Title: Reimei No Arcana/Dawn of Arcana
Author: Toma Rei
Artist: Toma Rei
Genre: Drama, Romance, Shoujo, Fantasy, Historical
Summary: “On that day, I became the enemy’s possesion,” Nakaba thought as she stood there, knowing her destiny was to be married for convenience to keep the peace between her country Senan and Prince Caesar’s country, Belquat; two neighbor countries on a island.
Between the two countries there has been a constant war for 200 years and Nakaba has become a sacrificial goat for her country despite the discrimination to her red hair and to the ‘sub-person’ (half-human, half-animal) Loki, who is her only friend and attendant at Caesar’s estranged palace.
But what will Nakaba do when she foresees an event pertaining to Prince Caesar’s demise? Will she save him? Or let him die in return to all the hate directed towards her by the people of Belquat? – mangafox
From the moment you read the title of the manga, I suppose it was pretty clear that it wasn’t your typical fairytale shoujo romance story. What did I find out after I read it? It simply confirmed my assumption. There are certainly deep and complicated matters to deal within the plot and the story starts with what I’d call, minor chaos and I’d say it’s pretty depressing. It’s like a hybird of shoujo & shonen – gore, death, violence & a very prominent love triangle between a the three main chracters and a sub-human.
The character development is predictable but necessary, and in one case I believe the prince transformed into a whole new person. I understand he is what we may call a tsundere but this was a little too big of a change. What really pushes me to read further is the romance development instead of what I believe is supposed to be the main driving force – supernatural powers. I felt like I was overloaded with just a little bit too much information in a short span of time, which renders the overall story shaky. The revelations make me go more of ‘huh’ than ‘ooooh’, if you know what I mean. I’m sure the significance of this supernatural powers would be established in future volumes but I’m left with the feeling of an anti-climax rather than an exciting cliff hanger.
The art leans more towards Josei as opposed to Shoujo, it’s well balance to execute what’s to be a serious and dark story. It has the serious-ness of shonen characters and that kick from shoujo characters to make everyone look good. There are tons of what you might call ‘attractive guys’ and maybe that will spice up your appetite and make reading more enjoyable. The costumes presented are detailed with inspirations from the Middle East and Europe; it sort of reminds me of the Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony & Cleopatra love triangle and the mangaka could have very well be inspired by this moment in history(the prince is called Caesar for heaven’s sake).
Overall it was a double-extra kick to your average shoujo manga, a good read but sometimes it felt like it was trying just a little too hard. But, if you want some drama and just a little spark of adventure from your slice of life shoujo manga, give this a try and you might not be disappointed.
Overall rating & any comments: 2.9/5, just not exactly 3/5