Just over a decade ago, in the final years of the GameCube console system, The Legend of Zelda made itself known once more to the world with the release of Twilight Princess. Long famed for its more mature and realistic style as opposed to the Zelda titles that came before it, Twilight Princess, having been the first game of the series to claim a T rating. took the tale of Hyrule down a slightly darker path making the entry beloved by fans everywhere to this day.
By the grace of duo female comic artist Akira Himekawa, this spring, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was able to have its english manga release of its Volume 1. The manga which is loosely based on the fan favorite franchise entry, while only an introduction, makes it clear that while games being translated into movies tend to lose their way, the same most definitely cannot be said for manga.
Serving as an opener, the volume begins with the tale of Hyrule’s ancient past being told by none other than Princess Midna of Twilight. The first chapter illustrates the tale of the Twilight realm’s creation leading straight up to the treachery by Midna’s late father’s evil adviser Zant who seeks to reclaim the land of light so as to rule over both realms.
While the Twilight realm endures this struggle, the rest of the volume segues to a young elf-eared man named Link (of course) who lives a rather care free life working as a ranch hand in a small village. While happy and beloved by his fellow villagers, it becomes clear that Link may not be as care free as he would like the world to believe as his personal struggles with a past he has been trying to escape begins to make itself known as one of the young villagers goes missing and the village is attacked by monsters.
Much like the video game, the Twilight Princess manga seems to carry the same sense of darkness. While there are many moments of levity, the manga strikes a wonderful balance with its darker elements without taking it too far. The fighting is savage and intense without being gory. The story and the history behind the events which are starting to unfold is told in such a way that it lures you in without coming on too strong or too heavy. For an introductory volume to a new series, the manga serves as an intriguing glance at things yet to come even with its rather abrupt and puzzling end.
Many fans of The Legend of Zelda franchise will love this book for the nostalgia value alone but can also look forward to a familiar tale being told in a different way. From this initial volume it is clear that the manga, while playing off the core story of the Twilight Princess game, will be taking its own liberties to embellish the story in order to create a refreshingly new experience for all readers new and old.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Volume 1 is a wonderful allusion to a fantasy world of royalty, magic and heroism which without a doubt can stand its own. Fans of the game franchise will flock to it for its familiarity and those who may not know much of Link’s adventures will likely find themselves drawn in by the high stakes hero’s journey which is no doubt ready to unfold across the pages.
Twilight Princess Volume 1 is available now thanks to VIZ Media wherever manga is sold with Volume 2 to be released in August of 2017.
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