The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition 5—Four Swords

legend of zelda legendary edition volume 5 four swords cover trade paperback
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Better balanced story than some of the other entries

Sometimes hard to bring the game to paper, black-and-white does not work with the four Link colors

Comic Info

Comic Name:  The Legend of Zelda:  Legendary Edition 5—Four Swords

Publisher:  Viz Media

Writer:  Akira Himekawa

Artist:  Akira Himekawa

Release Date:  2017

legend of zelda legendary edition volume 5 four swords link artwork black-and-white manga

Four Links set sail for adventure!

Young Link is a hero despite his age and size, and in the Kingdom of Hyrule, he’s won the eye of Princess Zelda.  When the seal of the Four Swords is broken, a Shadow Link appears, and the land is plunged into danger.  Link must summon the legendary Four Swords and finds himself split into four versions of himself.  Stopping the Shadow Link is dangerous, and the Links must find a way to work together to do it…but there might be a force bigger and more dangerous than the Shadow Link behind the evil.

Written and illustrated by Akira Himekawa, The Legend of Zelda:  Legendary Edition Volume 5—Four Swords is video game manga series.  Following The Legend of Zelda:  Legendary Edition Volume 4—The Minish Cap/Phantom Hourglass, the manga collection was released by Viz Media and based on The Legend of Zelda:  Four Swords Adventure released in 2004 for the GameCube.

I grew up with The Legend of Zelda and Nintendo.  It was a “game-changing” game.  It spawned sequel after sequel…and most were rather strong.  The Legend of Zelda:  Four Swords Adventure, however, was not a game I played.

Capturing a video game on paper is sometimes difficult…especially considering that games aren’t always heavy in plot.  Each game (especially Zelda) have aspects of a plot and an overarching plot, but the rest of the story has to be fleshed out.  The collection does a decent job building up a mythos.  What is interesting about the Legendary Edition series is that you see that each time the mythos has to be built again since the games are technically separate though they share a complete timeline (which has been mapped out online to some extent).

legend of zelda legendary edition volume 5 link vs ganon

Four Links vs. One Ganon…guess who wins?

The way the collection goes about trying to present the energy and kinetic feel of a video game is through the manga art.  It is a good entry level manga with the classic formatting (which might throw a gamer that just decides to visit their favorite game in story form).  It does bounce back and forth between “serious” art or more playful art which sometimes feels odd tonally.  What is difficult about this collection is that the four Links are all different colors, and the black-and-white art does not help you in distinguishing them (but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also did that for the early volumes when all the Turtles looked alike even in their all-red bandanas for the color artwork…but at least they had different weapons)

The Legend of Zelda mangas have been a bit hit or miss in their nature.  I like what they attempt, but they don’t always land.  I don’t know if it is because I haven’t played this game and I had no expectations, but I felt that this was one of the more interesting adaptations.  With game after game continuing to come out, I hope the adaptations continue…and this format is a great way to go.  The Legend of Zelda:  Legendary Edition Volume 5—Four Swords was followed by The Legend of Zelda:  The Twilight Princess.

Related Links:

The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition 1—Ocarina of Time

The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition 3—Majora’s Mask/A Link to the Past

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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