Reviews: The Legendof Zelda

Akira Himekawa's A Link to the Past: A fan fiction made manga

If I was to say something about the Zelda series' manga adaptations, it would be that overall few hit the right spots like the Link's Awakening adaptation by Ataru Caviga or Shotaro Ishinomori's adaptation of A Link to the Past, which are just plain awesome. By elimination, most of the time Akira Himekawa's adaptations are the opposite.

Their adaptations can range from fairly enjoyable if insipid to absolutely awfully written, but none offender hits this as badly as their adaptation of A Link to Past.

Let's start with the positives: The artwork is fantastic. The Himekawa duo does an excellent job in line-art and inking. Characters are expressive and detailed, backgrounds while simple are distinctive, and the panel distribution is dynamic.

That's it though. When it comes to the pacing and overall writing, the manga can be either passable to almost physically painful to read. Talking about pacing, the manga is just almost abridged. The battle scenes are just so fast you can't get to appreciate or even get tense for the action, and the dynamic panel distribution can work against this by making the work feel disjointed in consequence.

But none of that exemplifies the cheap, not that 10% fan fiction levels of writing. Seriously, this manga's writing issues can be summarized in one word: Ganty. As a canon foreigner, Ganty is pretty much an official licensed self insert, crammed into the story without a proper role other than a plot device to add certain tropes the Himekawa duo is fond of. Ganty intrudes in the story as a Mary Sue, tasked with being a moral foil ro Link to make choices tied to his rather melodramatic character development (I know in this story Link has a reason to be melancholic, but it's overplayed) which include:

-Befriending him

-Betraying him out of a vendetta subplot that amounts to almost nothing as she forgives his life at one point

-Befriending him again

-Falling for him to force a love triangle between the two and Zelda(to their credit this is sort of done by Shotaro Ishinomori in his adaptation as well, but better and more naturally)

-Having the resolution of said triangle be a key plot point in DEFEATING GANON.

As collectors item, I can recommend this. It has good artwork and makes for nice Zelda related merchandise. As a manga you would read? The Shotaro Ishinomori comic is eons better.