Thursday, August 22, 2013


Osamu Tezuka
$34.95, Softcover
Digital Manga Publishing, 2013

Genre: Fantasy, Graphic Novel  

Age: 10+

Description: Unico is the name of a little unicorn that has the power to bring happiness to those who truly love him. However, Venus, the goddess of beauty, is jealous of the good fortune he brings to mortals. In a fit of rage, she orders him to be banished to far reaches of the world, his memory wiped of who he is, and hopefully he will not be able to find anyone to truly love him in his punishment. On his journey, Unico does meet new friends, both human, animal and otherwise, and learns what a true friend is.

Opinion: Unico is the manga that a popular anime was based off of. It is by the father of manga in Japan, Osamu Tezuka. You might be wondering why there is such a steep price tag on this one book. First of all, it is the entire collection of Unico in one volume. Secondly, it is in full-color (which any manga diehard reader will know is a bit of a rarity). For manga readers who aren’t into the history and classic series, they might at first be put off by the art style. It is definitely an older style of manga (it kind of looks more realistic than the wide-eyed creations popular today). It is also a great manga for all ages and is printed in English reading style (left to right) instead of the traditional Japanese style (right to left) so it may be a great introduction to manga for younger readers. Each volume in the story follows the same basic plot. The first volume tells of how Unico is banished by Venus. The rest of the volumes find Unico on a new world, seemingly all alone with no idea that he is. Fortunately for him he always finds a friend and discovers his powers when the friend truly loves him. Unfortunately for him, Venus has a spy that must do her bidding and he is forced to be taken away from his new friends and banished again. The whole 400+ page volume reads quickly. However, I think I was very disappointed with the end to the series. The whole theme of the story is about true friendship and the last person that Unico meets is a devil who absolutely doesn’t want any friends. When he finally gives in and considers Unico a friend he discovers that Unico—his first ever best friend—is gone. Turns out Venus has changed her mind and allowed Unico to come back from his banishment and be with his beloved princess again. The poor devil is basically left heartbroken and alone. It just seems like a really cruel and unfair ending.   

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