Thursday, April 6, 2017
Review: THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: Legendary Edition - Majora's Mask/A Link to the Past
VIZ MEDIA – @VIZMedia
MANGAKA: Akira Himekawa
TRANSLATION: John Werry, Honyaku Center, Inc.
ENGLISH ADAPTATION: Steve “Stan!” Brown
LETTERS: John Hunt
EDITORS: Mike Montesa; Joel Enos
ISBN: 978-1-4215-8961-2; paperback (March 2017); Rated “A” for “All Ages”
402pp, B&W with some color, $17.99 U.S., $24.99 CAN, £12.99 U.K.
The Legend of Zelda is a high-fantasy themed action-adventure video game series published by Nintendo. Since 1986, Nintendo has published over 20 Zelda games and spin-offs. For two decades, Nintendo has also officially endorsed and commissioned manga adaptations of The Legend of Zelda. The Legend of Zelda revolves around Link, a brave knight/warrior, and Princess Zelda of Hyrule, who guides, encourages, instructs, and summons Link to battle evil.
Mangaka Akira Himekawa has produced several multi-chapter manga serials based on particular Legend of Zelda video games. VIZ Media is reprinting these Himekawa manga under the title, The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition. The third release in this series is The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition – Majora's Mask/A Link to the Past. Majora's Mask is a 2000 video game in the Zelda series. Himekawa's manga based on the 1991 game, A Link to the Past, was originally titled Triforce of the Gods, but is entitled A Link to the Past for its new English-language release.
In Majora's Mask, Link is a famous swordsman. He stops to give lessons at the school of an old friend before continuing his search for his missing friend, Navi the fairy. On his journey, Link is transported to the land of Termina, where he is accosted by someone named “Skull Kid.” This character wears the cursed Majora's Mask, and he also imprisons Link's face inside a mask. Now, Link must not only unravel the mysteries of the masks, but he must also solve the troubles that besiege Termina and stop Skull Kid from dragging the moon down so that it will crash into the Termina village of Clock Town.
In A Link to the Past, Link is an apple farmer in Hyrule, and he grows apples so good that they can heal the body. With his Uncle's help, Link is ready to make his farm the best apple orchard in Hyrule. However, one night, Link hears a mysterious female voice calling him. The voice belongs to Zelda, Princess of Hyrule, and she is being held captive by the traitorous royal adviser, Agahnim. He wants the legendary Triforce, and the only way Link can stop him and rescue Zelda is to find the legendary “Master Sword.” With the help of the female bandit, Ghanti, Link goes on a journey that takes him to many lands and that may also answer questions about Link's past.
In the last year, VIZ Media has sent me several volumes of The Legend of Zelda manga so that I might review them. I have discovered that these manga are better reads than I ever imagined – not that I took much time to think about Zelda manga.
The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition – Majora's Mask/A Link to the Past manga is not as awesome a volume of the previous volume of the Legendary Edition series, The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition – Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages, but it is still quite good.
Majora's Mask is a quest fantasy that has nothing to do with Link rescuing or serving Princess Zelda, at least in the manga. Majora's Mask, as a narrative, has a weak opening, but the story picks up strength and momentum when Link starts looking for the “four giants.” Majora's Mask definitely finishes better than it started.
A Link to the Past is a strong, exciting story from beginning to end, and I have to admit that I was disappointed that it had to end. It is a pure Link-rescues-Zelda story. Both Majora's Mask and A Link to the Past are well served by the clean drawing style of the art, which makes for clear storytelling. Akira Himekawa presents his Legend of Zelda manga in a graphic style that makes the story attractive to readers young and young-at-heart.
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
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