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Arata: The Legend, Vol. 6 [Paperback]

Yuu Watase
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

June 14 2011 ARATA (Book 6)
An action-packed shonen fantasy from the acclaimed author of Fushigi Yûgi!

Reads R to L (Japanese Style), for audiences T
Hinohara discovers to his horror that his tormentor Kadowaki has followed him to Arata's world. Recalling his suffering, Hinohara flies into a rage that triggers his transformation into a demonic entity!

Frequently Bought Together

Arata: The Legend, Vol. 6 + Arata: The Legend, Vol. 9 + Arata: The Legend, Vol. 7
Price For All Three: CDN$ 35.07

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Product Description

About the Author

Yuu Watase debuted in the Shôjo Comic manga anthology in 1989. She won the 43rd Shogakukan Manga Award with Ceres: Celestial Legend. One of her most famous works is Fushigi Yûgi, a series that has inspired the prequel Fushigi Yûgi: Genbu Kaiden. In 2008, Arata: The Legend started serialization in Shonen Sunday.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Watase Story May 27 2010
Arata is a fun, fantasy series, with a touch of sentiment. The story centers around two teenagers from two different worlds that coincidentally share the same name and face. After an unfortunate tragedy, Arata flees for his life into a cursed forest, where he switches places with a young boy named Arata Hinohara. Now Hinohara finds himself trapped in a strange world, where he is hunted for reasons he doesn't understand.

Arata is yet another great story by Yuu Watase. The artwork is as beautiful as one would expect of Ms. Watase, and the dialogue is clever and witty. The story is well written, with deep themes of friendship and betrayal. The reader is drawn into the lives and problems of both Aratas, and it is easy to sympathize with them. Volume One is an excellent start to a new series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Legend Begins May 17 2010
By Ellen W. - Published on
In Yuu Watase's latest, Arata is a boy living the world of Amawakuni. Amawakuni is ruled by a princess, and it's time for the princess to be succeeded. But there's a problem: the new princess must come from the Hime clan, but that clan has no eligible females. The whole clan is in danger if they can't produce an heir, so Arata's grandmother makes him pose as a candidate princess to stall for time until a real one can be found. Arata isn't happy about the situation, but he's willing to do it to protect the people he loves. He disguises himself as a girl and travels to the capital accompanied by his attendent and friend, Kotoha. Arata is taken to the princess and a ceremony to name the new princess begins. But before the ceremony can be completed, the princess is betrayed and killed by Kannagi, one of her shinsho, guardians who are sworn to protect her. Kannagi then tries to kill Arata, the only witness, but he escapes. The shinsho blame Arata for the murder to the public and chase after him, but Arata escapes to a forest. The way out closes behind him, but he finds a strange portal...

Meanwhile, in present day Japan, Arata Hinohara is a typical high school student. He had trouble with bullying at his previous school, and he's hoping to make a fresh start in high school. He makes friends, but an old enemy returns and things take a turn for the worse. Arata is betrayed by his friends, and he's feeling disgusted with his life. Walking home after a particularly bad day, he hears a voice calling his name. Not caring where he ends up, he follows the voice down an alley and into a tunnel. When he emerges, he discovers that he's crossed from Japan into Amawakuni. He meets up with Kotoha, and she mistakes him for the other Arata. So does everyone else, and soon, Arata's running for his life from Kannagi. He takes up the Hime clan's hayagami, a god in the form of a sword, to defend himself, and it chooses him as its wielder. But can Arata save Amawakuni from the shinsho's rebellion?

The plot may take a while to summarize, but it's pretty simple and typical. Amawakuni is a pretty generic fantasy world. However, its government interested me. As Arata Hinohara astutely points out, it's like a fantasy version of Feudal Japan. The princess seals and controls Kamui, the gods who take the form of hayagami. She lends the power to the sho, weilders of the hayagami, and the stronger ones rule land themselves. The shinsho are the strongest sho, and it's their job to protect the princess. This is comparable to the system of daimyo and warlords of old Japan. The shinsho's usurpation reminded me of how the emperor lost power. It's fun to see the historical elements in the story, and it actually makes the real history a bit easier to understand. There's a good mix of drama, action, and humor, too. One problem is that it's never explained why everyone confuses the two Aratas when they look nothing alike. Did reality shift so they look the same to everyone else? Or what?

As for the characters, they're pretty generic. Arata is your typical shonen hero (though it's funny to see how he deals with life in modern Japan), his grandmother is a typical ornery elder, and Kotoha is a typical devoted female childhood friend. The story focuses more on Arata Hinohara, and he was a little better. It's not unusual for the protagonists of shonen manga to be negative and apathetic, but I liked that he empathizes with the princess's feelings of betrayal. This makes his decision to fulfill her wishes make sense. Also, you just know there's going to be more to Kannagi than there appears to be. Most of Watase's villains have reasons for what they're doing and pasts that make them sympathetic, and Kannagi already shows signs of this. It's not unusual, but what can I say, I have a weakness for that kind of character.

The art's really nice. Watase's simple but elegant style is instantly recognizable. The characters designs are similar to but still distinguishable from characters in her previous works. Both Aratas are good looking, especially the one from Amawakuni. And Kannagi might be even hotter than him. If it weren't for the action scenes and relative lack of romance, it'd be easy to forget this is a shonen manga. Everything is detailed, from people to costumes to backgrounds. I especially liked the costumes on the women of Amawakuni. The action scenes were well drawn, though pretty tyical. But they weren't drawn out or confusing like the ones in manga by certain other artists (I'm looking at you, CLAMP). They were important to the story and didn't seem gratuitous.

"Arata" has a pretty typical storyline with a pretty typical fantasy world and pretty typical characters. However, it does stand apart from similar manga. The story has interesting elements, the main character is pretty good, and the art is beautiful. I look forward to seeing where this series goes.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review from The Book Monsters Aug. 3 2011
By Kate B. - Published on
Arata was very different than what I was expecting... in a good way. If you have ever read anything by Yuu Watase, such as Fushigi Yugi, then you know that her writing involves adventure, action, and romance with the first two coming behind the romance aspect. This made lead some readers to believe that her novels are geared toward the female reader. This is not the case with Arata. This novel is high in action and adventure with a microscopic hint of romance. While I can't say that the novel is not targeted mainly at males, I can say that males may enjoy this series more than her previous work. However, this is based on the first volume, so my opinion may change.

But what will not change is the Watase sparkle. Every manga I have ever read of Watase's has this sparkle that I find so rarely in other mangas. So what is the sparkle? It is a manga filled with memorable characters that you will think of long after you have read the last page, amazing premises that keep you on the edge of your seat, and outstanding drawings that can take your breath away. For me, there is nothing like a work by Watase. They are a joy to read, and I have yet to find one that I have not devoured.

I am happy to report that Arata follows in this great tradition. This is an action packed novel that involves world travel, action, intrigue, and quite a few twists. Arata will pull you in and not let go till the last page. There is a lot here for both male and female readers to enjoy. And I will be waiting excitedly to see what happens next.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT a Shonen Manga After All! Aug. 22 2013
By Eclectic Bibliophile - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
At first, this series seemed like an enjoyably typical shonen manga.

Adventure, battles, fascinating characters in a fantasy world, all fell into place quickly. For the male audience, there were even nude women with breasts and buttocks on full display occasionally. For the female audience, no such luck as far as fan-service is concerned. No "accidental M/M kisses"---ala Naruto---or anything else to speak of. Not a deal breaker, but still noteworthy considering how prevalent that kind of thing was in Fushigi Yugi.

Then it slowly digressed into painfully shojo territory. Every exciting new MALE character had a problem that only the addition of a FEMALE---usually a love interest---could resolve. Even the male characters whose dramatic challenges arose due to the deceased needed "forgiveness" from the women they left behind.

Like Oprah might say, "Hey, guys! You get a girl! And you get a girl! Every boy gets a girl!!"

The formulaic nature of it, the predictability of the story arcs, the plethora of two-dimensional characters, etc., is tiresome. If this kind of action-shojo tale is to your liking, enjoy! If you were hoping for more action and less romance, like I was, try Toriko. Or Slam Dunk. Or Soul Eater. Or Bleach. Or Naruto. get the picture.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yu Watase is back! Jan. 28 2013
By MMaru - Published on
Yu Watase's Fushigi Yuugi was my very first anime, so it has always held a special place in my heart. The downside: her character designs are so similar that I have never been able to get into any of her other works (Absolute Boyfriend, Alice 19th, Ceres: Celestial Legend) because I'd see one character and think, "There's her Miaka design" and another would remind me of Tamahome, etc.

So it was with some surprise that I picked up the first volume of Arata: The Legend and didn't immediately have that reaction, and I was pleasantly surprised to see who the mangaka was, having not recognized the art. As with Fushigi, Watase has created a very full, colorful world, and plays with the idea of a character moving between two worlds: one a modern-day Japan, the other a fairly standard fantasy world. Her main character struggles with problems in his real life and at first, uses his life in the magical world to escape, but soon finds himself sincerely caring about how he can affect things in the fantasy world. Not unlike Fushigi Yuugi, but done very differently. Where Fushigi has a heavy romantic twist, there's little of that to be seen thus far in Arata. The story leans more towards shonen than shojo. I'm really enjoying all of the characters, and while a fair bit of their traits might be a little cliche, there is also some very raw depth to them. Watase captures some of the less-celebrated human emotions, like how it feels when a friend betrays you and yet you still can't hate them, or that uncertainty of wondering where you stand in a relationship. Despite the fantasy level of this story, the characters themselves (even the ones who pull swords out of their bodies, or change their age constantly, or have wings) are all so harshly real. I've read the first nine volumes so far and can't wait for more!

Watase's art in this series comes off as simpler than in her others - the line work is plain but very crisp. It's amazing to see someone whose work is normally instantly recognizable manage to pull off such a different style, and so fluidly. It's a hard choice whether I like her Fushigi-esque art or the Arata style more.

This manga stays very clean and innocent, and aside from a rather hefty number of characters, it's relatively easy to follow. I would recommend this as a starter manga for a younger reader, male or female, or for a manga reader of any level who enjoys a good story with simple but beautiful art.
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Oct. 2 2013
By tmNT2105 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Manga is my favorite type of book to read. It's very different from
American story telling. I have read all the books in this series and
I have enjoyed all of it. This is an action adventure series that does
not slow down. It is also crazy but humorous at times. My favorite character
in this series is Arata and I read it for him. Plus, I like how it has an Arata from
ancient Japan and a modern Arata from modern day Japan. These two have
been switched so that one has to live in the opposite world where they have
to deal with whatever problems the other was facing at the time and this is what
the story is about. Everything else is just a plot line to drive the series
along. I enjoyed this series but it might be offensive to people who don't
understand Japanese culture and morals. But I have been reading manga and
anime for awhile so I enjoy everything about manga.
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