Master Keaton (MASTERキートン, Masutā Kīton) is a Japanese manga series created by Hokusei Katsushika and Naoki Urasawa. It was serialized in Big Comic Original between 1988 and 1994 and ran for 144 chapters. The chapters were combined into 18 tankōbon volumes. An anime adaptation was created, with 24 episodes airing between 1998 and 1999 in Japan on Nippon Television. An additional 15 episodes were created and released as OVAs, bringing the total to 39 episodes. The manga's target audience was Japanese men in their 20's and 30's, a comparatively older target audience than is common for most anime series.
Naoki Urasawa will be writing a sequel to the series, titled Master Keaton Remaster (MASTERキートン Reマスター), with writer Takashi Nagasaki. Beginning in the March 2012 issue of Big Comic Original, it will take place 20 years after the original series ended.
The story revolves around Taichi Hiraga-Keaton (平賀＝キートン・太一, Hiraga-Kīton Taichi), the son of Japanese zoologist Taihei Hiraga (平賀太平, Hiraga Tahei) and well-born Englishwoman Patricia Keaton. Keaton's parents separated when he was five, and young Taichi moved back to England with his mother. As an adult, he studied archeology at Oxford University, in part under the tutelage of Professor Yuri Scott.
At Oxford, Keaton met and later married his wife, who was a mathematics student at Somerville College. The couple later divorced, with Keaton leaving his five-year-old daughter Yuriko (百合子) in her mother's care. After leaving Oxford, Keaton joined the British Army and became a member of the SAS, reaching the rank of master sergeant and seeing combat in the Falklands War and as one of the team members that responded to the Iranian Embassy incident. His combat training serves him in good stead as an insurance investigator for the prestigious Lloyd's of London where he is known for his abilities and his unorthodox methods of investigation.
In addition to his work for Lloyd's, Keaton and his friend Daniel O'Connell operate their own insurance investigation agency headquartered in London. Even though Keaton is fairly successful as an insurance investigator, his dream is to continue his archaeological research into the possible origins of an ancient European civilization in the Danube River basin.