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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
321
The Legend of Zelda Box Set
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$43.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on June 2, 2015
Please note: I already own and have played almost every Zelda game, therefore, you may rest assured that I will certainly be able to tell the differences between the games and their respective manga.

This Zelda Manga Box Set by Akira Himekawa includes all of the Zelda manga that they have made thus far, with the only two exceptions being their special 32-page Skyward Sword manga (included in the Hyrule Historia book), and the 16-page Ocarina of Time 3D Promotional Manga that has yet to be released in English. I have already individually reviewed each of the books included in this set on their individual Amazon pages, and so, for the convenience of my readers. I will include direct links to each of those within this review; that way, if you would like to learn more details about what to expect from the included books, you can do so, without me having to make this review incredibly long.

The included manga books, and the links to the reviews I have done on them:

Volumes 1: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Part 1:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R1IKWKRW8L11G5/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1421523272&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=283155&store=books

Volume 2: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Part 2:
http://www.amazon.com/review/RQLURJ5KOR882/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1421523280&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=283155&store=books

Volume 3: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R3GYBUUVASDUXV/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1421523299&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=283155&store=books

Volume 4:The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons:
http://www.amazon.com/review/RJ8P46EVDUU8J/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1421523302&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=283155&store=books

Volume 5: The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R2CXEZND3F4PQ6/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1421523310&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=283155&store=books

Volume 6: The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords: Part 1:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R24PTAM58RUATG/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1421523329&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=283155&store=books

Volume 7: The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords: Part 2:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R2SK5XM4JPVXX9/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1421523337&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=283155&store=books

Volume 8: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R1DKLBFPKFB1U0/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1421523345&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=283155&store=books

Volume 9: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R3KAVSZGI8K8NW/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1421523353&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=283155&store=books

Volume 10: The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R15Q74M020E544/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1421537249&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=283155&store=books

About the set as a whole:

Basic Storyline:
The basic storylines always follow the stories of their respective Zelda games, and the end result will still ultimately be the same (although Minish Cap may be slightly more different than the others in some ways), so Zelda fans needn't worry much about that.

Additions and Changes:
While the main storyline will still be the same as in the games these books are based on, the authors, collectively know as Akira Himekawa, do take some liberties and make changes to some aspects of the quests, locations, and events, as well as very rarely adding a few original characters of their own. For those who are worried about this ruining any chance of making it fit into the official timeline, don't be; in my reviews, I explain how the seemingly contradictory events can mostly actually fit in perfectly if looked at a certain way; however, if you are the type of person who must have everything absolutely canon, and can't stand anything that even slightly deviates from the original game, then this set is definitely not for you.

Character Portrayal:
Never before have I seen better portrayal of the Zelda characters than in this set. Akira Himekawa truly do love this series with all of their heart and soul, and this is very evident in the way that they faithfully represent each character. I have gotten so tired of reading about stories where Link is portrayed as a sarcastic, selfish teenager, and thankfully, Akira Himekawa doesn't stick to this frustrating trend. Link is portrayed as being a kind, selfless person -- a true Hero -- just as he should be, and that very fact alone is enough to earn them five stars, in my opinion.

Emotion:
If there's one thing that these stories accomplish extremely well, it's making everything feel genuine. Whether you are reading and looking at a scene of extreme joy, anger, or sorrow, everything is perfectly and touchingly portrayed in both writing and illustration. Never before have I been able to get as attached to any story's characters as I have with the characters in their Zelda manga series.

Art:
The art in these books is extremely amazing, always based off the official art for the Zelda game series, and then made even more gorgeous by the authors' own styles. The loving attention to detail is sure to steal your heart away the moment you open up one of the books. The illustrations within the books are all done in black and white -- the usual choice for a manga -- and although this may disappoint some people at first, let me tell you that this in no way takes away from the beauty this art has to offer.

Translation:
The translation itself is also done very well -- my only complaint being that, with pretty much every one of the books series, there is usually at least one typographical error to be found, but this is hardly even a complaint worth mentioning, and I am only doing so in the hope of being as thorough as possible in my review of this manga series. It's certainly not worth taking off any stars in my review.
I had already read some fan-translated versions of many of these when I bought them, and so thought I knew what to expect; however, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the official versions are even better. Some fan translations try to place in swear words to make the stories sound more "grownup", however, this seemed awkward and out of place in the Zelda series, not to mention completely unnecessary -- thankfully, the official version remedies this problem and replaces such words with Link simply saying "Curses!" and the like. Some people may think this is ridiculous, but the Zelda series was meant to be without such words, and to add them to the book would be to completely ignore and disrespect a trademark of the stories that these books were based on. The lack of cussing does not take away from the tale; but rather, it shows us just how deep and beautiful a story can be without relying on foul language to keep the readers entertained. On that note, it should be said that these books are in no way written exclusively for children. That is not to say that they cannot be enjoyed by them -- in fact they quite often are, but it is very clear that some of the vocabulary used in the books (e.g., pragmatic, frugal) was not written with children in mind, as it is far too complicated for them to fully comprehend.

My Shipping Experience:
I know a lot of people have complained that when they received their set in the mail, it was damaged; however, it arrived in perfect condition for me, and well-protected, as well. Delivery was very fast, and it came within a day of placing the order. Very pleased about that.

Price:
At Amazon, they're currently less than $40, so it is more than definitely worth the price, especially when you consider how wonderful these high-quality books are. I'd even dare to say it's well worth the original price of $80, for someone who truly loves the series, provided that the set is new and unopened.

With all of the amazing art, storytelling, and emotion, there is no way that any Zelda fan could go wrong with this book set. The price is excellent, and believe me, each and every book in this set will leave a lasting, wonderful impression on your heart. Don't hesitate; just buy the set now, and never look back, because you won't regret it.
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on January 26, 2012
I have a confession to make: While I do enjoy watching anime both obscure and well-known, I've never read a manga before this box set by the duo group Akira Himekawa (I love comics, but that's quite different). I had to learn, from this box set, how to read Manga properly. That's how green I am when it comes to this form of decidedly niche entertainment. I do, however, love the Legend of Zelda. It is by far my favorite series in video gaming, a hobby I personally consider my favorite pastime. That said, when I saw samples of the Zelda manga online and the glowing reception it has received, I took the plunge and bought this box set. From the perspective of a devout Zelda fan, was it worth it? Oh yes, it most certainly was. This is an exceptional rendition of eight different Zelda classics (plus some extra/bonus content), to be sure.

Obviously whenever you try to convert a story between two different forms of media as vastly different as video games and manga, there will be liberties taken with the stories. Temples/dungeon will obviously be shortened and narrative complexities will be added to make reading the story more relatable and compelling. There are details and events added that never existed in the games, and there are details or events in the game that are completely left out or remixed and tweaked for the mangas. Generally speaking, think less action, more exposition, and you've got a general idea of what to expect here. Again, I am a Zelda fanatic, and I did not mind these changes one bit. On the contrary, as the differences between these mangas and the games make for very compelling ideas and concepts that can add depth to stories you may have thought you knew everything about. Really great work here.

It's not just details or events in the stories that have been changed. The characters all have more explored personalities and the relationships between them is developed quite deeply. I really enjoyed this too. Nowhere is this more evident than in Link's character. No longer the silent protagonist, Link is a fully fledged character with a distinct personality, understandable motivation, and a voice! Just as the games make him a main character we rally behind, the tomes in this set make him a character we understand and root for. To translate that conveyance of great character, despite the radically different methods of connecting the audience to Link, is no small feat, but they did a great job here. What's even better is that every story has a Link that, while having similar core personalities, are quite different from each other. A Link to the Past's Link is quite different than Ocarina of Time's Link, for instance. The two-part volumes for Four Swords Adventures has four Links, and each of those are *greatly* different from each other, making for a seriously entertaining and fascinating story. Link's awesome characterization is one of the greatest strengths of this whole set. I love it!

The work done to translate these works into English was done exceptionally well. As I've already said, the dramatic aspects of these manga are great and the translation work was very well done, but so is the humor and none of it is lost in translation. Although I'm not used to the type of quirky nuances of manga in general, I am familiar with the sort of humor you would encounter in any silly, over-the-top anime. That said, I found myself chuckling quite frequently throughout reading the volumes and that was a positive aspect that I had not foreseen before buying the volumes. It's very quirky, to be sure, and some may be put off by it, but I found it to be incredibly endearing.

Lastly, there's the art. The visuals of the manga are, in short, spectacular. Character models and environments are drawn and shaded masterfully and, much like the writing, it not only captures the original focus and style of the game, but adds new depth and characterization to them as well. The duo of Akira Himekawa do have their own distinct art style, and it is beautiful. You can tell they poured their heart and soul into these works, and that they were constantly cognizant of the greatness of the original art design for the games. They emulate that style well, whether it is utilizing the "Toon" aesthetics from The Minish Cap or Phantom Hourglass, or whether it's the more mature style of Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask. Very well done overall, and the versatility on display here is fantastic.

So, as a die-hard Zelda veteran and a complete manga noob, I would heartily recommend these tomes. They're really exceptional, and have piqued my interest in a comic entertainment medium I had never really given the time of day before. You can really tell that, in every aspect, the authors/artists loved every second they spent crafting these stories, and that really makes these volumes a delight to take in. The writing and art is spectacular, Link's characterization is completely awesome, the translation work is fantastic, and overall, these mangas are just an absolute joy. It is worthy of the highest recommendation, with no hesitation. Buy it, take in the splendor of these tomes, and enjoy a new take on timeless tales of good prevailing over evil in the magical land of Hyrule.
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on April 3, 2017
This is a great box set. I did notice that a lot of things were different from the games. But that's okay, I'm open to a retake and understanding of links adventures.
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on December 18, 2015
I am really enjoying reading these! Fills in a lot of details glossed over during games without overdoing it. The illustrations are beautiful and I find the humor to be an awesome edition to the Zelda franchise. For the price of 43 getting 10 books is fantastic and I am very happy with the price/quality. Highly recommend these to other die hard Legend of Zelda fans and collectors alike.
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on November 5, 2017
Just what I ordered! The box is as flimsy as other reviews stated, but I didn’t get it for the box. Good purchase!
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on May 31, 2015
As a huge fan of the LoZ series, there was no way I wouldnt eventually buy this. The books are the size of your average manga. If you love the games, youll love the manga. They give a slightly different view on whats happening during the story of the games, plus extra original stories that I personally enjoyed. The manga are aimed more for child audiences, but are amazing for all ages nonetheless. Your average manga is priced around $13 per book, in this youre getting 10 our of the 11 LoZ manga (if youre counting the one in the back of Hyrule Historia) plus the box that it comes in for $50. An amazing deal that cant be beat, buy it now, enjoy forever!
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on March 28, 2017
We got these for my son's 8th Birthday present. He has been struggling with taking an interest in reading. We got him on zelda 2 years ago. (We started on windwaker, then took him to classic ocarina of time, twilight princess, skyward sword, and breath of the wild) ;) these books were such a hit, and due to new interest stired up from his birthday he's had these books loaned out to most of his 2nd grade class. They all really enjoyed them. It's easy for the kids to learn to read backwards if there are pictures involved.
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on November 27, 2017
My daughter who loves legend of Zelda breezed through this set. Pricey but worth it for the Zelda fan!
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on July 13, 2016
As a HUGE Zelda fan, I love these. It really helps you experience the games in a whole new way- brings them to life even more, if you will. Beautiful artwork and a pleasure to read. A great product to add to your collection! The ONLY reason I'm giving this product 4 stars is because the box case came slightly damaged (crinkled edge and small rip in seam) But this may have more to do with the process of shipping and the delivery man than the seller. In the end, the books arrived in perfect condition, and that's what's really important.
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on January 7, 2014
I've read all ten books in this set and they are amazing. They are all based on past game titles and based on my experience, the books follow the games very closely. Some events are altered or removed appropriately (I feel) for a graphic novel. For example, in The Ocarina of Time, when Link saves the Goron people from the dragon Volvagia, rather than fighting him after exploring a dungeon, he fights him almost immediately. These books read from right to left just as they would be in Japan, which I feel is very unique. They show you how to read them in the back of the books.

One thing I just love about these novels is that Link has his own dialogue and personality. He grows in each story just like any protagonist would. I feel the characters are portrayed quite well from the heroes to the villains, and everyone in between. I highly recommend this for any Zelda fan.
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