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A Wonderful Collection of Akira Himekawa's Zelda Manga
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:
Volume 2: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Part 2:
Volume 3: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask:
Volume 4:The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons:
Volume 5: The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages:
Volume 6: The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords: Part 1:
Volume 7: The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords: Part 2:
Volume 8: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap:
Volume 9: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past:
Volume 10: The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass:
About the set as a whole:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.