Aventura Vol. #02 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translation Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Del Rey
  • MSRP: 10.99
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 978-0-345-50201-8
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Aventura

Aventura Vol. #02

By Greg Hackmann     October 09, 2008
Release Date: April 29, 2008

Aventura Vol.#02
© Del Rey

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist: Shin Midorikawa
Translated by: Elina Ishikawa
Adapted by: Elina Ishikawa

What They Say
Becoming a great wizard takes courage, practice, and dedication. Lewin Randit has all these things, and possibly something more: he may have a special talent that will make him the greatest wizard of all. But Lewin's gift could also turn out to be a curse...

The Review
Even though Volume 2 of Aventura begins in the middle of the fast-paced action sequence that concluded Volume 1, Midorikawa takes things on a much slower and less action-oriented pace this time around.  The sole source of action comes from this ongoing fight between Lewin's friends and the army of the undead; even the action parts of this battle take a back seat to Lewin's inner monologue before the end of the first chapter.  Once Lewin's compatriots discover that the skeletons' regenerative powers can counteract their swordsmanship and fire spells, Lewin enters a drawn-out sequence of self-contemplation that culminates in a dramatic summoning of the spirit Flare.  Besides sharing the name of Lewin's beloved grandmother, Flare turns out to be an extremely powerful spirit that wipes out the entire undead army in one blow.

All of this happens in the first two chapters of this volume, with the remaining story revolving around the aftermath of Flare's summon.  That Lewin was able to summon Flare on his first try -- despite being a mediocre swordsman with no apparent aptitude for magic -- sharply divides the faculty of Gaius over Lewin's future there.  Lewin and his fellow students play a much-diminished role in the remainder of the volume: most of the rest of the story deals with the politicking among the teachers over Lewin's fate and an internal investigation into what caused the undead outbreak.  Confusingly, Midorikawa denotes "The End of Lewin Chapter" two-thirds of the way through Volume 2 and designates the remaining two chapters as epilogues.  I'm not really sure what this is supposed to mean at this point, considering that there's still a lot of unanswered questions in Lewin's story and that Del Rey has already solicited the next volume.

This shift in story focus makes Volume 2 a weaker entry in the series than Volume 1.  Though seeing more of what's happening "behind the scenes" at Gaius (so to speak) is sort of interesting in its own right, Midorikawa has spent much more time with Lewin and his close-knit circle of friends up until now, and that's where the reader is most emotionally invested in the story at this point.  Nevertheless, some of Aventura's other strengths (particularly Midorikawa's beautiful artwork and the unfolding fantasy mythos) remain strong draws to the series.  Readers with a enough patience to tolerate the de-emphasizing of the "action" and "adventure" portions of the "fantasy action-adventure" formula should still find Volume 2 of Aventura to be a worthwhile read.



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