Tail of the Moon Prequel
May 18, 2009
Having only read the last volume of this series, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be an easy read because it involved none of the characters from the series, or a difficult one because it involved all of the characters and constant foreshadowing. It turns out that this book is mostly the former. I don’t know enough about Tail of the Moon to know if any of the four likely candidates from this book make appearances in the regular series, or how this book is related timeline-wise to the other one (Are these someone’s parents? Does Tail of the Moon pick up at the wedding celebration of these two?). Also, again, both this and Tail of the Moon have a lot to do with Japanese history, and while the history is footnoted in the back, it’s not the same as going in with some knowledge of the historical background these people are working against. Hm.
But as a one-shot story, it’s okay. The main character, Kaguya, goes from an amnesiac working at a brothel as help (because the scar on her back makes her an ineligible prostitute) to a ninja princess hired to assassinate a feudal lord. There’s a love story involved, two guys fighting over the same girl, a poorly timed wedding, and some ninja action.
I don’t really have that much to say about it. The romance is fairly cute, but it’s kind of superficial since both characters are guilty of “true love at first sight.” There are complications, but they aren’t really in any danger of breaking up. The rivalry between the two Hattori Hanzou was kind of interesting, especially in reference to their relationships with Kaguya, but… yeah. Not a whole lot to sink my teeth into, and I felt lost the entire time because I felt like I was missing out on both the Tail of the Moon references and the history references.
It’s actually kind of a nice one-shot if you’re familiar with the series, but it seems like it might be easier to start with volume one of Tail of the Moon and pick this up afterwards. And for what it’s worth, it sounds like Rinko Ueda wrote this volume before the rest of Tail of the Moon… but I think volume one is still the better starting point. Probably.
This was a review copy provided by Viz.