As a lover of both manga and the legend of Zelda I was very excited to read the box set of all the currently released Zelda manga written and drawn by Akira Himekawa and I did not feel disappointed. The manga is different enough to be interesting for people who know the games inside out yet similar enough to deliver the overall story relatively accurately (with some exceptions). I will go through each of the 10 manga’s reviewing / talking about them so that you might pick a certain volume that you find interesting instead of the whole box set.
These manga’s aren’t highly reviewed but they’re still a good read if you’ve got a free hour in the day, I’ve read these many times and still enjoy them occasionally. The art is consistently good all round so I’ll be talking about the story from now on.
The Legend Of Zelda – Ocarina of Time – (2 volumes)
I do not like all of these manga’s equally and this is one of my least favourites. Know that all of these are good anyway so this may sound quite negative but it’s still pretty good in my opinion compared too other volumes I’ve read.
This manga just about fits the entire story into the two volumes that it has. I’ve always liked the child portion of the game much better and this is still true for the manga. I think that it loses some momentum towards the end as theirs some plot holes and things that are outright skipped – they skipped one of the temples for example. Despite this, some of the things that they added were really charming like the Volvagia side story or the other child link chapters at the end.
I wouldn’t recommend it if you absolutely love OOT as you’d probably be offended that it changed a lot however if you’re not like this I’d say give it a go.
The Legend Of Zelda – Majora’s Mask – (1 volume)
This is my favourite one even though it has a completely different story! I like the different take to make the world and game compliable in just one day cycle. I’ve always loved the dark tone of this game and liked the way the manga followed through with this.
The extra side story about how the mask was made also intrigued me (even though it’s not cannon) and felt like a charming little origin story which could very well be true.
The Legend of Zelda – Oracle of Seasons – (1 Volume)
This has a very childish tone with a talking kangaroo and a failing wizard. It provides a light hearted story of companionship against evil. It’s probably the least original story and can come across as uninteresting as it might not make you care about the characters. The predictable nature can make this come across as pretty boring especially when the bad guy is set up to be extremely powerful before the adventurers start the journey but they defeat him with very little progression. They don’t feel like they’ve grown more powerful so the ending isn’t very satisfying.
The Legend of Zelda – Oracle of Ages – (1 Volume)
This features the same link from the previous volume yet it delivers a much more interesting story. It revolves around a time travel mechanic which, is paradoxical yet still interesting. I prefer this to seasons due to the more serious war like tone and less goofy scenarios.
I’ve played none of the oracle games so your opinion may be different depending on which games you’ve played.
The Legend Of Zelda – Four Swords – (2 volumes)
This series is great, I love the idea of four links, each with different personalities and struggles trying to work together. Himekawa does an excellent job of presenting an uphill conflict against a character that’s normally overlooked: Dark Link. I love the way that it all comes together and how each of them develops over time.
It has by far the most Zelda villains in it and I love the constant struggle to win. The characters almost never have a spare moment and I love the different scenarios that take place. The characters seem very weak as well yet the way that they win doesn’t feel bad, it feels well-earned and good.
All links need to learn teamwork, through their separation with each other they learn to fight on their own and how much they value the other team members. Each one faces something unique and difficult to them that lets them grow. It’s their lack of teamwork that separates them but it’s their desire for it which brings them together.
It’s really cool, much more epic than any of the other ones.
The Legend Of Zelda – Minish Cap – (1 Volume)
This is another one which is very innocent and self – contained but I just like it. It focuses’ on a size changing mechanic which is interesting but it also has a dark kind of backstory. The evil Vaati turns on his master, turning him into a hat and destroying everything. The immense power that this guy has leads him to perform sadistic, vile acts on the people.
I like the minor political conflicts between the tribes and the way that Vaati eventually meets his doom. It’s very cool. I can never shake of the feeling that Vaati in his final forms looks like the legendary Pokémon from Pokémon moon.
The Legend Of Zelda – A Link to the Past – ( 1 volume)
Even though I’ve never played this game I can still tell that it doesn’t really follow the main story. This is still enjoyable anyway – the new side character added is pretty good and I like how the interactions take place. It’s the only manga to introduce the three pendants and have them each solved individually.
The character design is great but I can’t help finding it very forgettable. It’s got the stereotypical action adventure plot so if you like the sound of that or you’re a fan of the original game then I recommend trying it.
The Legend Of Zelda – Phantom Hourglass – (1 volume)
This is another great one, I was reading this as I was actually playing the game and it added to the experience, I loved the dynamics of the characters and how they interacted with each other. The development of the character of Linebeck was also satisfying too see.
As I could never be bothered to finish the game I was intent to just believe the plot of the manga instead of playing the game. It was very interesting but it may come off as a little clichéd. The side story about Linebeck feeling bad and guilty is very satisfying too see. If you wanted to compare it too anime, he started not liking Link, to then becoming a tsundere and then openly admitting to admiring Link – It’s very satisfying.
It’s probably got the strongest comedy aspect out of all of these manga’s so if you like that sort of thing then give it a shot.
The Legend Of Zelda – Twilight Princess (2 Volumes)
I write some of these posts well in advance and this is no exception. In the time between me writing this I have gotten the newest volume of the twilight princess manga but not the second half. When the second half is out I’ll update this but we’re stuck with one volume for the time being.
This volume is completely different to any of the other manga’s as it really deviates from the formula – not necessarily in a good way. This is because it seems to be it’s own original story which is based around the events at Ordon Village. This mainly serves as an exposition or build up volume to make you care about the characters more so that you care about the narrative in the 2nd volume. Whilst it wasn’t as interesting as the others it was really slow passed making me think that a lot of the things I skimmed over or thought weren’t important will be brought back in the second volume.
I think that you should wait for the 2nd volume before deciding to buy.
The Legend Of Zelda – Skyward Sword
Before you get too exited know that this is a single chapter one shot manga at the end of hyrule historia and is 32 pages and doesn’t follow the original story and is actually set before skyward sword entirely when everyone was still on the surface!
Even though it’s short if you have any appreciation for the legend of Zelda you should get this along with hyrule historia. It’s great and has 250+ pages of concept art and information about the world of Skyward Sword, a history of Zelda with the Zelda timeline and a massive catalogue of game concept art for pretty much all Zelda games before 2011 so it’s really worth getting.
The pages are full sized A4 instead of A5 so it looks and reads far better with more impressive art as well as 8 pages of colour which is more than most the art is pretty good and the time spent reading it will fill a spare ten minutes in your life so I really think it’s worth getting just because of the other things that come with it.
So that’s my overview of the current Legend of Zelda manga collectionI hope that you’ve found something that interests you.as well as this I’m looking forward to twilight princess volumes 2; it should be really good. Please at least try a few of things, I read them when I was much younger but I still believe that they’re enjoyable for older audiences. ,I hope that you’ve found something that interests you