Creator: Shin Midorikawa
Publisher: Del Rey
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Adventure
RRP: $10.95
Aventura v1
Reviewed by Dan Polley

Shin Midorikawa’s new series Aventura combines elements of Harry Potter and Naruto into an appealing, yet somewhat disappointing, first volume.

The series is set in the Gaius School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and follows the path of a young red-headed boy, Lewin Randit, and his sword. Lewin’s character is modeled very closely to that of Naruto’s. Both are schoolboys studying to become the top performer in their fields. Both are estranged from the rest of their peers and are continually mocked for what their peers see as immaturity and lack of talent.

Lewin is trapped in swordsmanship class when he really wants to be in the wizardry class, learning all sorts of magic. But even in the swordsmanship class, Lewin is a bumbling fool who doesn’t know what moves are acceptable and what should not be used in class.

When Lewin is given the idea to go to the library to learn ways to clean his rusty, trusty sword, his life changes. In a chance meeting, he befriends a couple of other students and learns some ways of wizardry — but not without starting a heap of trouble.

Lewin is fun, but he’s also a character who’s been seen before. While his story is what makes the manga, it would be better overall to see his character be a little more new and not made from a mold. The other characters are a bit better matched for the overall story, particularly some of the professors, whose motivations will surely be fodder for upcoming story arcs.

The art is straight out of a fairy tale. It’s an artistic style reminiscent of shojo manga, but when it’s combined with the manga, it comes across as a mix of shojo and shonen artistic styles. The character designs in particular stem from a shojo beginning.

Aventura could be a lot of fun. While most of the first volume was light-hearted and focused on bringing Lewin into the picture, it did open the door for questions to be asked and answered in future volumes. It would be nice to see Lewin take steps away from a Naruto-like character motivation and into something more nuanced, but it probably won’t happen.

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