- Mangaka : Toma, Rei
- Publisher : VIZ
- Genre : Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo
- Published : October 2013
Reimei no Arcana (Dawn of the Arcana) Vol. 11 Introduction
Racing against time, Nakaba and Loki hope to find the half-human, half-Ajin child left behind by the village before she’s buried by the coming avalanche. Within this looming threat, a new arcana reveals itself. News of Nakaba’s dangerous encounter even reaches Belquat, and Caesar decides to attend a trade fair in hopes of seeing Nakaba but is met with loneliness. Determined to rise to power and end their separation, Nakaba makes a desperate move for the crown of Senan.
This volume starts with a flashback of the boy from the village and the taboo child, giving us a look at how they met and bonded. Teo visited Lala in her lonely shack for years and even gave Lala her name. Even when their happy faces when seeing each other show how loved the other was. Unfortunately, the other villagers bound and gagged Lala and left her in a cave which is the state Nakaba finds her in. They start to escape but sure enough, the snow overtakes them.
When Nakaba comes to, she sees Loki with tear-filled eyes apologizing for choosing to leave her and begging for her forgiveness. Nakaba brushes back his hair and we see the same red Nakaba has when she’s using the Arcana… Loki has the same power as her. He admits that he saw this future but if he had been buried with Nakaba, Loki couldn’t have saved her later. Nakaba is a little upset at first that Loki kept this from her, understandably so as Loki seems to have so many secrets. But he understands completely the burden she’s carried and the hopelessness she feels in spite of her abilities and her worries are assuaged. Loki has and always will be her most loyal and trusted companion.
After the avalanche, Nakaba and Caesar can’t stop thinking about each other. They both attend a trade fair in hopes they can see the other, though neither wants to get their hopes up. Nakaba takes this opportunity to bring Lala out and show her the wonders of the world and Adel takes to mocking her as usual. Things with Nakaba and Loki seem completely normal despite his incredible earlier reveal. Lala has an arcana that allows her to hear very far away which she uses to find the ‘Caesar’ Nakaba mentions wanting to see. For just a moment, Caesar and Nakaba share a glance before Adel appears and brings her back. Crying all the way back, Nakaba isn’t sure if she made the right choice in trying to see the man she loves.
After returning to Senan, the king collapses and Nakaba watches Adel cling desperately to their sickly grandfather. She feels nothing for the man who treated her so coldly and reminisces about times Adel would hurt her just to see her cry. In spite of his past cruelty to Nakaba, Adel ends up seeking her comfort possibly because his grandfather’s imminent death makes him re-think his relationships. Nakaba kicks him away which seems uncharacteristic of her forgiving nature. Once she’s alone we see that she actually feels guilty that Adel has become to care for her because she wanted to steal the throne while Adel hated her.
In light of the king’s weakening state, Loki takes Nakaba aside and encourages her to be ready. Using her arcana, she sees Loki standing over Adel’s dead body, securing the throne for her and apologizing for ‘being an animal’. Nakaba doesn’t want Loki to kill any more for her sake as she knows it makes him suffer. She has Adel take her to see the king and in an instant pins Adel to the floor with a knife at his throat. She threatens the king that if he does not write in his will that Nakaba is to be the next ruler instead of Adele, she’ll simply kill him and still become king. She smiles coldly at each of them and it’s chilling to see her resolve to kill. She gets the will and returns to Loki who asks why she chose this path. Only then does Nakaba’s strong exterior crumble and her remorse and pain are shown on her face. She clings to Loki and tells him she doesn’t want him to become an animal for her. In the next few days, the king passes and Nakaba becomes the next ruler of Senan.
1. Nakaba Becomes Threatening (in a Hot Way)
Due to seeing her cry so much and be overcome with the deaths surrounding her in previous volumes, it’s easy to forget that Nakaba possesses an incredible resolve. Seeing how kind and concerned she is for others makes it seem bewildering she could use such devious methods to gain power. In actuality, it’s because of her deep love for Loki and her desperate desire to create a more hospitable world for Ajin and even her desire to spare Adel from death that she chooses this route. She’s not as cold as she pretends, but her willingness to get her hands dirty and ignore her guilt for the sake of protecting others is completely admirable and cool.
1. You’re an Adel Fan
This would not be a good volume to skip with all the important stuff that happens here but if you love Adel, you’ll be in for a bad time. He’s just starting to warm up to Nakaba and its clear from his having friends and his worry for his grandfather that he IS capable of love. However, he moves too slowly for Nakaba’s taste, and it’s just much faster to wrest the throne from him than to try to change his mind and work together.
This was a pretty painful volume for our characters. If there was a theme, it would be hurting yourself to protect someone you love. Teo risking getting beaten to save Lala, Lala ignoring Teo so the villagers won’t punish him, Loki knowing Nakaba would fall in love with someone else and still supporting her, and Nakaba attacking and threatening to kill someone so Loki wouldn’t need to dirty his hands for her. Knowing Nakaba has succeeded on her end will probably urge some very interesting developments in Belquat as well, so volume 12 should be pretty exciting!