- Mangaka : Rikachi
- Publisher : Kodansha Comics
- Genre : Fantasy, Romance, Josei
- Published : April 2021 - Ongoing
Nina has a pretty rough life, doing whatever she can to survive in the streets where poverty is common until her brother sold her out to the slave traders. Unexpectedly, the person she once thought is a slave trader turns out to be none other than Prince Azure. He asked her to replace the recently deceased princess priestess, Alisha. This may sound fortunate, but Nina isn’t too interested in this new life. Can she even trust Azure? But what is this odd feeling blooming inside her heart, even though she has to marry another…?
You would think that this story is the product of putting blu-ray discs of Disney’s Aladdin and Princess Diaries in a blender, sprinkle them with a hint of salt and pour it over a blank book to create a happy go lucky story. No! None of that! We have Nina being somewhat forced to replace a royal member of the family to save a country. Yes, saving a country is one thing, but we have no idea what the royal families would do if they find out that she stole their daughter’s identity.
When it comes to manga, we sometimes place high expectations a little more than the story. We didn’t expect the fantastic background designs and aesthetic of the Middle Eastern environment and buildings. The characters’ clothing has a mix of Astrology, Chinese and Middle Eastern culture behind the designs.
2. Families Are Complicated
For the royal families in this story, the king has three wives, which creates potential internal conflicts among the wives regarding which prince will ascend the throne. Prince Azure is the son of the second wife, and Muhulum is the third wife's son. The third wife and mother of Muhulum entertains thoughts of having her son on the throne and is at the moment the main villain of the series.
Fortunately, Muhulum does not see himself as a worthy candidate to become a king because of the qualities shown by Azure, and he doesn’t want to see him as a rival, rather a brother. The competition between the royal siblings bestowed by their mothers causes a rift in their relationship. That is where Nina, who understands the relationship, steps in to mend their relationships.
3. Identity Crisis
Nina was tasked… well, forced will be accurate for this case, to act as Princess Alisha. The main problem is that she has to learn royal etiquette within three months. After that, she has to marry a prince from a neighbouring country. She has never met a prince in her entire life, then ascends the throne, asserts her dominance, and saves the country. Seems doable, right?
Nina begins to question herself regarding who she is supposed to be. She is acting like Alisha, but deep inside, she wants to go back to her normal life even though her brother sold her out. That development leaves her the fact that she doesn’t have a home and an identity. That is where Prince Azure’s presence is needed to help stabilize her mentality and give a life purpose.
1. Identity Theft
This goes without saying that, generally, identity theft is not something one should do. For starters, it will jeopardize the victim’s life for all the hard work they have done, and the double would probably face severe punishment, so please do use this manga as a form of awareness regarding the doubles’ intention for moral reasons.
Many questions come into our mind as we read Hoshifuru Oukoku no Nina (Nina the Starry Bride) because of Prince’s Azure. The main question would be why he was willing to risk himself to save the kingdom by having Nina acting as Alisha to marry some prince of the neighbouring country. The story shows how poverty can affect the people’s livelihoods and how the royal families see them and each other. Even though they are one of the royal families, they still have family problems similar to any other families, creating wholesome moments between Nina and the royal siblings.
The manga isn’t portrayed to encourage readers to commit identity theft, instead of spreading the awareness to readers that identity thefts do happen in reality. Of course, some readers agree or disagree with this, but everyone has their own opinion. Overall, don’t commit identity theft, and who would you cheer to ascend to the throne? Leave them down in the comments below.