- Mangaka : Toma, Rei
- Publisher : VIZ
- Genre : Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo
- Published : June 2013
Reimei no Arcana (Dawn of the Arcana) Vol. 10 Introduction
Caught up in a murderous prince’s horrible plan for his brothers, Nakaba tries desperately to find a future where both Akhil and Azhal come out alive but can see no such future. Burdened with her apparent choice of which brother to save and which to let die, Nakaba tries to keep her pain a secret. She, Loki, Azhal, and Akhil flee in the dead of night, but Batal’s men are not far behind.
There’s no surprise twist; one of the brothers dies. We watch Azhal get cut down as Nakaba holds Akhil back, and the only surprise is right before this, Azhal turns and says “It’s alright”. After the others escape, we are shown a flashback of Nakaba and Azhal talking alone. Nakaba admits there is no other way than either he or Akhil dying and says she will choose to save Akhil. Azhal is surprisingly calm and even supports Nakaba’s decision. He simply asks that she take care of Akhil in his stead.
The arcana seems more and more like a roulette of horrible visions than a miracle as Akhil once called it. After everyone has made it onto the ship back to Senan, Nakaba is bombarded with people whose expectations she failed to meet. Akhil grabs her and screams in her face and little Rito begs her for answers as to how they’ll save his mother. It seems all hope is lost but then Nakaba remembers Caesar and his conviction is taking the throne of Belquat. With Caesar as her inspiration and Loki as her support, Nakaba steels herself to do what she must and become the ruler of Senan.
In Belquat, Bellinus and Caesar talk briefly about what they must do and Bellinus tells Caesar that everything he does is for the sake of Caesar becoming king. In a private meeting with his mother, she reveals her plan to force Caesar and Louise, Cain’s widow, to marry. Caesar is horrified but Bellinus appears and says ‘For the sake of becoming king, it is a wonderful idea’. Caesar understands that they’re playing the long-game and sacrifices must be made. On their wedding day, neither Caesar nor Louise look very happy. We see Nakaba standing just outside the gathered crowd for a few moments before she walks out of a doorway and we realize we’re only seeing what the arcana is showing her.
Nakaba’s hair has grown out, showing us that time has passed. As she comes back to reality, we see her new husband is Adel. It’s only after this shock we’re shown what happened in the three months since they left Lithuanel. Nakaba decided to reveal her power to the King of Senan in exchange for Rito’s mother’s freedom and marriage to Adel. She pretends that she simply wants to make a better and richer life for herself but her determined gaze makes others think she’s hiding something. Indeed, Nakaba doesn’t just want to live as a proper royal, she wants to make a path to the throne for herself. That way when Caesar reigns over Belquat and Nakaba rules Senan, they can bring peace to the land and finally be together again.
Adel’s two friends talk about their mistrust of Adel’s wife as he goes to consummate his marriage with Nakaba. Of course, Nakaba wants none of it which does not deter Adel who has always loved to torment Nakaba but her crying over Caesar makes him give up. The next day, she is back to using her powers for the benefit of Senan and sees an avalanche that will destroy a village. Most of the people don’t appreciate her forced evacuation but Nakaba doesn’t care about being liked, only about saving as many people as possible. However, a young villager begs her to save his friend who is revealed to be a half-human half-Ajin child that had been left to die. Some of the older villagers apologize for not killing the child as per custom with such children and Nakaba is blinded by anger at their cruelty. She decides to ride off with Loki to find the missing girl before the avalanche hits, spurred on by the human boy who wants to save his friend.
1. Nakaba and Caesar Finally Start Turning the Tables
Before this point, the couple was just hopelessly rebelling against a system they couldn’t beat. Now, they have grown from idealistic individuals avoiding the things they didn’t want to be part of to people willing to put their happiness on hold to create lasting change. Their faith in themselves and each other is what the two countries need in order to establish a better future and that’s just starting to seem possible.
1. Azhal’s Death is a Little Frustrating
We see over and over how Nakaba tried to change fate but the only two doors lead to Azhal being murdered or Akhil being murdered in the same place. However, this scene plays out in a confusing and seemingly avoidable manner. All Nakaba does to change who dies is hold Akhil back or not and if he does run to Azhal, only he dies. Why would Batal’s men not kill both princes as both are wanted dead? It was also odd that Nakaba didn’t force the group to go a different way or be more adamant about not stopping in the city but then again, who are we to question the workings of fate? Perhaps if there had been more clear instances of other options being too dangerous/impossible, it would have seemed more unavoidable.
Reimei no Arcana continues to show us the grim workings of economic relations and political marriages. Trust is a huge factor in this volume as everything is riding on Nakaba, Loki, Caesar, and Bellinus. With no way for everyone to communicate with each other, they simply have to believe everyone is doing everything they can and keep vying for the power to end senseless greed and violence.