medium and wields the sword Harusame. Found on Mount Osore, she was raised by an elderly itako, whom Anna views as a grandmother. She has a cheerful and indomitable spirit, along with an unscrupulous desire to obtain money in order to travel the world and find her birth parents. Her character later inspired Anna Kyoyama, one of the main characters of Takei's later work, Shaman King.
- Junkei (順慶?)
- A wood carver and sculptor who created Senju's body. He modeled Senju's appearance based on that of his deceased sister, Osen. Senju and the other communicate with him using Anna as a medium.
Shueisha's collected the nineteen individual chapters known as "Butsu" into three tankōbon. The first was published on July 4, 1997; the final was released on December 4, 1997. Kodansha re-released the series in two volumes on July 17, 2007.
|1||When You Pray to a Buddha Statue, You're Calling on a Real Hero!!
"Butsuzō o mitara hero to omoe!!" (仏像を見たらヒーローと思え!!)
|July 4, 1997||ISBN 4-08-872306-6|
|2||The One Who Dominates His Passions
"Bonnō o tatsu otoko" (煩悩を断つ男)
|October 3, 1997||ISBN 4-08-872307-4|
|3||Decisive Fight on the Riverside of Sai
"Sai no kawara no kessen" (賽の河原の決戦)
|December 4, 1997||ISBN 4-08-872308-2|
- "Butsu Zone - The chapter of Awakening" (仏ゾーン 悠久の章, "Butsu Zōn: Kakusei no Shō"?)
- "Butsu Zone - The chapter of Ordeal" (仏ゾーン 試練の章, "Butsu Zōn: Shiren no Shō"?)
- "Butsu Zone - The chapter of Eternity" (仏ゾーン 悠久の章, "Butsu Zōn: Yūkyū no Shō"?)
- "仏ゾーン/1 | 武井 宏之" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved August 8, 2010.
- 仏ゾーン (1) (in Japanese). Amazon.com. Retrieved August 8, 2010.
- 仏ゾーン (2) (in Japanese). Amazon.com. Retrieved August 8, 2010.
- 仏ゾーン (3) (in Japanese). Amazon.com. Retrieved August 8, 2010.
- "｢仏ゾーン｣ドラマCD1 | 武井 宏之" (in Japanese). Avex Group. Retrieved August 8, 2010.