Blade of the Moon Princess, Vol. 1

Viz Media. (Blade of the Moon Princess). Sept. 2023. 192p. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781974738656.
Gr 9 Up–The Empress Fujiya Takenouchi has reigned in a new era of peace in her kingdom. However, when it comes to peacefully nurturing her daughter Kaguya to be the heir to her throne, it turns out that the unruly Crown Princess hasn’t the slightest interest in being told what to do. But when a coup within the family threatens to upend everything the Takenouchi family has worked so hard to forge, rebellious Kaguya may be her world’s only hope! Based loosely on the Japanese folklore classic, “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter,” Endo (of Spy x Family fame) adds to the many adaptations this monogatari has had over time. Art is busy, but attractive, as the panels are packed with detail no matter the setting. While the characters are fun (particularly the spunky Kaguya), the narrative has a tendency to go off the rails. A lot is being thrown at readers in this opening volume from a worldbuilding standpoint, and it can come off as a bit cluttered. The story is very much focused on the setup here, and there’s absolutely potential for it to be a fun ride. But the fast and furious start off could serve as an impediment to readers.
VERDICT While Blade of the Moon Princess has the capability to be a memorable adventure, it wakes up a little disoriented to start its day.

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