Arata: The Legend Volume 17 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.
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Rated “T” for “Teen”
He is the target of bullies, but high school freshman Arata Hinohara eventually ends up in Amawakuni, a world where humans and gods coexist. He switches places with an Amawakuni boy who is also named Arata. Hinohara is chosen to wield a Hayagami (a god in sword form) named Tsukuyo so that he can save Princess Kikuri. Arata lives on Earth, while Arata Hinohara goes on a life-changing journey.
As Arata: The Legend, Vol. 17 (Chapters 158 to 167) opens, Hinohara’s battle against the Shinsho Kikutsune rages on. Sensing the tide of battle turning against him, Kikutsune activates his demon power and undergoes a startling and horrifying transformation. Can Hinohara defeat him? Meanwhile, Masato Kadowaki, who is also from the modern world like Hinohara, enters the fray.
Back on Earth, Arata of Amawakuni, takes a summer break with Imine Oribe and Hinohara’s little sister, Nao. They’re going to Oninaki Island, and Arata wants to protect Oribe, as he waits for her powers to develop. He does not know that an enemy has followed them to the island.
THE LOWDOWN: The previous volume of the Arata: The Legend manga (Vol. 16) has a story that is crazy and all over the place. Arata: The Legend Volume 17 is much better. It has some revelations about what may be the origins of the Shinsho and some more hints about the series’ internal mythology.
Best of all, this volume offers riveting stories from both Amawakuni and the modern world. Readers who prefer Amawakuni adventures (like me) may enjoy this switch back to modern times (our world). Creator Yuu Watase sets up a clever cliffhanger in the way that ensures that we will have to return for the next volume and will want to return to the modern world.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Fans of creator Yuu Watase will want the Shonen Sunday title, Arata: The Legend.