As of January 10, 2017, the Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons & Oracle of Ages – Legendary Edition manga earned an English translation. Both stories are loosely based off of the games they receive their names from. Full disclosure, I’m going into this without prior knowledge of the games’ stories, so take that into account when considering this review. I will discuss both stories in sections and since the book starts off with the Oracle of Seasons, that’s where we’ll start.
Oracle of Seasons
The first few pages are completely in color which is an astonishing touch to the manga. It highlights the path of Link becoming a hero through interactions with his grandpa. Link realizes it’s his destiny and ventures out on his own. He finds Din, who Veran eventually mind controls into attacking Link.
Even though I knew nothing serious would happen to any of the major characters, I found this segment especially intriguing. I enjoy plots that feature characters getting possessed by another force and this Oracle of Seasons portrays this really well. Which is a treat since Din also isn’t the only one to experience possession in the story.
Link travels the world with a party that includes Piyoko, Ricky, and Maple. At first, Maple threatened Link and company because she wanted the Oracle of Seasons. It seems Maple forgot about that after a while and warmed up to her new companions. Oracle of Seasons never addresses this fact, which left me a little disappointed.
As with every Legend of Zelda, Link receives a new special tool or power that is essential to the success of his journey. In this story it’s the Oracle of Seasons, which gives Link can now change the seasons at will. Link uses the rod to change the season from winter to spring to help in the group’s mobility toward Onox. I’ve got to say, I wish the characters used this manipulation of the season for something more significant to the story. The oracle is the focal point of the book, after all.
Things get a little busy at the end of Oracle of Seasons; Link gets a sword from Zelda, Twinrova is plans to ambush Link, and Din is saved. The results here are suitable but feel a little too randomly placed together, like how Zelda randomly appears to please the audience.
Oracle of Ages
Oracle of Ages covers the outcome of the story. Honestly, it felt like Oracle of Ages went by way too quickly. The heroes encountered problems that would go away within a few pages. This also made Oracle of Ages seem cornier than Oracle of Seasons because it seemed like the author was trying to reach the positive parts of the story before it became too dark.
The part where I felt the most despair was when Veran controlled Nayru and then Queen Ambi to increase labor for the castle. I wish the author took this further because there were no results from the negative events that happened throughout the series.
Link and comrades did everything right, they essentially had no flaws in Oracle of Ages. Sometimes they would get possessed but this isn’t a flaw within the characters. I’m also pretty confident there were some mistranslated words. That may have been true for both stories but I only noticed it in this Oracle of Ages.
Another odd moment is when Raven reveals himself to Link. This plot device wasn’t used for anything useful other than a nice, genuine moment between the two characters. Not only that, it took almost all of Oracle of Ages for this event to occur when it was obvious who he was from the beginning.
It’s innovative that the author included a summary of Oracle of Seasons at the end of the collection. Though this might immediately turn some away from the content when browsing the book in a bookstore, for example. I’m happy that the characters satisfyingly experienced development through the stories, even if it was very little.
Together, Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages are pretty decent. In some areas, there’s a lack of pacing, while in others, a lack of coherence is the problem. Pick up the book if you’d like to expand upon your journey with Link and friends but don’t expect a story completely faithful to the games.
Release Date: January 10, 2017
Disclaimer: A copy of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages – Legendary Edition was provided to BentoByte by the publisher for the purpose of review.Tweet