By Dustin Cabeal
All I know about Zelda is that Link’s got earrings now and they need to figure out a new title for this series. Mostly because I’m fucking tired of seeing that same old ass joke of “Zelda isn’t the name of the main character.” No shit. Change that shit Nintendo or make a game all about Zelda for once.
Seriously, though, I’ve played some of the games and have liked none of them. I’ve never been able to get into them, and while I understand there’s a die-hard fanbase always looking for the next game to come, it’s not me.
That said, I thought I would hate the hell out of Twilight Princess, but I figured I’d give it a shot. While it didn’t make me want to play any of the games ever, I enjoyed what I read. Yeah! Good job Akira Himekawa for making me say something other than “Link’s got earrings” and finishing the review. That was my plan originally, but I liked it, so I’m giving it a real review of sorts.
The story explains the twilight kingdom and establishes the plight of the title character, the Twilight Princess. After that, we meet Link who is a ranch hand (their words, not mine) for a village that’s protected by a bridge and a gate. It’s a peaceful time for the nation, but Link is acting weird. He’s hiding his past and dodging things like going to the kingdom to deliver a sword. We see his interactions with the village and mostly the kids that look up to him. We continue to learn that there’s a darkness that’s following Link and now it’s reached this peaceful town, but is it all because of him?
There are too many kids in the story, but other than that it’s a nice balance of video gamey elements and manga elements. Link as a “ranch hand” is an interesting way of showing that he’s taking on RPG like jobs to get paid. He goes fishing; he catches animals that have broken out. It’s all very RPG-like, but without turning to the audience and saying, “hey, this is based on a video game!” The dialogue wasn’t perfect, but it was enjoyable none the less. There’s a lot of exposition, but I can forgive it based on the amount of information the story is trying to cover. There’s not a lot of character development, so we’ll have to see what happens next time.
The art is stunning. It’s more in line with the art I’ve seen in the games, than the art I’ve seen in manga. This works well for the story as it keeps a clean and detailed look throughout the volume. I found myself gazing at the art while reading and that’s not something that often happens for something like this, this being an adaptation of a video game. Usually, the game wins, but here I’m more inclined to go with the manga.
Even though this volume of Twilight Princess isn’t perfect, I have to admit that it’s very entertaining and hooks you easily. If someone that’s not a fan of the franchise and has zero knowledge of it can be hooked and entertained this quickly, then I can’t imagine how much actual fans are going to enjoy it. Even if you don’t like Link: The Legend of Zelda, you can’t knock a great story when you read it.
The Legend of Zelda – Twilight Princess vol. 1
Story and Art: Akira Himekawa
Publisher: Viz Media