Review: Hymn of the Teada #1 & 2
Hymn of the Teada is one of the launch titles of Heavy Metal‘s Virus imprint. Maka Arakaki is just your normal 17-year-old girl living in Okinawa, Japan. Boys, homework, auditions and an overbearing single mother. But not everything is as it seems for the Arakaki family. They share a secret – a special gift that has been passed down through their bloodline for generations. With Maka coming of age, and learning to harness her gift, she now wields the power to alter history and rewrite what once was.
Created by Julia Mechler, Hymn of the Teada features a story by Mechler, Matthew Medney, Morgan Rosenblum, and Jonny Handler. The debut is an interesting read. It weaves together real-world history with a magical feel that evokes the classic films of Studio Ghibili.
What’s first striking from the comic is that it feels well researched. The story takes place in modern Okinawa and the Ryukyu Kingdom in the 1800s and opens up in its history as Japan is bearing down on the the Kingdom over relations with China. The history the comic presents is fascinating with Mechler’s knowledge of the subject matter on full display.
But, it’s the magical elements that stand out. The story progresses and it turns into one that’s familiar and mystical. The concept of time travel is brought into the mix as the series begins to focus on if it’s possible to save the Kingdom from invasion. We the reader know there are likely ripples that will be felt from that possible change in history. We have a time travel story mixed with spirits and ghosts and dragons. The story blends China and Japan’s beautiful mythologies to come together to really give the series the vibe it projects.
The art by Santa Fung with color by Julia Pinchuk and lettering by Voodoo Bownz is beautiful. What becomes more evident as the comic goes on is how much detail has gone into the comic. The segments taking place in the past are full of outfits and architecture of the time. While not an expert, it all feels authentic and the differences become very apparent as we shift to modern times. But, what’s impressive is how well the magical elements transfer between the two time periods helping to connect the two and make the two segments of the story connect in an interesting way. Two different times don’t feel out of place due to small details.
Hymn of the Teada #1 & 2 is a fascinating start to the series that had me wanting to research the history presented. To get the reader to be excited to do further reading is an impressive feet for a series and shows how engaging it is.
Creators: Julia Mechler and Hero Projects
Story: Matthew Medney, Morgan Rosenblum, Jonny Handler, and Julia Mechler
Writers: Matthew Medney, Morgan Rosenblum
Art: Santa Fung Color: Julia Pinchuck Letterer: Voodoo Bownz
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Heavy Metal provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review