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

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (2000)

Author: Akira Himekawa | Illustrator: Akira Himekawa | Page Count: 192 + 192

You’re certainly popular with the ladies.”

The first LoZ manga from Akira Himekawa* was a two part work based on the excellent N64 game of the same name.  It essentially tells the same story but there are some significant differences in how characters are introduced, none of which I found to be in any way disrespectful.  In fact, the opposite was true.  The narrative makes new connections between existing characters, and in doing so enables some very successful emotional moments to surface.
The drama is never underplayed but nor does it ever take itself too seriously, so it's able to have an occasional laugh at its own expense (see above quote).

The artwork is magnificent.  Even the rough sketches that are included are fantastic!  Child Link world has a different feel than Adult Link world and the danger level in each reflects that.  Seeing the locations rendered in comic book form is great fun but it’s the little things lurking in the background that make it extra special.  The cuccos at Kakariko Village and the dogs and sleeping Bombchu lady in Castle Town were my personal favourites.  Akira Himekawa obviously spent time in the game world and drank of its delights.**

The hurried pace as a consequence of content removed is the only thing that drags the books down.  Although it’s not all bad: the Water Temple is reduced to about 4 pages that amounts to Enter / Kill / Exit, which is something that many gamers wish they could've done while playing, myself included.

After the main story, there are two bonus stories.  One is a prequel featuring the mysterious Skull Kid that I liked a lot.  The other is unconnected to the game story and features a new race that was less interesting.

It's presented in the original Right to Left manga format, which seems to have eliminated the usual need to flip the images, so yes, Link is a lefty.

3½ bottles of milk out of 5

*Akira Himekawa is a pseudonym used by two authors / artists whose real names are unknown.  It was simpler just to use the one name to refer to them both.

**You can read a review of the N64 game on our sister site, Nut Load.

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