Tail of the Moon Vol. #03 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 8.99
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 1421508141
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Tail of the Moon Vol. #03

By Patricia Beard     April 25, 2007
Release Date: February 06, 2007

Tail of the Moon Vol.#03
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Rinko Ueda
Translated by:Tetsuichiro Miyaki
Adapted by:Tetsuichiro Miyaki

What They Say
Lord Hanzo readily agrees to Ieyasu's offer to take Usagi into his household to work as an herbalist - almost as quickly as he concurred with Ieyasu's assessment that Usagi doesn't have what it takes to become a ninja! Hanzo seems unconcerned about having Usagi out of his life, but Usagi isn't faring as well. Lonely in a new place without even Mamezo for a sleeping companion, Usagi crawls into Yukimaru's bed, much to his distress!

The Review
Usagi is proving to be a useful herbalist to Hamamatsu for she attends to women, whom Yukimaru cannot abide. (No problems with Usagi, he doesn't consider her female.) She assists Yukimaru in attending one of his "mothers" in town, where it just so happens that Hanzo is on an unsuccessful "secret outing" with Kami no Hanzou. Of course, there is a meeting of the two and Usagi demonstrates her abilities and understanding of the obligations of an herbalist in attending to Yukimaru's mother. We get to learn a bit of Usagi's past, and both Hanzo and the reader get a new respect for the dedication and perseverance this young woman has for healing. Misunderstandings that had arisen out of the misappropriation of letters (Goemon, of course) are resolved and Hanzou tells Usagi that he will ask Lord Ieyasu to allow Usagi to leave his employ.

Some of the weaker moments in this volume have to do with Usagi's search for the elixir of eternal youth which Ieyasu initially required as a condition for Usagi's return to Segachi. Early on there is a search for a mermaid which is a bit tedious and contributes no new information. Later in the volume Goemon, Usagi and Yukimaru start on a trek to the Mountain of Death to find the hermit of the love potion to get his assistance with the elixir. Fairly predictable with the only real surprise the hero, rather heroine, of the moment - Yuri. Goemon, the extent of whose injuries is now known to Usagi, has declared that Yuri's actions have qualified her as a ninja. But Yuri's meeting with the group was intentional and two-fold - to relay that Hanzo will not consider her as a prospective bride and to catch up with Goemon on whom she has a major crush. Yuri does let it be known that Hanzo had not made any announcement and wickedly implies that her beautiful and accomplished sister,Yuna, is still in the running.

The humor in this volume is in the small moments; Mamezo learning to write or trying to train the puppy that Hanzou gave him, Kami no Hanzou trying to loosen up Hanzo with the ladies. The translation maintains the right tone and is a very comfortable read. Fanservice in the form of undressed good-looking men is still there as is some cheesiness (another semi-nude campfire scene!).

The Usagi in this volume is growing up and Ueda sensei has begun to depict her as such. We still have her apt clueless looks as well as her nicely realized dreamy states, but occasionally there is a panel where Ueda sensei shows a reflective, adult Usagi. However, this isn't permanent. And we're still not at the point where we understand why Hanzo promises, at the gravesite of Usagi's parents, to protect her all his life or why Goemon wants to "protect Usagi's smile".


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