Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Majora's Mask Manga

I don't know where to begin... I don't even know, if Akira Himekawa understood anything in the game. It's not like they just did the usual plot transforming like in the other Zelda mangas, most of it doesn't make any sense at all...

It starts with Deku Link confronting the Skull Kid on the tower. There the moon crashes into Termina, but for some totally unexplained reason the clock was turned back for some minutes, Link wonders why the time skipped back and THEN he gets the Ocarina of Time to play the Song of Time, which warps him back three days. But what was that time skip before? It just happened for no reason. And when Link arrives back at the beginning of the three days, he just loses his Deku form without any reason. It just happens without any explanation. The Happy Mask Salesman is there, but he only asks Link to get Majora's Mask back. He didn't help him with the Deku form (which was the original deal between the two in the game) and the Song of Healing is not part of the manga. Link just randomly plays something on his Ocarina, when the souls of Darmina and Mikau are manifested in masks. Epona gets stolen by Skull Kid at the beginning, then she doesn't appear in the entire story, only to appear out of nowhere at the end of the manga. "Hey Epona, there you are! Hahahaha!" Lot's of stuff just happens without any reason or explanation and it's a giant mess. I would even go as far and say that this is worst of the mangas yet, because the other mangas' stories at least made sense.

Also, except for the unexplained time skip and the Song of Time session at the beginning of the story, there's no time travel. None at all. He just repeats those three days once and in these three days he explores entire Termina setting all four giants free. You can do that in the actual game, but you need to be REALLY good. And Himekawa saved himself/herself/themselves (how am I supposed to refer to a female mangaka couple that goes under a male name?) the trouble of dealing with the issue of repeating three days and watching the world go down over and over again. Which was one of the central dilemmas of the game. It's like a dark, psychological and epic version of "Groundhog Day". In the manga there's only Anju, who interacts with Deku Link in the first cycle. And in the second cycle Link is sad, because Anju can't remember him. THAT's IT! That's the whole time travel dilemma in the manga, Anju can't remember Link from before... How sad! How terrifying! How overwhelming! I guess the only thing, that was overwhelmed here, was Akira Himekawa. He/she/they probably couldn't comprehend the whole thing. You help people, they become happy, but then you return to the first day and everyone is in despair again. Like nothing what you did mattered. But you can't rescue everyone in this game, you have to focus on the greater good of stopping Majora and the moon. But you have to deal with this problem as the player and it would have been nice to see how Link struggles with this psychological dilemma in the manga. But they totally avoid the whole problem. They took the easy road for this manga and that's lame.

But this wasn't the only thing avoided. Ikana, which is one of my favorite parts in the game, got completely fast forwarded. I guess a society of ghosts and undeads were not interesting enough. And the Romani Ranch got left out completely. Nothing about the Romani Ranch is in the manga, like I already said, Epona just appears out of nowhere at the end of the manga. I guess cow abducting aliens were not interesting enough. However, Akira Himekawa of course had enough pages left to draw a side story. Actually it's a back story, which tells the origin of Majora's Mask. It's supposed to be meaningful and full of symbolic character. However, it doesn't make any sense at all and it completely contradicts with what the Happy Masks Salesman tells you about the origins of the mask in the game. I guess Himekawa wasn't listening at that point.

Damnit, I just don't know what good points I could tell you about the manga, so instead I post a panel of a lovely Gerudo pirate for your enjoyment. At least Himekawa can draw women, sometimes...

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