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Legendz Vol. 1 – Story by Rin Irai and Art by Makoto Haruno (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

March 1, 2005 by  



legendz-1

The first volume of “Legendz” is quite awesome, with each chapter featuring good character development but also a a volume feature a pretty easy-to-follow but yet addictive storyline worth reading.  “Legendz” vol. 1 is highly recommended!

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Image courtesy of © 2003 by Makoto Haruno, Rin Arai.  2003 WIZ. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Legendz Vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Story by Rin Arai (平井 隣) and Art by Makoto Haruno (春野 まこと)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media

RATED: A for All Ages

RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2005

What if scientists discovered that mythical creatures like mermaids, dragons and werewolves actually existed? Better yet, what if any kid could raise them and train them to play the ultimate role-playing game? Welcome to the world of LEGENDZ, where master trainer Ken Kazaki and his loyal Windragon are about to turn fantasy into reality!

Transfer student Ken is a very skilled Legendz player. He can harness the Legendz power and breed Soul Figures in his Talispod. Soul Figures are actually legendary monsters and those skilled enough can breed them, increase their power and improve their levels.

Ririko Yasuhara, the best Legendz player in her class, has her Legendz Talispod stolen. Ken and his Legendz, a Windragon named Shiron, get it back for her. And now, on to the all-School Legendz Battle!

In 2003, artist Makoto Haruno and writer Rin Hirai’s manga “Legendz” was serialized in Shueisha’s “Monthly Shonen Jump”.

The manga series would lead to an RPG game, a toy, card game and an anime series titled “Legendz: Tale of the Dragon Kings”.  While the anime series would run 50-episodes, the manga series would only last four graphic novels due to “Monthly Shonen Jump” shutting down.

But for those who love RPG and also “Pokemon” will surely find “Legendz” to be a short and entertaining manga series.

“Legendz” takes place in Japan and an early 21st century discovery of proof that the mermaid, the werewolf and the yeti did exist and the data from these creatures were secretly analyzed and researched and some of the results from that research would lead to a game called “Legendz”.

“Legendz” is game in which a soul figure (data of a legendary creature) is set into a Talispod.  Each talispod allows people to monitor the Legendz data and results of battle, a jog switch with three settings which include reborn (battle), soul figure (raise) and eject (off).

We are introduced to students of Ryudo Elementary School Fifth Grade Class A and Ririko Yasuhara uses a mermaid named Tetty to defeat Shunsuke Dekai.  While Hideaki Hiyama records the data for the school Legendz Tournament.

While Shunsuke is sulking about his loss, he meets a boy near the river who teaches him the fundamentals of “Legendz” and that a talispod must be set in the right environment but the boy also explains that Legendz inside the Soul Figures are living creatures and they need care and training.

Inspired by the boy, Shunsuke begins training his werewolf but his brother, Hosuke Dekai, a bully who claims to be a genius Legendz wielder, beats his brother up and tells him he must win the tournament.

The following day, an injured Shunsuke asks Ririko for her mermaid but she refuses.  Then Hosuke shows up demanding her Legendz and takes it from her.  But out of nowhere comes the boy that Shunsuke met earlier and the boy tells Hosuke to return the Legendz to its owner because if the owner’s heart is crying, the Legendz is crying too.

Hosuke laughs and tells the boy that Legendz are nothing but data and then both the boy and Hosuke challenge each other to a Legendz duel.

As Hosuke unleashes his troll, the boy unleashes his windragon, Shiron and in battle, the boy wins.

The boy reveals himself to be Ken Kazaki, a new student who loves Legendz.

Meanwhile, as the school tournament leads to Ririko and someone named Taizo Henmi in the finals, the winner of the tournament will be given a “Soul Figure” to the strongest Legendz wielder at Ryudo Elementary by Yuki Amagi of the Sixth Grade.  And for some reason, Hosuke wants that Soul Figure for some reason.

What will happen during Ririko’s Legendz duel with Taizo Henmi and what does Taizo and Hosuke have planned behind-the-scenes?

“Legendz” may receive comparison to anime such as “Pokemon” and “Digimon” as people compete in battles using a mythological beast, which have turned out to be real and are now implemented as data in the game of “Legendz”.

But as some people believe they are data, there are some players who believe the Legendz they train to be living souls.  And for Ken Kazaki, he has a positive soul of wanting to train and grow with his Legendz named Shiron.

Ken looks at his Legendz as his best friend and intends to stay with it as along as he can and train and love his Legendz, unlike others who see Legendz as data or just a game.

And because of that bond and training, Ken has made a powerful Legendz that he has trained under various weather settings and his dedication to training Shiron has made him one of the better Legendz players which his new friends have come to admire.

But behind-the-scenes we are introduced to an antagonist named Hosuke.  A bully who is after the “Soul Figure”, an unknown relic that its owner Yuki Amagi is unable to use but hopes someone can unlock its mysterious and thus, he is holding a special tournament to see who can utilize the relic.

So far, the first volume has been exciting and absolutely captivating.  The characters are fun and midway through the series, things get really chaotic as more antagonists are introduced and  you can’t help but want to read vol. 2 immediately because the storyline is so addictive.

The artwork by Makoto Harunao is well-done!  Character designs and action scenes are well-drawn and Rin Irai’s story is much deeper than most children’s manga, so for the most part, “Legendz” is a series that will appeal to readers of all ages.

Overall, the first volume of “Legendz” is quite awesome, with each chapter featuring good character development but also a a volume feature a pretty easy-to-follow but yet addictive storyline worth reading.

“Legendz” vol. 1 is highly recommended!

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