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

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (2006)

Author: Akira Himekawa | Illustrator: Akira Himekawa | Page Count: 190

"The road you travel will be dangerous.  Take this."

Link is always recognisable in his green duds and pointy hat but he’s not always the same Link.  There are exceptions but usually the character is different in each game.  It’s not a drastic change; it’s more of a variation on a theme.  Akira Himekawa applies the same principle to each of her Links in the books.  The art in TMC is 100% chibi.  It would've made sense to draw certain parts of the story that way but unfortunately it’s used from beginning to end.  I'm not a fan of the style but judging by the level of excellence shown in the previous books, I'm guessing it’s at least good chibi?

Something else I wasn't enamoured with was this version of Link; he’s a moody child in need of a reality check or a swift kick up the ass (if Hyrulian law allows such things).  Fortunately, he gets it (the reality check, not the ass-kick) when a villain casts a spell on Princess Zelda.  Personally, I’d have left her as she was; she’d complain less and the only maintenance required would be a dusting every now and then, but Link wants her back so he sets off to right a wrong.

When child Link is the protagonist, LoZ fans are required to dismiss questions about why a child is sent into danger with a sword to kill and maim but TMC addresses those concerns wonderfully by providing a valid reason for that kind of irresponsibility to be necessary.

I really enjoyed the game's story* because it explores the ordinary from an extraordinary perspective.  I hoped that behind the eye-bleeding cuteness the book would deliver the same.  It does, but in a much shorter span of time.  I also love the changing history of Hyrule that shapes the societal and religious beliefs each time; that part of it is well represented here.

Hopefully I've made it clear that the problems I had with the book adaptation were predominantly of my own making and based on my own preferences, so take that into account.  The story is good and takes some risks that pay off handsomely.  If you love chibi and you love LoZ, then TMC may be tailor-made for you.

3 pieces of happiness out of 5

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

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