Manga-ka: Shin Midorikawa
Rating: Teen (13+)
Released: May 2008
“Always dream big. Becoming a great wizard takes courage, practice and dedication. Lewin Randit has all thse things, and possibly something more: He may have a special talent that wil make him the greatest wizard of all. But Lewin’s gift could also turn out to be a curse…”
Aventura, volume two, takes off where the first volume left readers: undead creatures have risen up and are attacking the main cast. With Chris already injured and Darwell useless against the skeletal creatures, Lewin steps in to save them. When all things seem lost, Lewin, a boy who had seemed to all as a magic-less individual, is able to summon a fire spirit of tremendous power. Now it’s up to the school faculty, and other higher-ups lurking in the background, to decide the fate of this surprising new pupil.
Much of the charm that the first volume of Aventura had seems missing in the second installment. The children that took up most of centre stage share about equal time here with the teachers, and a few new adult characters. With the exception of the opening action sequence, most of the book is dialogue based and a lot of it revolves around conversations between the faculty and it times it can feel like it’s going by very slowly. Sometimes it all seems too wordy and with the artwork constantly challenging the words for reader’s attention, Aventura is the kind of story you need to take your time and read carefully.
A few new dropped hints of information offer a glimpse into things to come, with some characters being more than they seem, Lewin included. When circumstances allow readers to get a glimpse into the world of the magic students, it’ll remind readers why this series has been compared to very similar stories like Harry Potter. Interactions between the Lewin and his friends remains energetic and sweet, and the half-elf Chris’s affection for his friend continues to grow, a cute platonic friendship that’ll tickle the interests of boys’ love fans.
The artwork continues to be the strongest part of this series. Shin Midorikawa’s artwork is gorgeous, with lots of thin lines and fine details. Unfortunately the detail in the artwork is also one of this book’s downfalls: it can cause pages to seem cluttered, take away from the dialogue and makes thing hard to follow. While it makes for an undoubtedly attractive series that fits the fantasy niche wonderfully, Shin Midorikawa’s artwork seems like it’d be better suited to illustration work over paneled manga.
All in all, Aventura is still a fun to look at it manga that unfortunately suffers from a few issues with dialogue clashing with the artwork. Fans of manga and fantasy will no doubt want to give this series a shot but a slogging plot fails to allow volume two to feel as compelling or entertaining as volume one.