Arata: The Legend 9

May 3, 2012

Yuu Watase – Viz – 2011 – 13+ volumes

Hmm… still really on the fence about this one. It just feels like it’s going through the motions of a shounen manga. I no longer really care about any of the characters, and Arata is more or less a faceless good guy at this point. I’m also still having trouble with the series’ terminology, but that could be more of a personal problem, made worse by the fact I’m not really able to get into it enough to bother to remember the special words.

Arata and company are still dressed as women, and still trying to woo the shinsho Kagura, who can fly. Arata quite literally woos him when his female disguise works too well and Kagura falls in love with him, but before Arata can break the bad news about him being male, Kadowaki shows up and wants to rumble. Something tragic happens, and a decision is made there and now about which one Kagura will submit to, since he’s being forced to. Later, we learn more about the royalty of the land Arata is trying to save, and learn that there are only Queens and Princesses because a worthy King successor has never appeared. Guess who’s currently in the running?

And… yeah. There’s a lot of generic fighting, a lot of generic bonding, and a lot of generic exposition and place development. The latter was actually my favorite part, and Watase does still have a knack for making detailed worlds. The special tribe of female healers, and their history of the land, was the most interesting thing in this volume. But even that… we find out there is a “destined partner” for Arata, which of course throws a wrinkle in the romantic development. He also seems to take all this new information rather well, and… yeah. I don’t really have that much else to say, because it was just so middle-of-the-road.

The index in the back makes me wonder if perhaps he’s captured most of the 12 shinsho, save for his traveling companion? If so, maybe the story will move on to something more interesting next volume. I have volume 10, but I may just give up after that if nothing more interesting happens. I really liked this series at first, and I thought it had an interesting premise, but it’s not really doing anything with the “swapped worlds” element, and fantasy-Arata is all but forgotten in reality. Here’s hoping something exciting will occur next volume.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

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