Monday, September 04, 2006

Review: Magic Knight Rayearth: Volume 1

Magic Knight Rayearth I, Book 1 by CLAMP

Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu are your average Tokyo school girls. That is until they are suddenly whisked away from a field trip at Tokyo Tower to the magical land of Cephiro. Planted in the midst of a strange new setting, the only clue the trio has to their sudden appearance is a voice telling them the Legendary Magic Knights must “save my world.”

It isn’t long before the girls find out that they are the Magic Knights, who are only summoned to Cephiro in times of great need. The ruler of the land, Princess Emeraude, has been kidnapped by the evil priest Zagato. As if that weren’t bad enough, a magician named Clef tells the girls that Cephiro is held together by the strength of Emeraude’s prayers alone. If she is not found quickly, the land will cease to exist. The girls must awaken the Mashin and become the Legendary Magic Knights before Cephiro disappears forever.

There is a lot more to the plot, but if I say too much more here, I’ll give away the ending of the first book. It tends to be a typical introductory manga novel, where a lot of the book is taken up by establishment of character, setting, and plot. Despite this unfortunate fact, the book is still worth the effort. Filled with CLAMP’s trademark artwork and wonderful characters, this is a rousing start to a great series. Every detail is beautifully executed, with breathtaking results any manga fan will appreciate. Don’t be turned off by the seemingly generic storyline. Although it seems like a “been there, read that” sort of book, it really isn’t. Besides, the art alone is a good enough reason to read it.

And if you enjoy it (which I’m sure you will) make sure you have Book 2 and Book 3 handy. This is not a series where you will want to wait to see what happens. Happy reading!

Shady Glade Rating (for the series as a whole): 9/10

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*Note* I didn’t realize this when I started the series, and it was a bit confusing at first. To ensure less confusion please read the following:
Magic Knight Rayearth (MKR) was originally published as volumes 1 through 6. Now TokyoPop has re-released the books as two series: Magic Knight Rayearth I (Books 1, 2, and 3) and Magic Knight Rayearth II (Books 1, 2, and 3) . Be sure to check the number of the series you are reading. If you end up reading the original printing, MKR II would be the equivalent of volumes 4, 5, and 6.

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