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Zyword Vol. #01 Manga Review

3 min read
Zyword has the potential to be an entertaining story with magic, monsters, fairies, and smokin' hot Goddesses.

Creative Staff:
Writer/Artist: Tamayo Akiyama
Translated by: Haruko Furukawa
Adapted by: Sarah Dyer

What They Say
Welcome to Zyword, a world filled with magic and sorcery. When Zyword’s kingdom of Araimel is put under a spell, it’s up to two sole survivors to save the citizens before they perish in an eternal sleep!

The Review
Contents: (Oh yes, there may be spoilers)
Luna is the Princess of Araimel, a kingdom in one of many dimensions that can be traveled to by beings with magical abilities. There are three Goddesses’ of Chaos and they rule over most of the various dimensions. In the kingdom of Araimel, the Goddesses are worshipped and given whatever they desire. Unfortunately for the kingdom’s citizens, the king and his daughter Luna have forsaken the Goddesses’ wishes. This brings down the Goddesses’ wrath and that of the Church of Valstoke.

Luna and her childhood companion Roddy are two of the only survivors to escape the sleep spell cast on Araimel’s citizens. Both have magical abilities, Luna’s are especially strong, so they decide to travel to the fairy dimension to search for help. But before they can create a dimensional portal the Goddess Ariena appears with a contingent of soldiers to take Luna captive. During the battle, one of the soldiers calls Luna by name and turns on his Goddess to help Luna and Roddy escape. The soldier proves to be an extremely powerful warrior, but he’s lost his memory. So in a bit of anger towards the soldier, Luna names him Ride to get back at an earlier perceived insult.

Now, this is all very good and progressing nicely, but then the author turns the whole second half of the book into a flashback of Luna’s childhood. There’s nothing wrong with flashbacks if they are done correctly. Unfortunately, Luna’s memory of her childhood just drags on for too long. That complaint aside, the flashback does show how the Goddesses have manipulated Zyword’s inhabitants and how they tried to manipulate Luna in particular. Somehow at an early age, Luna was able to sense the Goddesses’ maliciousness and she defied their orders. This takes place at the same time she falls in love with her magic teacher Zeke, who’s missing in the non flashback time. Luna swears her love for Zeke and promises she will not only find him but also save her kingdom from the Goddesses’ and their evil machinations.

In Summary:
Zyword has the potential to be an entertaining story with magic, monsters, fairies, and smokin’ hot Goddesses. But this book feels like it’s trying to do too much. The story has a lot of levels but most of them get so little face time that they just add to the confusion. Then the overextended flashback to Luna’s childhood just really killed the story for me. I felt everything important from Luna’s background could have been explained in a much shorter flashback or even without a flashback at all. Now I did really enjoy the artwork and the character designs but I don’t know if the storytelling is going to get that much better, so I’m kind of on the fence with this title.

Content Grade: B-
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: TOKYOPOP
Release Date: August 8th, 2006
MSRP: $9.99