Dawn of the Arcana 4
August 13, 2012
Rei Toma – Viz – 2012 – 10+ volumes
The plot continues as Loki, Nakaba, and Caesar head north to try and save a village from a deadly ambush. The problem is, Nakaba has seen the future, and knows that Bellinus’s sister Lemiria will be killed in the attack, so she has to try and prevent it. But! Bellinus double-crosses them! Oh no! How will they be able to save Lemiria then?!
There’s not a really good way to summarize the volume without it sounding a little trite, but I’m still really getting into Nakaba’s future vision and the very serious romantic triangle between Loki, Caesar, and Nakaba. Nakaba is definitely falling for Caesar in a way that she doesn’t see Loki, but Loki is strangely calm about this. He constantly twists Nakaba’s arm and calls her loyalty to the aijin and her country (Loki is both an aijin and a countryman), and always makes Nakaba feel guilty about her feelings. But never tries to steal her outright. He’s strangely calm. Such calmness, outside of shoujo manga, would make one suspect that Loki is merely biding his time until he murders Caesar.
One thing that did bother me was a nitpicky detail, and one that is better left unsaid… but still. I always hate plot points like this where a character can see the future, but by trying to prevent a tragedy, wind up captured in a scenario that they didn’t foresee. It’s so silly. She can see the future. Granted, the whole problem is that it only comes in unsolicited, random glimpses, but there’s still a tiny part of my mind that sees her in prison and whispers “Didn’t see that coming, did you?!”
The Bellinus betrayal was handled well, and he had good reasons for it. It was over a bit quickly, but it was still enjoyable enough.
I do miss some of the finer world-building details for which I liked the first few volumes, but the romance makes me a happy camper, and it’s rare that we see serious shoujo fantasy manga like this in English. I’m still really digging it, and I’m happy I have one more volume to pick up.
This was a review copy provided by Viz.