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Arata, Volume 1


Whoo hoo! This is a brand spanking new manga by Yuu Watase! And I’m gonna be one of the early reviewers! *Hopefully* Anyway, if you’re a fan of Watase’s art, then you’re probably like me–excited to see something new coming out. Now, I can’t claim I’m a fan of every series she’s done, but I can say I’m a fan of Fushigi Yuugi (both the original and the Genbu series.) I also really like Alice 19th and Ceres. In fact, I also started reading Absolute Boyfriend, though I must confess…I didn’t get too far. I should probably go back and try again. It was interesting…but I’m no longer a young young girl, so the thrill of a first love is kinda…beyond me now. Or I’m beyond it. I dunno. I’m sure it’s a good series, all the same.

So here we’ve got Arata, The Legend. I wasn’t sure what to expect, because as Watase claims in afterward, this is her first real go at a story about a boy. She’s usually into the whole Shoujo genre…and here she’s gone and entered a new world–the world of Shounen. Let’s see how she does! We’re rooting for you!

*This review has spoilers. Nothing major, but a few. Proceed with caution!*

Arata: The Legend, Volume 1-Recommended

Mangaka: Yuu Watase
Copyright: 2010
Genre: Shounen, Fantasy, Comedy

  • Chapter 1: Revolution
  • Chapter 2: Friends
  • Chapter 3: Arata and Arata
  • Chapter 4: Hayagami
  • Chapter 5: Sho
  • Chapter 6: Trial
  • Chapter 7: Determination



Arata of the Hime clan’s just woken up to find his granny telling him he’s gotta dress like a girl. Arata Hinohara’s starting a new life at his new High School. Neither one have any idea of the other’s existence. In fact, the two come from completely different worlds. But, when Granny sends Arata to participate in the ceremony to crown a new princess–things run array as Arata is tangled in a massive betrayal by Princess Kikuri’s own bodyguards and protectors. In a desperate act to escape and clear his name of this heinous act he’s been accused of, Arata rushes into Kando Forest, and frightening and mythical woods where no one who enters comes out the same. In doing so, he switches places with Hinohara, who finds himself in a foreign world when running from his own past strewn with bullies and humiliation. Now it’s up to Arata Hinohara to try and set things right by using the power of the Hayagami sword Makari possesses, and reaching the Princess Kikuri before she draws her final breath.

Pros and Cons: Story and Content


I can’t say I have any complaints with the characters. The good guys are all likable, the bad guys are despicable. Each character has a background which has shaped them into who they are. Arata of the Hime, coming from a family known to produce the princesses who over see all the hayagami, has lived a good life. Not too rich, not too poor, and with a whole other tribe that’s been charged with tending to the Himes. He’s not spoiled, but he has had the good life and is rather unaccepting of his granny’s request to dress as a woman. But you get the idea he’s had some hardships, as his parents are apparently dead, or at least not in the picture. He has been raised well, and comes around to his duty eventually. Because of his lofty up bringing, he’s a bit of a joker, and doesn’t always take things that he should seriously. AKA, the Goshintai sword which has been passed down from generation to generation and possesses the power of a hayagami.

Arata Hinohara fits into his character well also. He’s kind of a wuss because his whole middle school–er–elementary school experience he’s been picked on and put through a lot of rough times with bullies. Due to this treatment, he tends to run away from his problems, skipping school and refusing to confront those who torture him. You see how all this builds up and pushes him over the edge after someone who’s supposed to be his friend betrays him. When he tries to run away this time, he finds himself in a whole new world, where he’s forced to face his opponents. I have a good feeling both these characters are going to grow a lot through the series. I’ve already got the second volume and can’t wait to read it!

I really can’t think of any cons to put here…isn’t that great!? No negativity! Ow ow!


This is a great story.You know, it takes everything that’s great about Inu Yasha and Fushigi Yûgi, and transforms it into a shounen manga. Something boys can enjoy. Not so much traveling back in time like Kagome and Miaka, but more so the whole traveling to a world totally alien to the protagonist and having them be the chosen person to become the savior of that world. It reads easily, and smoothly, and it’s funny. I also like the completely different personalities of Hinohara and Arata. Two different people, same face, same name, different reactions to what’s going on around them. I think this is gonna be another great series by Watase–and that’s saying something since this is her first stab and writing towards a male audience. I’m not a dude, so I can’t really say if this story appeals to the guys out there, but I certainly think it’s pretty good.

The world is a semi-feudal Japan, but a little different. There’s magic and airships. Though worlds similar to this exist in other manga, Watase is still unique and able to make an original setting that’s not all it seems. I like the complex hierarchy–the role the princess plays, and the role her guardians are supposed to play. There’s also mystery, intrigue if you will, regarding why the guardians betray her in the first place. Is it over greed? Power? Or does something else motivate them? Why would someone who’s lived with the princess and been her protection so long betray her? These questions are one of the many reasons I intend to keep reading on. The story is great, the world fascinating, and the characters empathic. You want to learn what will happen next.


Pros and Cons: Art

The artwork, as is the usual with Watase, is fantastic. The screen toning is smooth, and neat–not sloppy and ill planned. The characters fit into each scene in proportion with the back ground, and the special effects are wonderful. There aren’t quite some many dynamic views, like we see in Death Note, but that doesn’t make a difference. The illustrations are seamless. Beautiful. I love it! But, then I may be a bit bias, seeing as I am a fan of Ms. Watase.

No cons. Nada.


I couldn’t put this manga down. And to be honest, I’ve already read the second volume, as well. I’ll be putting an overview of it up here sometime soon. I mean, I drove my boyfriend nuts reading this manga non-stop on the way to work. Uh…he was driving. Not me. Heh, just to clarify. But really, it was enjoyable and I think it’s safe to say both men and women, girls and boys, can get entertainment from reading this. I like the underlying themes of courage and facing your fears and opponents, I like the support of trust and regaining of trust in people after being scorned. I like how there’s a lot of important messages being sent out. You want to see the Arata’s succeed. You really don’t know what’s going on with the Hime Arata, but you want to know. That’s why I suggest reading this manga. It’s a good read! Two thumbs up 🙂

Arata: The Legend, Volume 1-Recommended!


*These should be indented…but I’m stupid
and can’t figure out how to do it. Sorry!*

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2003.

Harman, William and Hugh Holman. A Handbook to Literature. 9th ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2003.

Watase, Yuu. Arata: The Legend. Trans. JN Productions. Vol. 1. San Francisco: Viz Media, 2010.

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