The new Shonen Jump Aliens Area manga series has been slowly gaining momentum since its debut just over a month ago. Written and illustrated by Fusai Naba, the series achieved its first major storyline, and with it its own version of the oldest known Japanese myth. What’s interesting about this myth is that it’s the same myth that Naruto based his last villain on.
The myth is called “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter,” and it’s the story of Princess Kaguya, who was raised by an elderly couple after they found her in a bamboo stalk. Later it turns out that she is a creature from the moon. This myth helps to understand Naruto’s alien twist, as the villain of the series Kaguya Otsutsuki belongs to a race of extraterrestrial villains. In the fifth chapter of Aliens Area, the main characters stumble upon an alien princess, and although her name is not Kaguya, her story is still very similar to a myth.
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In some versions of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, it is said that Kaguya was sent to Earth so as not to suffer in the heavenly war, and this is exactly the case with the princess in the “Alien Zone”. The story seems to expand on part of the “heavenly war” myth, as the assassin goes after the princess to kill her and eliminate the threat of revenge against hostile alien conquerors. The killer is the hero of the first major battle of the series, a turning point that will mark the beginning of the first story arc, which may well be about heroes helping their version of Kaguya return to her home planet and bring her back.
Part of what made Naruto so interesting was how the series intertwined ancient stories of the Japanese past with ninja myths, and the “Alien Zone” doing the same is a step in the right direction. Several myths in Japan are associated with celestial deities and celestial phenomena, and their adaptation with a sci-fi bias will really help Aliens Area stand out among other series. So far, the series has relied heavily on references to other manga to interest its readers, such as how the main character uses the power of the Devil Fruit Luffy in the first chapter. Now the “Alien Zone” is at the stage where it can start using its own ideas, and if Naba continues to retell Japanese myths with sci-fi twists, he will find a niche that will make the story fresh and interesting.
The new Shonen Jump series may use the same story that Naruto based his last villain on, but it focuses on various aspects of this character’s origin that turn him into something completely new and original. In other words, the Aliens Area will soon become much more exciting than it already is.