Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (2005)

Author: Akira Himekawa | Illustrator: Akira Himekawa | Page Count: 184

Somewhere under heaven is the Golden Power…”

All the LoZ mangas can be classed as action/adventure tales but ALTTP* is more traditional than the rest.  Its simplicity reminds me of the classic fantasy movies of the late 80s.  Ironically, that’s also its weakest aspect.  It’s too familiar.

It’s not all bad, though.  The emotional content is increased to compensate for the lack of originality.  From the very beginning, ALTTP grips the reader's sympathies more aggressively than any of the preceding books.  It weighs the immensity of the task ahead against the weight in the hero’s heart.  The hero is (of course) Link; he’s kind, gentle, noble and selfless.  His quest is threefold: save the princess, uncover his own origins and protect the innocent by conquering evil.

Akira Himekawa created an original character to accompany Link on his quest.  It might sound heretical to people that hold ALTTP in high regard but it works beautifully; the relationship between them helps detract from the all-too-familiar nature of the story.  They share common ground but have different motivations.   The praise for Himekawa doesn't end there.  Her artwork gives life to the adventure more successfully than the simplistic dialogue; even during a quest montage!  She's an artist that makes contrasts work in her favour.

Ultimately, if the sensitivity of the protagonists and newly created concerns that drive them hadn't been to the fore as much as they are, the book would've struggled to rise above its failings in other areas.

3 revitalising apples out of 5

*You can read a review of the SNES game on our sister site, Nut Load.

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