Tezuka starts with background of how people invented certain crudities of humanity. They grew unsettled with their selfish gluttony and began the slow process of being convinced of change and the wait of a new teacher to come. After the introduction the animals introduced are Disney “cutesy”. An old man, saved by animals in an isolated desert begins to try to survive with them. A rabbit sacrifices himself for the old man and then it’s discovered it is a story being told about whether this is a fable or history. Those who figure out the riddle have the power to become a god or ruler of the world. Already this comic is quite philosophical. It’s not abrasive in its way, though. (I thought it quite interesting and easy to read if one wants a break from the norm of super-hero comics. I’m enjoying this story which reminds me of an alternate universe, Avatar: The Last Airbender.) The plot continues to thicken as a boy and his mother are introduced in an unpleasant living situation and the boy being followed as he tries to make up for a debt due to their master. When the boy locates the thief who stole from him, he is met with a popular Asian insult, at least one which would be popular in the jungle. The boy loses the fight, but only after giving them a run for their money.
The boy (Chapra), is brought to the thief, Tatta’s home where the boy meets his sister and old mother who is trying on his cloth whilst he was unconscious and gets schooled on how they live. Chapra shrares his plight with his mother and Tatta decides to join forces and try to save Chapra‘s mother before she’s sold; this, all in the first chapter. By a little ways into the beginning of the second, there’s a positive occurrence which I won’t go into since I think this story has so much to offer I’d rather give a taste and let future readers decide. There’s also a part which any fan of G.R.R.M. specifically, A Song of Ice and Fire, may like the skin-changer quality Tatta has in this deeply adventurous tale. It then continues on where they run into an army and the General threatens to kill them, so Tatta makes him pay in a way which surprises some in the group. Then more unhappiness occurs from Tatta’s absence and his town suffers.
They all end up running into the monk at the beginning who was told the story about the rabbit and he is searching for the chosen one and is surprised to run into Tatta whom he believes is the one he is searching for. The monk isn’t able to get the army to stop trying to kill Tatta, and they are both strung up for execution. Young Tatta shows valor and bravery at every sign of possible death, it’s quite admirable. Especially for a character resembling Astro Boy (which I learned later is because the author created AB). All seems lost at one point, when being “saved”, comes in the form of a natural disaster. Then Chapra decides to go and determine what’s happening with the army so Tatta becomes a horse which he was friends with and gives Chapra a ride. They run into the General of the army who is in the middle of being attacked by crocodiles and Chapra saves him and takes him back to his company where the man offers him the honor of being his son, since he had no heirs.
So Chapra is on his way to becoming something in the world so he can go back for the rest of his significant others. This story is much more violent than funny, but it does have its moments which are so obviously meant to be amusing, to ignore them one would be disturbed to see some of the experiences considered laughable during this story. Chapra becomes known as the greatest archer in the world which is a thorn in another man’s hide who believes is his title being unjustly taken, so he goes and puts Chapra to the test. Which is also how his buddies ascertain what has become of him so far.
They battle, and it is a close competition. (I wouldn’t reveal whom won even if I did remember, but it was worth it since there’s so much other drama going on it’s a blur as I excitedly read more.) A flashback is then shown, where the birth of a king’s son is related. Whom it was, being revealed by the end of the story. The story then slowly becomes more like Avatar: The Last Airbender again and intrigue continues. It then shows signs of the now typical manga-style. Chapra becomes more powerful and important and harder to see, but is finally introduced to the opponent who wants to put Chapra in his place. Before, Chapra is being followed by someone I will not mention due to story sensitive information. This story, suffice it to say, is twisty and turn-y and wonderful in its detail. An epic beginning and I’m looking forward to the rest. To read my review of the second vol., click here.