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Tales of the Tendo Family Volume 1 Review


Volume 1 cover image for Tales of the Tendo Family by Ken Saito

Publisher Summary


Having lost her beloved grandfather, a girl has one goal in her life: to die while saving another. When she rescues the beautiful young noble Hojo Ran, who is fleeing a marriage into the notoriously bloody Tendo family, she finds the perfect opportunity. She poses as Hojo Ran to allow the real Ran to escape, while she enters the dark and twisted world of the Tendos and the arms of her new “fiancé,” the stunningly handsome but shockingly cruel Masato.


Author: Ken Saito

Translated by: Matt Schley


I received Tales of the Tendo Family Volume 1 as an Advanced Review Copy from One Peace Books in exchange for an honest review.


Background

 

Created by Ken Saito, Tales of the Tendo Family was first serialized in Hakusensha's Shojo magazine LaLa DX in 2014 before being moved to their other Shojo magazine LaLa in 2017 where it currently runs to this day.


In October 2023, English manga publisher One Peace Books licensed the series for an English release.


Review

 

The story is about this unnamed girl who gets caught impersonating Ran Hojo, the daughter of a count who was arranged to be married to Masato, a member of the Tendo family. Ran doesn't want to marry into the Tendo family because that family is going through a succession war.


Her only option was to run away and try to kill herself. That's when she's rescued by the unnamed girl. The girl hears Ran's story and proposes to switch identities to help Ran escape and be free. While the head of the Tendo family lets her go, she comes back to bring ointment for his wounded hand after intervening when she tried to kill herself per his request.


She reveals her wish of dying while saving someone so Masato decides to have her continue to impersonate Ran Hojo. This is the start of the girl's dive into the chaos of the Tendo family.


Most of the volume is Ran and the reader getting to know Masato and how the Tendo family operates. The tension between Masato and his uncle and how Masato's lineage ties into the tension. Ran has a few more secrets that draws both Masato and the reader in. Why does she have certain skills under her possession?


"Ran Hojo" is fine as one of the leads. I think her motivation of dying while saving someone and the ideals her grandfather instilled into her regarding sacrificing one's sense of self preservation to help others is a unique approach to what you see in manga. It somewhat reminds me of Shirou Emiya from Fate/Stay Night (specifically the Unlimited Blade Works route) where his goal of being a "hero" meant sacrificing everything related to your self preservation which borders on erratic or illogical behavior.


Masato is fine as the other lead. While he acts like a cold hearted ruthless noble, he seems to have a soft side for Ran, as shown by his actions of preventing her from killing herself. You can tell he has developed this persona due to how insane his family is. His goal seems to be the destruction of the Tendo family. As a character, he doesn't seem too unique to me, but he works as a contrast to Ran. He acts cruel towards Ran but is displaying some kindness through a ruthless demeanor.



the first meeting of "Ran Hojo" and Masato Tendo


I enjoyed their banter, mainly Masato's responses to Ran's actions. He's the straight man to Ran's over the top statements or actions. Him getting upset at how over the top she is helps lighten the mood especially when placed after a previously tense scene. You see this after a conflict between Masato and his uncle.


I dont think there's anything I dislike about the story. Masato is a character you've seen before but he's not poorly written. He works within the context of the story, especially compared to his other family members, you understand why he acts the way he does. I do think he goes a little extreme towards the end with his "guidance".


I would have liked to see more of the succession plot line play out in this volume because there are some interesting things that the story sets up. Hopefully, they dive into this in later volumes. The growing relationship between Ran and Masato is fine, however I was more interested in why Ran had some of the skills she did.



Masato questioning how Ran knows certain martial arts


Final Thoughts

 

If you're a fan of historical stories sprinkled with some hints of a family succession conflict, and topped off with a budding romance, then you will enjoy Tales of the Tendo Family. Just predicting, I think volume 2 might be even stronger if they develop the succession conflict more or reveal a little bit about Ran and her unique set of skills.


Verdict: Buy it on sale


Tales of the Tendo Family Volume 1 from One Peace Books is now available at all retailers

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