Master Keaton definitely has an interesting history in the United States. I’m sure there were fans of Naoki Urasawa before 2003 but Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl never had anywhere near the success of its sister anime Ranma ½ in the English-speaking fandom and all the fans of Pineapple Army could probably fit in one room. So when the Master Keaton anime was released by Geneon on June 10, 2003 it hardly had any name cache. The series was a critical darling but a financial flop. Despite that the anime garnered itself a small but devoted following. Then jump ahead to February 21, 2006 when the Monster manga is released. That was the title that made Naoki Urasawa a name in otaku circles. 20th Century Boys and Pluto only solidified his reputation. So that small fandom for Master Keaton finally had hope that maybe the manga that spawned the series they loved might be released in English. But that was not meant to be.
Apparently the title was tied up in a legal battle between Naoki Urasawa and Hokusei Katsushika’s estate. The battle was fierce enough that not only could the title not be licensed in the US but they could not even reprint the series in Japan. So it seemed like a series that would always just be out of reach. Then in March of 2012 Naoki Urasawa started Master Keaton Remaster, a sequel to the original series, as sort of capstone to the end of the legal battle that had engulfed Master Keaton. It seemed that there was hope again and on March 04, 2014 Viz licensed Master Keaton. So after that long journey December 16, 2014 marked the day fans could finally buy Master Keaton. I have talked about the series several times on the blog but now I can official endorse it as a series that you can just order on-line and buy.