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Manga Review: Dawn of Arcana

Dawn of the Arcana, Vol. 01 - Rei Tōma

I really like stories about Tarot Cards, as can be noted in my review of Kresley Cole's Poison Princess. As soon as I realize that a story's plot revolves around Tarot, it notches up at least four cool points, which may have been the deciding factor for my four-star rating over a three-star one. I do like this - it was interesting enough for me to finish the first volume quickly and then hop right on to the second one. It is not funny like Skip Beat! or have the absolute ingenuity of Attack on Titan, but it also isn't disturbing like Love Hina (or even B Gata H Kei, but I liked that series, which might mean I'm a closet perv...). It's wholesome, it's fun: it's exactly what I want out of a manga.

Nakaba is the first born princess of Senan who is placed into a marriage contract with Caesar, the second born prince of Belquat. (And I'm really hoping that name is a foreshadowing, but we'll see.) Nakaba is sent without anyone except for her trusty servant, Loki (is the name a hint again!? Am I reading too much into this?) to fend for herself in enemy territory. But strange dreams keep Nakaba up at night and a mysterious person wants the prince dead. 


Like I said, it's an interesting plot. It's cliche, but welcome to the world of manga. And of course I had minor issues...

like how fast Caesar changed his mind about Nakaba and fell for her. Wow... flaky much, bro? Didn't you hate her like two pages ago? Kids these days.

(show spoiler)


  But it's fine. Suspend your disbelief far, far away when it comes to relationships and manga. It is a lesson I learned well as a teenager.

There was something that really made me cringe, though. No spoiler, because it's a fair warning to anyone who might want to pick this up. Caesar becomes quite forceful with Nakaba when it comes to the intimacy of their relationship, going so far as to force her to kiss him and push her to the floor. I am very convinced that if Loki hadn't come when he did, Caesar would have raped her. Yes, I'm taking the medieval time period into account, but rape is rape. It really damaged my view of Caesar as a character and I am not liking how we're supposed to think he's a stand up guy suddenly. Decent guys don't rape people, plain and simple. I really don't understand why the author included such a scene. It wasn't anything that made me throw the book against the wall in rage, but it did make me very uncomfortable.

Overall, other than that rape-y scene, I am liking this a lot and am already halfway through the second volume. I hope it stays as interesting as it is now.