Book Review: Captive Hearts of Oz

We all know the story.  A young girl named Dorothy, living with her Auntie Em and Uncle Henry, is whisked away by a tornado along with her little dog, Toto.  Her house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East.  Dorothy is given the Witch’s silver shoes and told that if she wants to go home, she’ll have to follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City and ask the powerful wizard, Oz, for help.  Along the way, she meets companions who join her on her adventures.  But that’s where the similarities end.

Captive Hearts of Oz is a manga series loosely based on the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and is illustrated by Mamenosuke Fujimaru, who is the artist for most of the volumes of the popular Alice in the Country of… (Hearts, Clover, Joker, or Diamonds) series.  The Japanese company that created the Alice in the Country of… manga and the video games that the manga are based off of has closed, so this is the next best thing for those who were addicted.

The feel of the story is very similar to the Alice manga.  The source material for both stories include a girl who ends up in a magical land, has extraordinary adventures, and then returns home.  These manga series both have the addition of an eerie awareness of many of the characters in the story that they are in a story, as well as making many of the characters into attractive men.  In the Alice manga series, the character doesn’t return home and in this series it’s too soon to tell, but readers won’t want her to.  However, so far there is much less romance in these first three volumes of the Oz series than the Alice books.

There is a large cast of mysterious characters in the series and lots of secrets as to what is going on.  As characters deviate from the original story, their world starts to disintegrate.  Characters aren’t as they appear and it’s impossible to tell who is “good” or “wicked.”  You’re going to want all of the available volumes as each end on a cliffhanger.  It can be confusing as to who everyone is, but it will make it more enjoyable to reread them in the future once it’s done and all the pieces have come together.

This is a great, clean (so far) manga series for teens who like a bit of mystery, a bit of romance, and can handle not knowing all the answers right away.  Volume 4, coming out on June, looks like it will answer a lot of these questions.

Captive Hearts of Oz, Volume 1. Story by Ryo Maruya, Art by Mamenosuke Fujimaru.  9781626924208. 2017. Gr 8-Adult.

Captive Hearts of Oz, Volume 2. 9781626925083.

Captive Hearts of Oz, Volume 3. 9781626925731.



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