Shin

Those Who Hunt Elves

Story and Art – Yu Yagami
Japanese Publisher – Media Works
English Publisher – ADV
Released Date – 12/2003
Format – Right to Left
First Volume ISBN – 1-41390-014-3
Genre – Action, Comedy, Fantasy
Age Rating – Older Teens

Ever wonder what it would be like to be transported into a world full of elegant, sexy Elven maidens, powerful magic and stripping? No this isn’t a wet dream it’s Those who Hunt Elves.

Those Who Hunt Elves follows the story of a group of (and I use the term loosely) friends trapped in a fantasy world and striving to return home to Japan by retrieving spell fragments from the naked bodies of pretty young elves of the female variety, this point is never explained but often remarked upon by fans, however it is pretty much irrelevant to the plot. So Junpei, Ari and Ritsuko set out, accompanied by Elven sorceress and former head of the common elves Celcia, who was responsible for the fragments being scattered in the first place, on their quest to strip every elf they come across.

Now before you prudish members of the moral majority begin to print up banners declaring Those Who Hunt Elves pornographic filth that should be banned and that this sort of thing would never be allowed in Mary Whitehouse’s day (May her soul forever rot in hell) I must point out that the manga is actually very tame. There is very little nudity at all aside from the occasional ample breast or stray nipple, so this is far from hentai and it may surprise you to learn that Those Who Hunt Elves is actually a comedy.

Those Who Hunt Elves is the first of Yu Yagami’s works to be published in English, the manga itself is published by ADV Manga, a relatively new publisher linked to the ADV video company that specializes in releasing Anime primarily to the American market. It is published in its original right to left format with all the standard extras we have come to expect from ADV.

Graphically speaking at least Those Who Hunt Elves is relatively poor, Yu Yagami’s style is simplistic and sketch like compared to most manga artists out there and he rarely produces coloured works because to be frank he isn’t that good at it. Where Yu Yagami does excel is in his wicked sense of humour and his talent for surrealism. Those Who Hunt Elves is a riot to read, the characters are the classic coupling of opposite personalities, they’re like a pair of odd couples bickering and fighting amongst themselves as they travel on a Russian made T74 battle tank possessed by the spirit of a cat, stopping only to remove the clothes from young elves.

The Series covers the group’s bizarre adventures through an equally bizarre land as they relentlessly try to get back home to Japan, from underwater civilizations to colossal slumbering sorcerers the friends must overcome the challenges involved in stripping their reluctant elven victims across the unfamiliar landscape.

In conclusion Those Who Hunt Elves isn’t fantasy hentai, if you want that go rummage up a copy of Bondage Fairies or Spunky Knight, equally it isn’t a deep and serious read. It is a light and fast paced comedy following the trials of three foreigners bludgeoning their way through a surreal fantasy land just trying to get home, it is not technically spectacular or complex and meaningful but it is a very funny read, if you enjoyed Excel Saga or even the Those Who Hunt Elves anime I can highly recommend this series.

Characters

Junpei – is a total loser. He failed his college entrance exams and is currently trying to be a professional fighter. His less-than-average intelligence is compensated by a terrific fighting sense, and the fights he got into in his high school days are legendary. He is a big fan of Airi, the movie star, and he’s devoted his life to pursuing her. Junpei’s favourite dish is curry rice and he can actually cook it himself.

Airi – After finishing acting school in the US, she immediately started working in Hollywood. Two years later, Airi won the Oscar for Best Leading Actress. Not much is known about her childhood in Japan. She likes taking walks and has a large collection of exotic teas. Airi’s favourite thing to do is to relax at luxury hotels.

Ritsuko – is a real military buff, which is rather unusual for a high school girl. She is particularly knowledgeable about armoured vehicles and tanks, and can keep them in perfect running order. She evens owns a T-74 tank (though it’s not clear how she got it). Other than that, Ritsuko is a normal teenager who loves candy and Disney Land.

Celcia – is an excellent sorceress, and one-time head of the Common Elves of the Carmagan region. She attempted to send the trio back to Japan but the spell was disturbed by Junpei and separated, attaching as symbols onto other elves. At one point, after they recover the first spell fragment piece, Celcia gets stuck in the form of a dog and can’t return to her original form.

Model T-74 (Mike) – The T-74 (now known as Mike) has been taken over by a cat spirit. As a result, it’s become quite an unusual tank that’s skittish of dogs and doesn’t require fuel. It also chases after mice regularly and says ‘meow’.

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