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Captive Hearts of Oz Volume 1: 02/28/19

Captive Hearts of Oz Volume 1

Captive Hearts of Oz Volume 1 by Ryo Maruya and Mamenosuke Fujimaru is the start of a four volume manga retelling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

This version has an outside force at play where Dorothy and the other characters are brought together for some ulterior purpose. While Dorothy is clearly the protagonist in the source material, this time, the Scarecrow is.

Although this manga series is an outlier for the road narrative spectrum project, I'm including it for two reasons. First, the source material does qualify. In fact I would go so far to say it informs many of the tropes still in play. Second, Japanese narratives often share similar tropes and a similar mindset for travel that the European (especially British) travel stories don't. At this juncture, I don't have a working theory as to why Japanese narratives are closer to North American narratives than European ones. I'm just observing that they appear to be.

I'll protect you.

As Captive Hearts has a very human looking (and acting) Scarecrow who has taken the role as protagonist, I am counting him as the traveler for this version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. With him as the traveler the narrative is being told around and through, the book is automatically a 99).

In previous reviews with scarecrows as well as the essay where I compare and contrast the scarecrow and minotaur, I've mentioned that scarecrows are protectors, where as the minotaur is a cursed or trapped traveler.

There are numerous panels in volume one where the Scarecrow vows to protect Dorothy. Although he does provide protection to Dorothy and the others as they go on their quests, he never outright states that he will provide protection. His only goal is to do what is needed to earn a brain from the Wizard. Here though, he is embracing his secondary role and making it his primary goal.

The destination in this volume is the Emerald City. As the story has been broken into four pieces, I can't just go with the broad answer that the destination is utopia with Oz being the entirety of Dorothy's destination as she looks for a means back to Kansas. With the city, then being this book's goal, the destination is a 00.

Finally, there is route taken. Like the source material, the method of travel is the cornfield. Now in the original version, the cornfield in question is one growing on the farm in Kansas which is then united with the cornfields of Munchkin Land where Dorothy meets her first traveling companion. Here though, the cornfield is specifically the Munchkin Land cornfield. It is implied to be both a source of danger and a source of the Scarecrow's power (both aspects being in keeping with the American Road Narrative Spectrum). That puts the method of travel as a FF.

Put all together volume one sits as a 9900FF or scarecrow traveling to the city via the cornfield.

Five stars

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