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Manga Monday Review: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Vol. 1

Once upon a time, wizards tried to conquer the Sacred Realm of Hyrule. The Spirits of Light sealed the wizards’ power within the Shadow Crystal and banished them to the Twilight Realm beyond the Mirror of Twilight. Now, an evil menace is trying to find Midna, Princess of the Twilight Realm, and the fragments of the Shadow Crystal to gain the power to rule over both the Twilight Realm and the World of Light.

Link once trained in swordsmanship, hoping to protect the world of Hyrule. After a fateful meeting, he sought out the anonymity and peace of life in a small village. But danger and adventure always find heroes to set things right, and when the dark minions of the King of Shadows threaten his new home, Link answers the call!

Akira Himekawa is really two women, A. Honda, and S. Nagano, who together have adapted this modern classic video game for the manga page. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Vol. 1 is all set up taking us into this new world of Link introducing us to the light and the dark and hinting at the adventure to come. The first volume is very much a set up with the action coming at the very end, so if you’re looking for a story to dive right into Link’s adventure, that’s not it. But, that slow start feels like a classic Link story and it’s hard to not read each page with the classic Legend of Zelda theme song playing in your head.

The art is fantastic and perfectly captures the video game’s imagery on the printed page. Characters look familiar and there’s so much detail without overwhelming the page. The manga’s art feels like it captures the video game series and is just a perfect translation. The balance between the light and dark is emphasized in the art and uses of grays and blacks on the page. We’re transported from one to the other with just a flip of the page. For as fun as the manga is the read, the art is just as fantastic.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Vol. 1 is perfectly timed to be released with Link’s latest video game adventure. It extends the fun to the printed page to relax and read when you’re not guiding the excitement yourself with a joystick. All these years later, the manga feels familiar and like home in many ways. For fans of this franchise, or those who enjoy a fantasy epic, this is a must get.

Story: Akira Himekawa Art: Akira Himekawa Translation: John Werry and Stan!
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Viz Media provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review