Dawn of the Arcana, Vol. 1 Paperback – Dec 6 2011
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About the Author
Born on March 11 in Chiba, Rei Toma debuted in a special edition of Cheese! magazine with Help Me, Dentist in 2005. In addition to publishing a number of short stories, she has produced novel illustrations and character designs for video games. Her current manga series, Dawn of the Arcana, is serialized in Cheese! magazine. Toma enjoys eating ramen and harumaki (egg rolls), listening to rock music, and reading mysteries.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Dawn of the Arcana" is set in a generic medieval fantasy land populated by humans and the half-human, half-beast ajin (Loki is one of these). The plot is a little lazy, and could use better pacing. However, the artwork is gorgeous. Toma draws beautiful people, with big, expressive eyes and flowing hair. I also enjoy her detailed costumes, and her background (though she probably doesn't show the latter enough).
The characters are familiar. Nakaba is the feisty, rebellious princess. Loki is her loyal servant who's also got a thing for her. And Caesar is the jerk who you just know is really soft on the inside and has his own man-angst to deal with (Toma is great at giving him wounded-puppy eyes).
But even though I've seen characters like these before, somehow they still get to me. I really enjoy the romance between Nakaba and Caesar. I've read pretty far into this manga online, and their relationship does develop well.
Overall, "Dawn of the Arcana" is a decent manga with great artwork. Yeah, the story could use some work, but I do enjoy all the drama it contains. If you're looking for a good soap-operish fantasy-romance, look no farther.
Nakaba is a Princess stuck in between a war between two lands, while Caeser is a Prince also stuck. The only difference is one has red hair and one has black. In this age the people with black hair are considered to be royal and special while they hate the people with red or pretty much any other colored hair. Red for some reason is especially hated. Caeser being the 2nd son is being forced to marry Nakaba who happens to have red hair, they marry to bring peace even though the last time this happened the woman was killed and they didn't even try to hide the fact of who did it.
This is a story of 'love' with a twist. The only real other element (besides Caeser being a total arse) is Loki, who has ears. Now sub people (as they call them) are even more despised then people with red hair. They live as lowly servants and can be killed at the drop of a hat even though they are apparently stronger then the average human. So how in the heck (as said by Otaku USA) did the humans end up controling the sub people? Loki follow Nakaba around like the loyal ummm dog he is and protects her from Caeser who is constantly threatening to kill Nakaba. Somewhere along the way they decide to throw in 'The Times Arcana' which you will find out when you read.
All and all it's not bad, check it out but read the first chapter online. I did NOT buy from Amazon, I buy from my local bookstore.
I'm a bit disappointed. When I first saw this, I thought that I would really like it. The art looked good, the summary sounded good, even though I only had a vague remembrance of what it was supposed to be, and it's from Shojo Beat. It looked exactly like the type of manga that I like. I even saved it for last. So I was disappointed in finding out that it wasn't very good.
It's about Nakaba, a princess, who has just been married to Prince Caesar. And she has a servant, or whatever, who has, I think, dog ears. She's also a red head, and that's a big deal to everyone, as most royals have dark hair, so no one wants much to do with her. She doesn't want to be married to Caesar, and he's all forceful about now he owns her. And her servant, Loki, tries to protect her and then gets in trouble for threatening Caesar and has to hide for a while. Caesar forces himself on Nakaba at one point, and she fights him. And then Caesar is in this tournament and Loki challenges him and he loses and so Loki gets pardoned.
There's also some back story to Loki and Nakaba. She's a princess of this town, or place, that was attacked, and we find out that the person who sent it out is Caesar's father. She's been with only Loki for a long time now, and she keeps having flashbacks to how the attack went down, as she was very little at the time.
Nakaba is okay. She tries fighting everyone, but she isn't very good at it. Not forceful enough, or something of the sort. And she cries a little easily and faints a couple of times. I don't particularly like her, but there's the possibility that she will get better. I hope she does.
I don't like Caesar. He's a jerk to her in the beginning, and then at the end he hugs her after she says something to him that he wasn't expecting. He's had a tough childhood, as his parents kind of suck, but I still don't like him very much. I do like Loki, though. He's a bit adorable. He's protective and very loyal to Nakaba. He's probably just about the best part of the book for me.
And the art, I mentioned earlier. The cover makes it seem like it will be very pretty. And it wasn't really bad. Just not very good. It was all a little lackluster to me. I will give it another try, for maybe a couple for volumes, and I hope that it gets better.
Enter Nabaka, a redhead who is also princess of Senan, one of the two countries in the book. The other country is Belquat, a rivaling country. Nabaka is forced to marry Caesar, prince of Belquat. He's handsome on the outside, but on the inside not as caring as he looks, and considers Nabaka more his "hostage" than wife. Last, there is Loki, Nabaka's servant and good friend. He is kind and would do anything to protect Nabaka.He's a half human half animal, and the people that are of that race are servants. People with black hair are treated like royality, while all the other colors are just the regulars.
Nabaka feels a little blank in this volume. We know shes nice and all...we also know that she can fight. Sorta. She needs to learn to trust herself before she gets into anything serious. We learn about her and Loki's past, which is shared. We learn about Caesar's past too. If you haven't already guessed this is a love triangle, and it all feels similar.
I might sound like I didn't enjoy this first volume, but I did. Near the end of it things get intresting: Caesar asks his brother if he's ever touched his wife, Loki challenges Caesar to a jousting match, Nabaka faints a bit (much to my annoyance) and uh yeah...strongly reccommend trying the book before you actually buy it. I can't wait to get volume 2 :)
Prince Caesar of Belquat and Princess Nakaba of Senan must wed to keep the peace between their warring countries, but they have nothing in common. Prince Caesar wants to control his new bride, but soon discovers she is more than his match. Furthermore, he faces an unlikely rival - her faithful ajin servant, Loki.
Although the plot moves slowly at times and the characters are not unique to shojo manga, the relationship between Princess Nakaba and Loki is so touching it is definitely worth the read.
I give this manga four jousts out of five.