Sunday, January 22, 2012

Manga Review: Arata: The Legend, Volume 1, by Yuu Watase

Rating (Out of 5): 3
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shonen Sunday)
Volumes: 13+

Goodreads Synopsis:

An action-packed shonen fantasy from the acclaimed author of Fushigi YĆ»gi! In a mythical world where humans and gods co-exist, Arata has the unfortunate honor of being the successor to the matriarchal Hime Clan. This means he has to pretend to be a girl or face death if his true gender is discovered! On the day of his inauguration, an assassination plot forces him to flee—and he somehow winds up in modern-day Japan! Meanwhile, a boy named Arata Hinohara gets sucked into the first Arata’s world and finds himself dealing with people after his life!
I've read several of Watase's other works, and I didn't know that she had another one currently being published over here. That's probably because it's under Shonen Sunday, and I tend to read Shojo Beat more, so it slipped my notice. But I was excited when I heard that there was one being released, a little wary because of the Shonen Sunday, but then I got lucky and found a whole bunch on sale (it was a closing sale at Borders, and volumes 2 – 6, so I had to find volume 1, and then get around to reading it...), but I finally read it the other day, and found it was actually a bit interesting.
It's about two different Arata's, one in the present time, and one in an older time with weapons from Gods.
It starts with the older times Arata, who has to pretend to be a girl and go do this things to be the new princess, only then the twelve shinsho, the people who have the special weapons, kill her. And then they blame Arata, so he's running away so as not to get killed, when he gets stuck in this forest, where he comes out and switches places with Arata Hinohara from the present time.
Before they switch, we see what's going on with Hinohara. He's a really fast runner, and so a boy from his old school was jealous and started rumors about him and started bullying him, and everyone else followed. So he got depressed and switched schools. Where he makes some friends, before the same guy transfers and starts bullying him again, and makes everyone else bully him as well. He gets all depressed again, and wants to die, and then goes into an ally and ends up in Arata's time.
I'm not really liking Hinohara, and am a little upset since I think he's going to have the main focus, while I think I like Arata much more. And would rather see him dealing with the present time.
Anyway, Kotoha, a friend of Arata's, finds Hinohara and they go to Arata's Granny's place, where she explains some things, (and they mistake him for Arata, which I don't understand, since they look very different), and then the twelve Shinsho find them, mostly Kannagi, who did the killing and is just about the only one we've been introduced to as of yet. And then Hinohara picks up a sword that we saw earlier, which is a family heirloom or something, and is also one of the Gods weapons, a Hayagami, only to find out that he's the person the sword has chosen to be its sheath.
And we see that Nao has found Arata, and mistaken him for Hinohara (which still bothers me, because they look nothing alike, and it isn't explained any). And Kotoha gives Hinohara a necklace, the one that goes to the one she to Arata, and that lets them speak to each other, and explain some things. And Hinohara does some moping and not knowing what to do about his situation. And then he's captured, put on trial, where no one believes him, and they decide to exile him, before he talks to the princess and decides he's going to bring the Hayagami to her.
And then there's some fun things in the back, some about the author and her editor, and a little bit about Arata in the present world not knowing what a car is. I'm really hoping that that's not all we're going to get of him. I want full chapters about Arata, not just Hinohara. Because I like Arata more, but hopefully Hinohara gets better, since I'm finding him a little annoying. 'cause he goes off in this not trusting people and depression thing really quickly, to where I don't think it's done as well as it could be. Hopefully it will get better.
So, this was mostly alright. Parts I liked and parts bothered me. Either way, the review for the next couple will probably be up soon, since I have several waiting to be read.

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