Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, vol. 1

Story and Art by Akira Himekawa
Released in the US by Viz

Slugline: A quest manga that doesn't stop to smell the roses

Link lives in the forest under the protection of the living tree Deku, but when Deku comes under attack, Link saves the forest and learns that he has to go out into the world to fulfill the mission that Deku gives him with his dying breath (or whatever trees do.) Link meets Princess Zelda after leaving the forest and learns that he needs to collect three jewels. After collecting the three jewels, making friends along the way, he returns to see Zelda to become a Hero. When getting the Hero's magic sword, Link is put to sleep for seven years so that he will be old enough to wield it effectively. In the intervening time the evil has spread and now a young man, Link has to now free five temples. In his travels he encounters many of the same character that he did seven years previously, and by the end of the first volume he is already halfway through his search for the temples.

This almost read like a collection of traditional comics, in that each chapter tells a complete part of the overall story. The plot does not linger, with each chapter advancing the story. Normally I would have expected by the end of the first book that Link maybe would have retrieved the second jewel, rather than already be on his second quest. Maybe the quick chapter are part of it's legacy as a computer game or since this rated an all ages book, a deliberate choice in order to appeal to younger readers. Other than this willingness to buck manga convention, the story is a pretty standard “quest for the X number of magic items to save the world!” For adults, it is rather shallow but the title has been optimized for younger readers and will probably enjoy the title more.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga


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