Author: Akira Himekawa | Illustrator: Akira Himekawa | Page Count: 190
“…everything changed, and nothing did.”
The game (2007) on which the Phantom Hourglass manga is based is a sequel to The Wind Waker (2002)* but WW didn't get a manga, so if you read PH without having played WW you may be wondering why Link is on a sailing ship with a crew. Alternatively, you may not care very much because the story of PH offers little to connect with. Of the ten LoZ mangas I've read, it was the least entertaining. The saving grace, ironically absent from the game, is the inclusion of a dangerous guilt that eats away at the conscience of one of the characters; it plants a seed of unpredictability within the already shaky group stability.
The elongated midriff and stumpy legs design is recreated. I was prepared for that but without the eyegasm attained from the beautiful cel shading that makes everything glow, the weird perspectives are harder to overlook. There’s also more chibi but it’s not as frequent as it was in The Minish Cap (2006).
I'm disappointed that the superior Twilight Princess (2006)* was passed over. TP has a more dramatic story with a dark ambiguity that could've been brought to the fore. Taking into account how well Akira Himekawa has handled similar themes in previous books, I've no doubt that it would've been better than PH.
2½ monsters with obvious weak points out of 5
*You can read reviews of both The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess games on our sister site, Nut Load.