Tue. Sep 26th, 2023

Following the success of Tatsuya Endo’s Spy x Family series, his Blade of the Moon Princess manga has received a US release from Viz Media. The first volume, which was originally released in Japan in 2010, is now available in English, and fans won’t have to wait too long for the second volume as it will be released in December. Overall, the coming-of-age series based on a Japanese folktale will span five volumes.

“Defiant and vulgar, Princess Kaguya Takenouchi is not the heir to the moon’s Silver Court that her mother’s retainers had hoped for. But when the empress falls ill during a wave of terrorist attacks, Kaguya resolves to do right by her people and rise to the occasion,” reads the synopsis. “Unfortunately, Kaguya’s enemies are a step ahead of her, and she ends up ejected from the moon and stranded on the primitive Tainted World below. Can she find her way back to the moon and reclaim the throne that is rightfully hers from the usurpers?”

A manga series often lives or dies due to its protagonist. Thankfully, Kaguya Takenouchi is quite the likable one. She’s royalty who desperately wants nothing more than to be a normal girl rather than the future leader she was born to become. It’s not the most unique of circumstances, but Endo’s fantastic style and writing shine through in making her an enjoyable character who proves up to the task once her mother’s health begins to fail.

Blade of the Moon Princess has an interesting history as it was originally a one-shot manga that was released in 2000. It wasn’t until a decade later that the series went into full production, which is a good thing as it allowed Endo to develop his skills. The manga is beautifully illustrated, and the terrorist group that uses Tengu masks looks fearsome. For fans of Spy x Family, this serves as a look at Endo’s creative growth and his range, as it is quite different from his biggest hit.

  • blade of the moon princess vol 1 review

Told through three lengthy chapters, the first volume of Blade of the Moon Princess is a captivating and enjoyable read for its 192 pages. The action sequences, particularly the segments where the terrorist attacks take place, are thrilling, while Kaguya’s growth and resolve to go from a troublemaking brat to desiring to be a leader for her people is the high mark of the narrative. It’s a really strong start to a story that I can’t wait to see develop. You can’t ask for much more from the first volume of a series.

Things really start getting interesting once Kaguya is forced off the moon and onto the “tainted world” — Earth. This version of Earth serves as a place of exile for criminals and suffers from famine, a far cry from the royal upbringing that Kaguya had. It’s the perfect place for Kaguya to grow as both a warrior and a person while also on the run from five elite assassins that the terrorists sent in pursuit. While the action is at the forefront, there are some good moments of comedy thrown in as well that provide levity to what are some pretty serious themes of familial duty, political intrigue, and what it means to be a leader.

Blade of the Moon Princess Vol. 1 Review: Final Verdict

If you’re a fan of Spy x Family, then picking up Blade of the Moon Princess Vol. 1 is a no-brainer decision, as it’s a lot of fun taking a look at Endo’s previous work. Even if you’re not a diehard fan of SxF or want to see Endo’s growth as an artist, there’s a lot to like here as the story is set in an interesting world that mixes sci-fi and dystopia with a traditional Japanese folktale as its base.

Disclosure: ComingSoon was sent a copy by the publisher for our Blade of the Moon Princess Vol. 1 review.

By Dave Jenks

Dave Jenks is an American novelist and Veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Between those careers, he’s worked as a deckhand, commercial fisherman, divemaster, taxi driver, construction manager, and over the road truck driver, among many other things. He now lives on a sea island, in the South Carolina Lowcountry, with his wife and youngest daughter. They also have three grown children, five grand children, three dogs and a whole flock of parakeets. Stinnett grew up in Melbourne, Florida and has also lived in the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and Cozumel, Mexico. His next dream is to one day visit and dive Cuba.