Vital Stats:Title: Hero Tales
Author/Artist: Hiromu Arakawa
Story: Huang Jin Zhou
Scenario: Ryou Yashiro
Art Configuration: Kusanagi
Release Info:Release Date: 10/27/09
US Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Length: 176 pages
Special Features: 4 full-color pages, translation notes, author's omake
The Story:Taitou is a young man having trouble getting through his coming-of-age ceremony: he's supposed to lose to an older member of his village, but he refuses to, and no one local can cow him-- until the mysterious Ryuukou Muten arrives and kicks his ass. After the 'ceremony,' another weird guy attempts to cause problems for Laila, Taitou's adopted "sister," causing it to be revealed that Taitou is also Hagun, one of the two stars that remains in constant battle for control of the universe.
Long story short: Taitou is special, and he leaves his village on a journey, with Laila and Ryuukou as his travel companions. The trio start out having some wacky adventures and saving people, and are joined by an archer named Housei who falls in love with Laila at first sight towards the end of the volume.
It is worth noting that this is not just an Arakawa work. The story is by "Huang Jin Zhou," which mobuta's Arakawa fansite says is the name of the collective circle with which Arakawa has done doujinshi in the past-- I assume that Ryou Yashiro, credited with "scenario," and Kusanagi, of "art configuration," are the other members. (On the other hand, Wikipedia says, sourcelessly, that Huang Jin Zhou is Arakawa, Genco, and Studio Flag.)
As for me: while I found the manga to be okay, the omake where Arakawa talks about going to China to get reference photos and whatnot actually amused me a lot more. I'd say this is a "read the second volume if someone loans it to me and I find time" sort of series, rather than an "I must have the second volume as soon as it comes out!" series for me.