Manga-ka: Akira Himekawa
Rating: All Ages
Release Date: June 2009
Synopsis: “One day, Impa, Princess Zelda’s attendant asks Link to accompany her into the forest to find Nayru, the Oracle of Ages. But Veran, the evil sorceress of shadows, has possessed Impa in order to deceive Link. Veran then possesses Nayru and travels back to the past to kill one of Link’s ancestors so that Link will never be born! Link once again battles across time to save Hyrule – and himself!”
While previous Zelda volumes have proved great side-enjoyments along with the original games they were based on, I actually liked this rendition of the story quite a bit more than the game. The added characterization of Link, and personality given to each character, really adds a new level of entertainment.
The medium also served the plot really well, breathing a visual life into the character and events that couldn’t be served with pixels and sprites. Don’t get wrong, the game was entertaining, but as a story, I found the manga more convincing.
Link in this story isn’t the same person we’ve come to following previous volumes. This one, younger and more impish in appearance, is the descendant of the Hyrulian warrior of the same name who battled Ganadorf. When an evil witch with possessive powers starts causing trouble, suddenly Link finds himself time travelling to the past to stop her plans to ruin the peaceful future. Link must not only fight to save the past and the future, but learn what it means to be a hero and live up to the legends of his own ancestors.
In true time-travelling fashion, Link not only needs to find a way to stop the witch but also ensure that the future isn’t adversely affected. The plot never gets too tangled up in the potential complexities however and only some actions are reflected as detrimental to the future. One of these issues, the one continuously on Link’s mind, is the appearance of an honourable young man named Raven, someone’s whose future could directly impact Link’s very existence. Raven’s design is not only a good, clear contrast to Link’s, so the two distant relatives don’t get confusing for readers, but it’s also a clear connection to another Link that we got to read about in previous volumes.
The linear nature of the story makes the plot easy to follow and there are lots of high-paced action sequences and gags along the way to always make sure things stay exciting. My only complaint would be that some of the pages end up being a little cluttered with too many panels and word bubbles, but it does at least mean there’s always more than enough on each page to linger on.
By the end, most parts of the plot have neatly tied themselves up with some cute surprises and light-hearted fun after a story full of battles, quests and unexpected developments. The Legend of Zelda manga series has already proven itself a fun read for fans of all ages and Oracle of Ages proves no exception.