Tail of the Moon – Prequel: The Other Hanzo(u) by Rinko Ueda Manga Review

Title: Tail of the Moon – Prequel: The Other Hanzo(u)

Author: Rinko Ueda

Publisher: Viz

ISBN: 9781421530536

May Contain Spoilers

Yay! More brain candy from Rinko Ueda!  I love the blend of history, romance, and action, as well as all of the pretty pictures that she seamlessly weaves into her stories.  Complete in one volume, there’s not a huge commitment to picking up this book, and it flies by, offering a steady stream of entertainment.  There’s nothing deep or thought-provoking,  but do you really need that with the two Hanzo(u)s running around?  No!

This prequel to Tail of the Moon recounts the meeting and subsequent courtship of the mysterious Kaguya and Hanzou Hattori.  Things don’t start very smoothly, and Kaguya has suffered a bit of misfortune.  She’s been injured and is suffering from amnesia, and has no idea who she is or how she was wounded.  She’s working in a brothel as a housekeeper and babysitter, and is starting to feel comfortable in her new life when the handsome Hanzou pays a visit.  Suddenly her world is spinning out of control, people are trying to kill her, and she doesn’t know why!  Thank goodness that hunky Hanzou is a bodyguard from Okazaki Castle!  He’ll save her bacon more than once because he’s fallen head over heels in love with her!

It was fun to see Hanzou and Hanzo in a new light.  Kaguya is also a great character; she is capable, tough, and isn’t a pushover like Usagi.  She doesn’t really need Hanzou to rescue her, but hey, since he’s so good looking, she doesn’t protest very much when he does.  She is occasionally dazzled by Hanzo’s gorgeous appearance, but what girl wouldn’t be?  Hanzou, the mega flirt, has to deal with jealousy issues when he discovers Kaguya’s secret assignment, and he doesn’t like having the tables turned on him.  He’s supposed to be the one who makes all the girls swoon, and he doesn’t like that he’s finally been bitten by the love bug.

The pacing is lightning fast and the story has the depth of a mud puddle, but it’s still a lot of fun.  There’s a dash of intrigue, a dollop of romance, and lots of drool worthy illustrations of both Hanzo(u)s.  I do believe that fans of Tail of the Moon will reap more satisfaction from the story than newcomers to the series, but if you’re looking for a mindless escape from reality, this is the ticket.

Grade: B

Review copy provided by Viz

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