Gr 7 Up—What if a modern boy, Hinohara, and a mystical Japanese warrior god, Arata, were to trade places? Such is the premise of Arata. In this installment, Hinohara attempts to cross the evil Kannagi's territory in order to fulfill his destiny. When his trip takes an unexpected detour and he becomes the unwilling guest of one of Kannagi's chief servants, his true identity is certain to be discovered. Meanwhile the mystical Arata, still trapped in Hinohara's human form, begins to adjust to his now-mortal life. As he attempts to learn how to put on a tie and pay attention in school, he also may accidentally solve Hinohara's bully problem with his impressive array of martial-arts talent. Clever and silly, Arata is pure fun in both story line and art. Characters go from serious to exaggerated, expressing intense emotion from panel to panel of black-and-white illustrations. While a delight for fans of the first two volumes, new readers might find themselves lost in a complicated tale; it involves a menagerie of confusing characters woven into an overly sophisticated plot of magic vs. the real world—Ryan Donovan, New York Public Library
Born March 5 in Osaka, Yuu Watase debuted in the Shôjo Comic manga anthology in 1989. She won the 43rd Shogakukan Manga Award with Ceres: Celestial Legend. One of her most famous works is Fushigi Yûgi, a series that has inspired the prequel Fushigi Yûgi: Genbu Kaiden. In 2008, Arata: The Legend started serialization in Shonen Sunday.