Manga-ka: Akira Himekawa
Publisher: Viz Media
Rating: All Ages
Release Date: April 2009
Synopsis: “In a small village in Hyrule, a boy called Link has the mark of the Triforce on his left hand. It is a mark of destiny that once again leads Link on a fantastic adventure! Transported to the land of Holodrum, Link meets Din, the Oracle of Seasons. When a plot to steal the seasons from Holodrum unfolds, Link must battle the evil General Onox to save Holodrum and his friends from a terrible fate!”
The Link of this story isn’t as enthusiastic at the prospect of being a hero as those before him – in fact, the last thing he wants to be is a Knight in service to the throne. But, in an effort to find out what it is he really wants to do, he goes along with his Grandfather’s wishes and attends the Knights’ trial. Yet then he accidentally activates a trial of a different kind and is suddenly whisked across the countryside to a land in need of a hero.
Link’s hesitance is a refreshing difference right off the bat with this volume of the series. Though born with the legendary Triforce symbol on his hand, he still looks it more as a bothersome birthmark than a call to destiny. Being pressured into being a Knight against his wishes, it’s no wonder he doesn’t want to do it, and like for many others, knowing what he does want to do isn’t so clear either.
Unfortunately other portions of this story that deviate from other Link adventures doesn’t work as well in its favour as the aforementioned. Link soon finds himself with a few sidekicks, mainly a boxing kangaroo and a mouthy young witch with an ulterior motive. The two are boisterous and a little obnoxious, trying to upstage Link on numerous occasions, and sadly on a few pages succeeding.
As for the badguy, he doesn’t look all that intimidating despite the bulky, black armor, but he does violently knock Link around more than a little. Soon after Link befriends a kind dancer in a travelling troupe of performers, she’s kidnapped by the evil Onox, her true identity posing a risk to the entire country in his hands. She fills the role of the notably absent Princess Zelda and Link musters all his inner courage to head out on a quest to save her, imbued with the Rod of Seasons that allows him to control elements of the different seasons.
The sense of adventure and strong artwork remains consistent from the talented Akira Himekawa who again presents the story in a style consistent with the rest of the series but complimenting to the different art style of the video game it’s based off. Still, it’s marred by the flaws of the story which though having some strong individual elements, is hampered significantly by its more annoying additions.
Overall this Legend of Zelda book had a few too many kooky sidekicks for my tastes but the highlights of Link’s ever-going quests still shone through for much of it. Still, I found this book the weakest in the series so far even though the power of the seasons does prove a fun new addition to Link’s classic arsenal, albeit one only in use for a very short period of time.