Stuff and Nonsense: Dawn of the Arcana, Volume 1


Dawn of the Arcana, Volume 1

Two secondary royals, married to each other in order to forge a (temporary) peace between their warring nations, each discover they might actually have a friend in the other. Princess Nakaba, from a much poorer and less cosmopolitan land, is very much a fish out of water in her husband's court and he doesn't help her out ... publicly, anyway. When they are alone together, he seems much nicer and more sympathetic to her plight. Nakaba, on her part, seems to want to make the best of things and is willing to try to fit in as long as that does not involve sacrificing her essential self to fit in. I think, if they could spend time alone together away from court and family expectations, they would get along pretty well.

I like that Nakaba, Caesar, and Loki don't seem to be a love triangle. I mean, Nakaba and Caesar just met and married -- they've barely begun to sort their differences out. Falling in love with each other is unlikely, at best. And while it's clear Loki and Nakaba love each other, it doesn't seem to be a romantic love -- something born more of philia and agape than eros.

The clothes are quite lovely (which is good as clothes are clearly a shorthand for "belongingness"), most of the characters (even the unlikeable ones) are interesting, and the world-building is off to a good start. Also, there's the whole "Nakaba might be magic" thing no-one but Loki has picked up on yet.

Yes. A red-headed princess who might be magic. I was born to love this manga.

Dawn of the Arcana, Volume 1 by Rei Toma (Viz Media, 2011)

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