Dawn of the Arcana

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Dawn of the Arcana (1/ongoing)
Toma Rei
Viz

Chapters 1-3

A single island split by two nation, Belquat and Senan has been the warring countries for years. In order to keep peace in the island a union of royalties from each country is required. But this marriage of convenience is often ends in bloodspill and disaster. The story centers around the marriage of Prince Caesar of Belquat and Princess Nakaba of Senan.

Volume one is quite an average with its content as its building up its world but you could definitely see that it has the potential to be epic. Nakaba and Caesar’s relationship is unusual as it involves hatred and bitterness to each other. It’s understandable, afterall they are from opposing countries. Nakaba has enough touch of spunkiness to her character. She doesn’t back down to do what she thinks is right. The other thing that makes her really interesting is the mystical powers that is slowly taking over her, you know its a sign of a promising fantasy that will heavily contribute to the series.

What enticed me even more is LOKI, he’s definitely my favourite character. I like that he’s always there for Nakaba. Loki is Nakaba’s sort of servant but she treats him equally and she cares for him deeply. He is an Ajin which is a clan of beings that seem like a fusion of human and animals (they have dog ears). They possesses incredible strength, they are good at combat and even heals easily. But they are considered low ranking beings, they are treated as slaves that doesn’t have any purpose but to be ordered around. I like his predicament in the story. I could sense some bittersweet ending for him but yeah too early to foreshadow. I am hooked to his relationship with Nakaba, its undeniable that he loves her. Childhood-childhood-childhood crush is what gets me most of the time!

Caesar always harass Nakaba ever since she went to live with him. He often has offensive things to say to her and even assaults her red hair. He is portrayed as cold, bitter guy but its merely an act. Despite his bad quality (per say) but you’ll still find him sympathetic. I quite don’t mind his attacks on Nakaba.. It’s apparent that he’ll eventually come to like her in the future.

If you are familiar with Game of Thrones, or perhaps Lord of the Rings then you’d wanna check out this series. It has a lot of things going to it that you might find interesting. It has its own fascinating world, race and cultures. Politics, magical power, love triangle are all meshed in together to offer up a great introductory to the series.

The art is crisp and great. I like it alot. It captures the right atmosphere of its world.

Dawn of the Arcana is definitely one of the series I will going to invest on collecting. Shame I didn’t check this out sooner but nonetheless I’m glad I did. Dawn of Arcana has a huge amount of possiblity to be a grand series. Hoping for a truly laid out plot and fully developed world. I am in for a treat. It’s simply awesome!

Highly Recommended.

Demon Love Spell

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Demon Love Spell (1/ongoing)
Shinjo Mayu
Viz

I was skeptical about this series since Mayu Shinjo is notorious for creating a smutty series with annoying female lead. Not that I have read it myself but that is what the general consensus of the people that have read her other English work. So yeah I’m not really into smut or weak female lead and her series tend to have lots of sex scenes..

Ironically and thankfully Demon Love Spell seems tamer than her usual stuff. I enjoyed this series to some stretch. Miko is next in line to be the Priestess that exorcist demons. Her family line has been great exorcists so its expected of her to follow their footsteps, one problem though Miko can’t see these demons. But one day she accidentally perform an exorcism on a very powerful handsome demon that feeds off of woman’s passionate feelings. Thus the story begins.

I like the idea of shrine maiden, exorcism, demons and other yokai stuffs in this series. I like this series even though its just an average one. It has enough things going for it, likeable characters and slapticks albeit perverted jokes. Although you can still see that the author really like her smutty stuffs but its not done in in your face manner, well not yet.

Miko and Kagura’s relationship is interesting. Sex is sort of prevalent as Kagura’s circumstances is somewhat depended in it. But as I mentioned its done in a tame and subtle manner and I find that very “original” for the lack of word. Kagura and Miko only does this “sexual” stuffs in her subconcious. While Miko is sleeping Kagura takes advantage of her, so in a sense its different. I also like the fact that in real life when Miko is awake she doesn’t want Kagura to be all sexual but in her subconscious she is all willing to get it on fast with Kagura. I like that contrast about her. It makes her “real” human, as we human do think different subconsciously.

I have read a series that shares the same concept as this one, Black Bird. I prefer Demon Love Spell a whole lot than that one as I like the main characters here more. I also like how the smut related stuffs are used in here. It has sort of purpose than Black Bird. Although unlike Black Bird, Demon Love Spell’s art can sometimes look subpar as the characters would look weird, body proportion-wise.

I would definitely going to wait for the next volume as I like what I have read so far. The ending is a cliffhanger for me as I like the possibility of love rivalry. Kagura is such a cool character, he has an air of arrogance but then he’s likeable. Miko is somewhat pathetic but she isn’t annoying nor weak. They are done just about right.

Not much has happened in this first volume but I’d like to see where it goes from here. Hopefully the yokai aspect plays a much dominant role in this one. I wish that the series doesn’t get fully blown smut and that Mayu Shinjo have some interesting tricks up her sleeve with the story. This is Black Bird meets Rasetsu but I like this than that two. I really have high hopes for this one so please Miss Shinjo let this one break the stereotype of the caliber of your work…

A Devil and Her Love Song

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A Devil and Her Love Song (1/13)
Toumori Miyoshi
Viz – Shojo Beat

Chapters 1-6

I finally managed to read the first volume of this series. I initially read the first chapter when I was at Barnes and Noble. I found it refreshing and entertaining.

Anyway the first chapter definitely hooked me, but somehow after reading the entire content it became somewhat average. It felt a bit draggish especially around Maria’s social circumstances. The series was such a nice breath of fresh air as Maria’s personality diverge from the shojo heroine stereotypes. I really like her and adore her bluntness and sassy-esque characteristics. But this series uniqueness is its downfall as well.

Maria Kawai has been expelled from her previous school and gets transfers to a public school. Maria is having a problem socially as she is blunt and people thinks she’s an arrogant snob.

I have had problems with the way how the characters interacts. It presents a different take on the usual “introvert girl story” instead Maria has problems making friends because of her bluntness and her peculiar way of thoughts. She has an unusual perception of things, she look at the situations with a different mindset that sometimes it just leaves me uninterested. Like when she tries to make friends, the way of how she reacts to the other girls and them to her its a tad abnormal. I don’t like how the mangaka formulates her characters way of logical thinking. I love Maria though and she makes the ridiculous situations a wee bit bearable.

In the latter part, there is this one girl who plays the victim and she irritates me to no end. I swear if she became one of the supporting cast I would tear the volume apart if she doesn’t change her personality! lol

Really the excution of the story became less as the story went on. I wasn’t really aware of what is happening around the characters, all I know is Maria is dislike by her peers and that only the 2 guys are concerned to her and one is much more symphatetic than the other..

I like Maria enough that I am still looking forward for the second volume. I really like her and sometimes I find her occasionally funny. I’m drawn to the main heroine so I will still goin to read the story further.

I like the art, there is nothing amazing about it but it just so cool. I don’t know it just have this cool effect, abit of gloomy-ness feel about it. Maybe because of the underlying “religious” theme it has..