Legendz Vol. 2 – Story by Rin Irai and Art by Makoto Haruno (a J!-ENT Manga Review)
May 31, 2005 by Dennis Amith
The second volume of “Legendz” is awesome and I’m impressed of how the storyline has shifted from elementary school battles to something much more serious as players can lose their Legendz permanently. “Legendz” vol. 2 is highly recommended!
Image courtesy of © 2003 by Makoto Haruno, Rin Arai. 2003 WIZ. All Rights Reserved.
MANGA TITLE: Legendz Vol. 2
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: May 31, 2005
Ken’s classmates Ririko and Hideaki are kidnapped by students of a rival school as bargaining chips for the coveted Golden Soul Figure, and it’s up to Ken and the top Legendz players at Ryudo to save them!
Trapped on the top floor of Kokuryu Elementary, the hostages can only pray that their friends have the power to fight their way up floor by floor – past hordes of Hades hounds and other nasty surprises – and liberate them!
Ririko has been kidnapped by Legendz competitors from Kokuryu Elementary. Can Kenji save her?
Also, Kenji has been invited to the “Legenz Carnival” with other Legendz competitors, but they are not aware that if they lose, their Legendz will be destroyed. Will Kenji and his Legendz windragon, Shiron survive this Legendz Survival Match?
Find out in Rin Irai and Makoto Haruno’s second volume of “Legendz”!
What is “Legendz”?
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?
In vol. 2, Hosuke and others plan to take the “Soul Figure” from Ken Kazaki by letting Kokuryu Elementary’s top Legendz player, Gohtoku Daiji and his Triton Legendz, Orca take him on. Will Kenji and Shiron be strong enough to take on Daiji?
Meanwhile, what is this mysterious “Legendz Carnival” that Ken has been invited to?
“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 as Ken has been given the “Soul Figure” which has given him and Shiron incredible power, Ken doesn’t want it. Ken tries to tell everyone that he wants to win his way using his and Shiron’s own power in taking on rivals which others feel he’s behaving foolish.
And with Ririko being kidnapped by Hokuto and memberr of Kokuryu Elementary in order to gain possession of the Soul Figure, once again, despite having to take on various adversaries, Ken is not budging when it comes to not using the Soul Figure.
But will he be ready to take on the best Legendz player from Kokuryu Elementary?
Meanwhile, a mysterious Legendz player has found out that Ken has the Soul Figure and invites him to the Legendz Carnival, a tournament featuring the best Legendz competitors. But when the top player reveals the tournament to everyone, defeating many players by destroying their Legendz, he reveals that the Legendz Carnival is actually a Survival Match. And in this case, weak Legendz don’t deserve to live and a player will lose their Legendz permanently.
Ken can’t believe that someone so heinous would try to destroy a living soul and so he vows to beat the mysterious player in the Legendz Carnival. But can he?
The artwork by Makoto Haruno 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 second volume of “Legendz” is awesome and I’m impressed of how the storyline has shifted from elementary school battles to something much more serious as players can lose their Legendz permanently.
“Legendz” vol. 2 is highly recommended!
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