The Legend of Zelda has been a solid mainstay in my life. From my days with the NES version, and completing the original quest without the help of any guides, to my excitement about the upcoming Nintendo Switch, it’s been an ongoing connection to my past and simple pleasure.
Manga, on the complete opposite hand, is something I never fully got into. The reading right to left, the exaggerated character designs, and the slight joking tone to everything made me think it just wasn’t as worthy of my time as mainstream US comics.
As an older and wiser man, I’ve read some manga – most of it original content, and it’s been quite good at times. This Legend of Zelda retelling? This did something special for me.
The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition, Vol. 1: Ocarina of Time Parts 1 & 2
The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition, Vol. 1: Ocarina of Time Parts 1 & 2 retells the story of a game I first started playing when my college girlfriend bought it for me for Christmas, and reconnected me – via that very same exaggerated design and joking tone – to a much simpler time of video games. A time when chainsaw machine guns, assassins, and 60 fps gore was not even a blip on my horizon — but a little green guy with a “hiyaaaaa” was.
Most of you know the basic premise. A child named Link is tasked with saving the world, and the always present Princess Zelda from an evil sorcerer named Ganon. This story has one wrinkle, however; in order to save the world, Link himself must become an adult – aging himself instantly – in order to wield the power that will stop the evil.
The whole game is represented here, with a few asides for some weird plot points that scream “this is manga” – you’ll know them when you see them:
Some are lifted right from the game, while others are a bit of a creative license.
The only thing I didn’t like? Still that right to left reading order. If this was a novel, I bet I could get by it – but I find myself constantly confused as to what panel was next, etc. That’s user error of course, not a fault of the book by any means.
I say grab this. It’s a fun ride through a game you might not have picked up in a decade or so, and treats the source material with the reverence it deserves.
9.5 out of 10 (-.5 for me not being able to read the damn thing the right way.)