HomeComics/MangaMANGA REVIEW | "Tales of the Tendo Family" - Volume One

MANGA REVIEW | "Tales of the Tendo Family" - Volume One

MANGA REVIEW | "Tales of the Tendo Family" - Volume One

Is life worth throwing away if it’s used to save another? In all honesty, not really. While it’s noble to sacrifice one’s self to protect another, making it your goal to die during a rescue is — to be blunt — pretty crazy. Perhaps this is why I can see where Tendo Masato is going concerning keeping a woman close to his realm. It’s this aspect that makes the premiere volume of Tales of the Tendo Family quite the interesting read.

The girl in question is given no real name of her own, only that of a person she rescued. A count’s daughter, who goes by the name Ran, tries to kill herself in order to avoid marrying Masato against her will. So the girl takes the daughter’s place, and proceeds to meet Masato for herself. Of course, the guy already can tell that she’s not the real Ran, prompting her to kill herself at his command.

However, Masato didn’t think that she’d actually go through it, resulting in a new flesh wound in his hand. That’s when Masato has the idea to keep this new Ran around, in order to keep the Tendo family honor. The more he sees “Ran,” the more impressed he is with her skills and heart. And the more “Ran” is around Masato, the more she sees what his true self is like.

A lot of the first volume of Tales of the Tendo Family focuses on the mysterious girl’s back story. She was abandoned by her parents, and rescued by an old man. Before passing away, the old man taught her about the world, as well as how to defend one’s self. It’s this aspect that makes “Ran” as strong as she is. She can fight, run, and do everything she can to survive. After all, her mentality is that she may only die rescuing another person.

And yet, Masato sees that as a problem. With his oldest sibling dealing with a deadly illness, Masato — cold hearted as he appears — looks to be one that cherishes life and its worth. It’s that mentality that makes him want to protect “Ran” from any sort of death. Granted, Masato tells her that she could die protecting him, but we all know that this was his way of saying to keep on living. (He’s no slouch, after all, so he’s bound to live a long life…hopefully.)

There’s also some surprising humor on display in Tales of the Tendo Family. Whether it’s “Ran” dressing like a Hinamatsuri doll or a run-in with a prank-savvy uncle (who’s a bigger jerk later on), there’s a good amount of laughs that are delivered throughout this first volume. With that being said, it’s the heart of this manga that shines the most, thanks to how noble “Ran” and even Masato can be. Even with his sinister grin, the actions that Masato does here aren’t evil in the slightest…unless he’s somehow involved with a certain fire later on in the volume.

Throughout all of this, “Ran” is the one that delivers the most amount of emotion in this volume. Her kindness, strength, and mentality are that of someone that deserves to be given the world. And yet, her so-called “destiny” to die for another’s sake is something that needs to be wiped away from her way of life. It’s through Masato’s actions and reasons that make it seem like he’s trying to do his best to show “Ran” why life is worth living for one’s self.

Tales of the Tendo Family is a terrific read, with its premiere volume packed with solid storytelling and great characters. One hopes that as the story goes on, a new appreciation for life will befall “Ran”. With someone like Masato by her side, perhaps that reason for living will be discovered by this noble woman. One can only hope that Tales of the Tendo Family will give “Ran” the strength to live for herself, whilst Masato learns what it truly means to be a true head of a family.


Promotional consideration provided by Eric Margolis from One Peace Books. In stores April 9!

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)