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Legendz Vol. 4 – Story by Rin Irai and Art by Makoto Haruno (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

February 7, 2006 by  



legendz-4

While I am a bit disappointed that “Legendz” had to end so quickly, I still can’t deny that I enjoyed the manga series for as long as it lasted.  If you are looking for an upbeat manga series with action and humor and also a storyline that is safe for people of all ages, then “Legendz” is a series worth recommending.

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

MANGA TITLE: Legendz Vol. 4

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: February 7, 2006

Ken, Kaoruko and Leo set off for South America to rescue Leo’s sister and Ken’s friend Ririko from the forces of Darkness known as Necrom. Their quest takes them deep inside Necrom Palace, a place crawling with dark Legendz. There, Ken and his friends will face the greatest test of their abilities in the battle to stop the resurrection of Jabberwock, the lord of Necrom!

Ken and Kaoruko Goshika have joined Leo Engokuin in their quest to stop Necrom, who’s goal is to resurrect Jabberwock, the Lord of Destruction.

While the three make their way to Necrom headquarters, Ririko has been kidnapped.

Will the Saga’s prevent Necrom from resurrecting Jabberwock?

Find out in the final fourth 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.

And as Ken Kazaki has shown his power and love for his Legendz Shiron, the stakes have now changed in vol. 3 of “Legendz” as both Ken and Karuoku must fight to protect their Legendz against Legendz Carnival organizer, Leo Engokuin.

But as Ken wants to grow with Shiron and train together to become powerful, Karuoko tries to protect a crystal that has important data which Leo is after. And why is he so interested in Ken and why did he put together this Legendz Carnival? What is he up to?

In vol. 4, Ken, Kaoroku and Leo have joined forces in order to stop Necrom, the evil antagonist who is planning to revive Jabberwock, Lord of Destruction.  Can they defeat him?

I have praised the “Legendz” manga for its optimistic, fun and humorous storyline featuring action and comedy.

But unfortunately, due to the fact that in Japan, “Legendz” had to end publication because of the closing of “Monthly Shonen Jump”, Makoto Haruno and Rin Irai had to complete the series immediately.

So, what we have is a storyline that manages to give readers closure but at the same time, makes readers feel that it could have been better if given the time for completion.

Unfortunately, it feels as if a lot of the storyline of what the duo had probably wanted to feature in the series was eliminated and what we have is the final battle between Ken, Kaoruko and Leo vs. Necrom.  Ririko’s storyline was cut short, anyone who was a supporting character, their storyline was cut short and unfortunately, to wrap things up so quickly for such an addictive storyline, was unfortunate.

Yet, if you have followed the first three volumes and enjoyed that, I will give Haruno and Irai credit for completing the series knowing that they wouldn’t have any more chapters to spread the storyline out and feature more character development.  They did their best with what they were given and volume 4, does manage to finish things.

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 but there is no doubt that the level of action and violence is a bit higher this time around.

Overall, I have to say that I enjoyed the “Legendz” manga series.  While the abrupt ending of the series gave Makoto Haruno and Rin Hirai time to end the series as best they can, readers will probably feel the “what if?”, if “Legendz” was able to continue for many chapters and volumes.

But at least readers get a conclusion as many manga series end abruptly with no conclusion or a mangaka in hiatus for years or decades.  So, at least going into this manga series, you know it’s four volumes long and there is a conclusion.

While I am a bit disappointed that “Legendz” had to end so quickly, I still can’t deny that I enjoyed the manga series for as long as it lasted.  If you are looking for an upbeat manga series with action and humor and also a storyline that is safe for people of all ages, then “Legendz” is a series worth recommending.

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