Friday, 27 February 2015

Manga Review : Dawn of the Arcana by Rei Toma

Title: Dawn of the Arcana 
Original Title: Reimei no Arcana
Author: Rei Toma
Artist: Rei Toma

Year of Release: 2009
Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Harem, Historical, Romance, Shoujo

Status: Completed
Chapters (Translated in English): 53
Volumes & Chapters:
Volume 1 Chapters 1.1-3
Volume 2 Chapters 4-7
Volume 3 Chapters 8-11
Volume 4 Chapters 12-15
Volume 5 Chapters 16-19
Volume 6 Chapters 20-23
Volume 7 Chapters 24-17.5
Volume 8 Chapters 28-31
Volume 9 Chapters 32-36
Volume 10 Chapters 37-40.5
Volume 11 Chapters 41-45
Volume 12 Chapters 46-49.5
Volume 13 Chapters 50-53


"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.

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?

My Thoughts

Review covers 53 chapters 

I suppose everyone knows what your own room is. Well, for about 18 years I didn’t have a room you could call my own, so when I started university and moved out to live alone I got this amazing room of mine. What a person would first do? I guess, put some favourite band posters or something like that. Well, that’s what I thought I would do, but no, for a year the walls were bare. Why I’m talking about my walls? Because “Dawn of the Arcana” made me want to put some pictures on my walls. If you walk into my bedroom now, it’s full of screen shots of my favourite mangas and around 40% of them are from “Dawn of the Arcana”.

I can say that it is one of my favourite mangas on this day. I’ve read for a quite a lot of times, and it never lost its impact on me. You may think that it is not that interesting after you uncovered all the secrets and you know what is going to happen next. Well, for some it may be like that, but not for me in this specific case. Every time I read it, it is as if I’m reading for the first time. The intrigue is still there and I find something that I’ve missed before and that makes me extremely happy that I found something new.

If you’ve read the summary, you should know that it is a story of a young girl called Nakaba, well, she is a princess and in order to achieve peace she has to marry the prince of the neighboring country Caesar. In the world that we are now, there are two major stereotypes. First one is that all royal family members have black hair and that red hair is a trait of the lowest class. The second is that were-people (half-human, half-animal) are not thought as people at all and are used as slaves. Why did I write these two stereotypes here? you might have guessed that Nakaba is no ordinary princess, she has red hair and her guardian – Loki is a were-person. Because of that nobody acknowledges either of them and many want to kill Nakaba, mostly, her newly acquired relatives. There are many secrets of origin of both Nakaba and Loki, but if I spill at least one, I will spoil the enjoyment of this manga. And I don’t really want to be accused of that. I will just say that those secrets will make you cry a lot and exclaim: “I kinda knew it”.

Through the manga we can see a lot of characters development, especially Caesar. And if in the beginning you just tolerate Caesar because he is handsome, some chapters after you are cheering on him full force and shouting insults on other guys. We got to see quite a lot of flashbacks but, if the flashbacks are annoying, here they are just right on spot. We experience nearly every character to the fullest and even bad characters get to have some good points. When you read the manga to the end you may say that such ending was not good and that it is not a happy ending at all, however, that’s what I thought in the beginning, but when I read the story second time I saw that only this way the story would have been complete and only this way the happy ending was achieved.

Dawn of the Arcana is an amazing story, which covers many aspects of human nature. It has love, hate, friendship, hardships, and a lot of adventure and a bit of philosophy in it. It makes you think out  of your box, look around yourself and see similarities between the world portrayed by the author and the world around us. I hope you will grab your copy now (all 13 volumes are available in English) and share your thoughts about it with me. Enjoy it to the fullest.




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