Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Luuna vol. 1 Impression

Luuna volume 1
Luuna volume 1 from Tokyopop will give anime and comic fans a taste of what is popular in Europe while introducing a beautifully drawn world touching on subject matter often ignored in the medium.

Luuna is coming of age and as a member of the Paumanok tribe she must travel into the forest to meet her totem which will guide her life. Unfortunate there is an evil moon in the sky and a fight for Luuna’s very soul is waged by the Hohopah and the evil Unkui. An agreement is reached where Luuna is assigned two totems, one a white wolf the other a black one. Each full moon, for one night, Luuna belongs to Unkui to wreak havoc in his name. In order to resolve the duality Luuna leaves her tribe in search of the spirits who can help her … a trip in which Luuna is dogged by those seeking Unkui’s power and a journey where Luuna will discover who she truly is. Light and dark, they both live solely in Luuna.

Luuna, the creation of Didier Crissse and Nocolas Keramidas. The story is very engaging due to the personality of Luuna, a very attractive Native American girl who shows off a curve or two equaled out by her drive and determination. The spiritual journey is nothing new but the setting is. Touching on the often ignored Native American mythos is both refreshing and interesting. Accompanying Luuna are the Pipintoos, small chipmunk looking spirits. There three Pipintoos, Wombat, Wambat, Wimlat, are like a miniature three stooges and offer up commentary via conversation about Luuna as well as the world’s background. The artwork is just beautiful. It’s well drawn with sharp, deep lines that are accentuated with colors (yes manga fans, color) that really show the difference between light and dark, not just the daytime vs. nighttime but those shades of Luuna’s personality. The design reminds of Disney but not a Pokohantas, a more playful, nicer to look at Disney more like Aladdin.

Overall the story setting is very interesting, characters are engaging, humor is present with serious moments and the look, feel and color all dance off the page. The larger format, colored pages may turn off traditional manga fans, but for comic fans this is worth the look, no spandex here, but wait till you see Luuna.

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