The Legend of Zelda is one of the greatest video game series of all time. It also happens to be one of my favorite. When I first discovered that there was manga series based off the franchise I have played since I was a child, I had a bit of a meltdown. The series is by Akira Himekawa and every book is a treasure, including the latest based on final Zelda game on the Gamecube and the first for the Wii. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 1 debuted on February 8th, 2016 – it was translated and released in the States on March 15th, 2017, published by Viz Media.
At first, it wasn’t likely that the book would be published at all due to the game’s rating and how it was received. Like the previous entries in this manga series, the Twilight Princess manga is based off the video game of the same name. This graphic novel is the first of four planned for the series.
There is a Legend…
Our hero, Link, is doing his best to settle down in the peaceful Ordon Village. Little does he know, his world of light is about to turn dark. Shadows have begun to stir. An ancient evil long forgotten has taken hold of the land of Hyrule. Can Link face the darkness of his former life and rise to meet his destiny? Or will he be swallowed forever by the demons lurking in his past?
Entering The Shadow Realm
While Twilight Princess is based off the video game, there are quite a few changes to the story. It goes further into the origins of Zant and Midna and provides Link with a backstory prior to his arrival in Ordon Village. While this added information fills in the narrative, I’m eager to see how they develop it in each volume. Focusing on our main hero, this personification of Link is different than others up to this point. He’s a little rough around the edges and less eager to please. He acts like an actual teenager, which is refreshing, but he still has those familiar heroic qualities.
The theme is much darker and the visuals complement that vision. Some of the scenes are pretty gruesome, but then again, this was one of the more somber entries in the game franchise. As a starter, Vol. 1 does a good job drawing in the readers, leaving many unanswered questions. It also provides enough change for veterans of the series to be intrigued. While the novel does captivate its audience, I feel like it ended far too soon. This book only covers the very beginning – and though the creators have always done well adapting the games, I can’t help but worry a bit. Or maybe I just want the next volume to be out.
I can’t get over the artistry; the artwork is just outstanding. Hyrule and its inhabitants leap off the page. Each character depiction is very true to the video game. The panels are fluid, easy to follow, and they read quickly. Overall, this is a pretty good start to a series.
Twilight Princess, Vol. 1: Final Thoughts
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 1 doesn’t shy away from the darker themes explored in its console counterpart.Though the tone is more mature than other franchise adaptations, it is visually inspired and true to the source material. It introduces a fair amount of previously unexplored backstory and sets up its audience for the next dramatic entry; and I am excited for it!