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Manga Review: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Part One by Akira Himekawa

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time  is a manga based on the Nintendo video game of the same name. This volume was written and illustrated by Akira Himekawa, which is a collaboration of two women named A. Honda and S. Nagano. Viz Media released this manga in North America through its Vizkids imprint in 2008. This series is rated “A,” which means it is suitable for readers of all ages.

This volume of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time seems to have been written in such a way that it follows the storyline of the video game rather faithfully. The main difference is that the levels have been done at “warp speed,” so Link gets to the boss level right away.

Link lives in a forest located in the kingdom of Hyrule with the Kokiris. Each Kokiri has his or her own fairy, except for Link. Because of this, some of the Kokiri boys pick on him and call him “defective.” Luckily, he has a good friend in a young female Kokiri named Saria.

One day, an evil comes into the forest and it takes over the Great Deku Tree, which is a guardian of the forest. The Great Deku Tree sends a fairy named Navi to get Link. Link defeats the evil inside the tree; unfortunately, the Great Deku Tree cannot be saved.

Before the tree passes away, it shares that Link must leave the village to go on a mission to stop an evil man from getting a hold of the Triforce. As part of his quest, he must take a stone to the princess at Hyrule Castle. The manga series chronicles Link’s adventures as he goes on this quest. During this volume he meets such memorable characters from the video game as Princess Zelda, Epona and Ganondorf.

The designs for the characters seem to be rather faithful to their video game counterparts. Personally, I was rather impressed by some of the drawings of Epona the horse that appear in this volume. I also thought that for the most part, characters’ facial expressions are effectively used to show how the characters are reacting to their situations.

Overall, the art in this manga volume has a rather “clean” look, and only utilizes the “busy” panels as an effect when a major battle is taking place. Light and shadow are utilized effectively to convey the mood of the various scenes that take place in this volume.

Although this manga would probably be best appreciated by readers who already know and enjoy The Legend of Zelda video games, the story is written in such a way that readers not already familiar with the property wouldn’t have much a problem picking up on the premise and story of the manga.

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About Lesley Aeschliman

Lesley Aeschliman is a freelance writer who began writing on a full-time basis in 2007. She has served as the Anime editor at, and she also writes and maintains two blogs: Lesley's Musings... on Anime and Manga and AeschTunes.