I know many of you are up to your pointy ears immersing yourselves in the world of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild but even when you take a breather, you can still stay connected to the history of the series with VIZ Media’s new manga, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess by Akira Himekawa. The first volume hit shelves March 14 but Geekscape was fortunate to get an early copy.
Truth be told, I never got very far in this entry in the series when it was on consoles (and what I did experience, I don’t really remember) so I was extra-excited to finally progress through the story. And what a story it is! If you played the game in either its Gamecube, Wii, or Wii U forms than the overall plot should be familiar but, guys, Link talks in the manga! That alone should be a reason to at least give it a look.
If you are like me and did not experience the story prior to the manga, here is a brief run-down. The story opens on a mysterious kingdom, The Twilight Realm, and its ruler, the Twilight Princess Midna. After a cruel betrayal by the old Twilight Realm king’s advisor, Zant, the scene switches over to Link, who leads a peaceful life in the idyllic Ordon Village. A good portion of the first volume is dedicated to Link’s interactions with Ordon Village’s residents and does a great job of fleshing out Link as a character. The world of the Twilight Realm and that of Ordon Village only start to clash near the end of volume one.
The art is drawn beautifully. I liked how the Twilight Realm had a lot of dark tones and shading while scenes in Ordon Village had a lighter palate. It helped set a contrast between the two locales. The art style is more realistic than previous Zelda manga which had a more cartoon-y vibe. Some of the monsters were a bit on the freaky side and there is graphic violence included (it isn’t awful but more than I was anticipating). I can see why this was rated “T for Teen.”
The one gripe that I can see some people having with this one is the pacing. If you were looking for an intense, action-heavy first volume, you find yourself slightly disappointed. There is plenty of action at the end but it isn’t consistent throughout. It personally didn’t bother me. It actually made it feel more like a video game somehow, with a slow build to the character heeding the call to be a hero.
I loved this first volume of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and bestow unto it a 5 out of 5. If the rest of the manga is anything like this first book, I would say we have a real winner on our hands. Gamers and fantasy fans alike will find an thoroughly engrossing story and one that I look forward to continuing.
[This review is based on a sample provided by the publisher. All opinions are my own.]