Sunday, March 11, 2012

Manga Review: Dawn of the Arcana, Volume 2, by Rei Toma

Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Volumes: 9+

Goodreads Synopsis:

 Princess Nakaba of Senan is forced to marry Prince Caesar of the enemy country Belquat, tantamount to becoming a hostage. While Caesar is pleasing to the eye, he is also selfish and possessive, telling Nakaba outright: “You are my property.” With only her attendant Loki at her side, Nakaba must find a way to cope with her hostile surroundings, her fake marriage...and a mysterious power!
Princess Nakaba of Senan and Prince Caesar of Belquat only married each other for the sake of peace between their two warring countries, but things take a surprising turn when Caesar finds himself falling for his strange wife! Caesar tries to get Nakaba to return his feelings, but she maintains that he is her enemy and that she hates him. So when Nakaba has a vision of Caesar getting killed, will she say anything to save him?


The volume starts with Caesar trying to be nice to Nakaba by getting her something personal, but she's not much for material items. It's good for them to get closer, so in a way this was nice. And then we meet another of Nakaba's servants (like Loki), named Rito, who's an adorable little kid. Also, Nakaba has a couple dream where Caesar gets hurt, and so she gets worried, and then he almost gets poisoned, and Nakaba is suspected as the perpetrator. This opens up her feelings for Caesar, as well as her finding out about Loki's intentions for Caesar and the King.
Nakaba doesn't remember all that much from when she was young, but Loki remembers all of it. And he wants to take revenge on the King, so he doesn't trust, or like, Caesar. I feel that it wouldn't be too hard to get Caesar on their side, what with his bad relationship with his parents, but Loki doesn't want Nakaba to say anything to him. Nakaba, not wanting to betray Loki in anyway, doesn't, but she's struggling with her feelings for Caesar, as a person and as her husband.
At the end of the volume, Nakaba gets a vision and goes out to see Caesar, even though she wasn't sure she was going to and Loki wanted her to just so that Caesar would get a false feeling of trust. She finds him stuck in a well, and she falls in with him. While in there, they have a talk and there's some kissing, and it leaves her feeling guilty.
Nakaba is alright. She's a bit better than in the first volume, but she needs to get stronger, learn how to deal with things better. She's struggling between Loki, who I kind of like but is not helping her in anyway right now, and Caesar, who I'm starting to like but is still a bit too pushy. Her feelings for Caesar changed too fast, I think, because it feels like he did one nice thing (hugged her at the end of the first volume) and suddenly she's really liking him. But maybe that's just me?
Nakaba needs to grow a pair and decide what to do about it, work things out with the both of them. She's supposed to be strong, but just smacking them every once in a while doesn't really help anything. She's letting them push her around too much.
I'm still warming up the series, I think. Nakaba is getting a bit better, as is Caesar, and now I'm unsure of my feelings for Loki. I do like the artwork a bit better than before, and now I'm looking forward to where the story is going from here. It's going pretty steadily, showing us the characters and forming their relationships as it slowly shows us the more serious plot points.
It's getting better, so... that's good.

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