Coming from your gaming consol right into your hands is the video game adaptation of Akaniero, an awesome Japanese twist on “Little Red Riding Hood”. “Akaniero” drives the mythology of the story up a couple notches as we delve into Japanese folklore. This issue really gives a taste for the difference between North American and Japanese folk tales. Both Justin Aclin and Vasilis Lolos do a spectacular job bringing this story to life in their debut issue.
WRITTEN BY: Justin Aclin
ART BY: Vasilis Lolos
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: May 22nd, 2013
This story takes place on the island of Yomi where a desperate struggle has been fought for countless centuries between the demonic Yokai forces and the Order of Akane known as the Red Hunters. “Akaniero” starts off with a very fast pace and doesn’t seem to diminish as we follow Kani through her quest to join the ranks of the Red hunters. There is much adversity for Kani on her quest and a hefty portion of book works to develop potential road blocks that may arise in later issues for the young protagonist. It’s clear that there are not many parallels so far between the North American tale of “Little Red Riding Hood” and the Japanese alternative. I for one can say that this story is significantly more interesting and I would have paid closer attention to my bed time stories if they were full of elite warriors battling demons.
Justin Aclin does an outstanding job of providing background information without jamming too much exposition down your throat. Better than that is the use of Kani as the narrator. It gives great insight into the inner workings of her mind and shows that there is much more to her than her small frame lets on. I’ve always been a fan of Japanese history and folklore, hopefully Justin can keep this story’s pace and attractiveness up in the forthcoming issues.
Vasilis Lolos crushes the ball out of the park. The art style has very anime-like characteristics that is appropriate given the nature of the book and it is gorgeous to look at. The style of the art has a very raw quality to it that gives the book a certain rustic look that bodes well with the demonic aspects of the story. Lolos can draw a badass demon.
This book is definitely one to grab if you’re into an Americanized anime. It has a “Ronin” like feel to the art with a twisted take on a classic fairy tale. Hopefully we will see just how sharp grandma’s teeth truly are in the next issue.
Reviewed by – GreenBastard