Apothecarius Argentum 8

December 6, 2009

Tomomi Yamashita – CMX – 2009 – 11 volumes

This series is still one of my favorites, and I’m sad the releases have slowed.  This volume marks where I began following the series in Princess Gold about two years ago.  Sadly, Apothecarius Argentum came to an end in the newest issue (the end-of-year double issue that came out in October).  While the endgame here is epic, I am glad to be able to read it in English because the whys of what was going on completely missed me.

This volume more-or-less fills us in on a lot of politics in preparation for the rough waters the characters are about to weather.  It ends with some political plots in action and one of the worst cliffhangers ever.  The next volume is about as terrible and dramatic as those last few pages promise.

As for the parts that aren’t all about politics, the first chapter is a long-awated reunion between Argent and Primula.  It doesn’t go anything like I imagined, and both are pretty mature about seeing each other again.  There is a… rather steamy scene, when the tables are turned between the two, but nothing really happens.

Their relationship is one of my favorite things about the series.  It is more subtle and tender than you tend to find in shoujo manga, likely a product of the fact that Princess Gold is aimed at an older teen audience.  Here, there isn’t the expected melodrama that comes from the Princess having to go through with an arranged marriage to Prince Lorca rather than Argent.  There’s no melodrama at all, actually, and all three of the characters involved offer each other ways out of their predicaments, none of which wind up being a real solution.  While the three try to come to terms with it, politics and revenge are being played out by other parties, and Corda and a new character engineer the fall of the Kingdom of Beazol.  Amid all this, there are still some truly affectionate and touching moments between Primula and Argent (nothing terribly sexual or overbearing), and even one or two for Lorca, too.

While there isn’t particularly exemplary about it, it does absolutely everything right, which is why I like it so much.  Every one of the characters is very developed and believable, they all have relatively believable motivations, as well as their own strengths and weaknesses, and the setting and political situation, as well as the history of Beazol and surrounding kingdoms, has just the right amount of detail without being too overbearing.

This was a good volume, with the reunion carrying the day through some exposition that leads into the final story arc.  This was great, but I promise the next volume will knock your socks off come June.

9 Responses to “Apothecarius Argentum 8”

  1. […] on Apothecarius Argentum (Slightly Biased Manga) Connie on vol. 8 of Arm of Kannon (Slightly Biased Manga) D.M. Evans on […]

  2. Laura Says:

    Can’t wait to see the final volume! I have many of the same impressions of this series as you do. I hope it’s a happy ending.

  3. Connie Says:

    Yay, I’m always happy to hear from other people who love this series. I think there’s a decent number of people who read it now, or at least it seems like it’s gained in popularity with every volume. It makes me very happy, because it strikes me as a kind of sleeper hit.

  4. Laura Says:

    I agree. I had never heard of it until I was looking up releases for October, and saw volume 8. The title caught my attention, and the premise sounded interesting. I decided to give it a try and loved it. It’s running in my “highly recommend” queue right now. I hope more people find it and enjoy it too!

  5. Ahavah Says:

    So now that CMX is defunct, how will we ever know what happens next?! Where did you get your issues of Princess Gold (assuming that it’s available in the States…)? If you’ve managed to figure out what happens next, up to and including the ending, could you share those tidbits? Pretty please? I feel like I’m going out of my mind!

  6. Connie Says:

    That’s a good idea, but I’d like to read through some of the issues again before I post a thorough summary. I do remember quite well what comes in volume 9, though, so I can summarize that.

    Before Primula and Lorca’s wedding, enemies of Beazol sabotage it and set Lorca’s room on fire, making it look as if Primula and Argent have killed Lorca (did this happen at the end of volume 8? I can’t remember). Argent is jailed and put on trial, and more or less executed by being forced to drink poison. At least, that’s what it looks like, and I think the fact he had de-toxified himself made the poisoning death that much more tragic. But somehow, the female basilisk saves him after the execution, and they move on from there to take down the conspirators. I remember the last chapter very well (it returns to the dark-haired girl that loves to gossip whose name is escaping me at the moment), but the in between is a little hazy.

    But summarizing it is a good idea, and I think I’m going to go back through and re-read those back issues so that I can write up a nice post about it. I suspect nobody will ever license rescue this one.

  7. Stephanie Says:

    I just finished reading volume 8, and I am so sad that I will never read the rest of this series. Please do summarize the rest of the volumes if you can…I have been reading this since the first volume came out in English, and I always loved this series. I put off reading volume 8 because I wanted to wait till volume 9 came out, but I now I know it never will. Sigh.

  8. Connie Says:

    I definitely will do a little summary of the end of the series. It will probably be soon, too, because I just had to move all my books around and have access to all my magazines again. No time like the present, and it’ll be great to re-read all of it again.

  9. nikki Says:

    OH!! Most gracious person you are!! I just found out when I went to go to my local comic shop to see if my most desired copy had come in and they told me it was not going to be made!!! Is there a way or a place that we could go and see the pages from the original japanese manga? with your cliff notes those, like myself, who cant read it will at least be able to understand whats going on and still see the fabulous art work.
    Thank you again! Thats so sweet of you!!!

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