Reimei no Arcana (Dawn of the Arcana) Review
- Mangaka : Toma, Rei
- Publisher : VIZ
- Genre : Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo
- Published : May 2012
Reimei no Arcana (Dawn of the Arcana) Manga Vol. 2 Introduction
Caesar’s increased kindness towards Nakaba has her questioning what their relationship could be and Loki is less than excited at the new development between the two. Around the same time, a young Ajin from Nakaba’s past reunites with her as Nakaba increasingly experiences scenes of both the past and future. While still struggling to make sense of her visions, it comes to light that someone is trying to kill Prince Caesar and the threat may be closer to home than anyone realized.
With one sincere hug from Caesar, Nakaba finds her feelings in turmoil. She feels that it may be possible to not just coexist, but create a meaningful relationship. When Caesar offers Nakaba lavish gifts, she rejects them for fear that it’s actually just a ploy to make fun of her. She’s afraid, after a life of isolation and abuse, to trust someone and open herself up in a vulnerable manner. Caesar is frustrated but continues trying to make Nakaba happy, which she eventually realizes. Nakaba finds it much easier to express her joy when a young Ajin servant named Rito is sent from Senan to serve her. Rito is extremely close with Nakaba which makes Caesar jealous. It would seem that things are looking up for our troubled princess, but foreshadowing reveals that fate has sinister plans for the sweet child.
Caesar continues to dote on Nakaba which leaves her quite flustered. When the two are at dinner and Caesar tries to feed Nakaba food off of his plate, Loki swipes it away. Caesar is enraged but Loki tells them his food has been poisoned. Nakaba worries for her husband and sees visions of him being killed. Even after Caesar comes to comfort her, Nakaba’s horrible dreams continue. Loki reveals to her that these are in fact not dreams, but the Arcana of Time being awakened in her. He disappears to Caesar’s room and Nakaba fears the worst. As she races to protect Caesar, she finds Loki stabbing a poisonous snake that has bitten her husband. Relieved Loki was not the culprit, she returns to her own chambers but there, Loki admits he does indeed want Caesar dead. He tells Nakaba that the king of Belquat is the one that murdered his clan and Nakaba’s mother and that he can’t forgive the royal family who profited off so much blood.
Loki warns Nakaba not to let Caesar into her heart and that he plans to win his trust in order to rally Ajin in Belquat without raising suspicions. Loki wants to overthrow the king and give power to those that are killed or used as slaves. Nakaba loves Loki and decides to ignore her feelings for Caesar in order to be faithful to the only one who was always by her side. Caesar is confused by Nakaba’s sudden coldness and cruel words but refuses to give up and continues being sweet to her. He tells Nakaba to meet him at night so they can talk and Nakaba refuses to go until a premonition of danger spurs her to rush to him. In her haste, she falls into the same pit Caesar claims he was pushed into. He presses her about her supposed hatred and desire to kill him and finally, Nakaba breaks down and admits those aren’t her true feelings. Caesar kisses her passionately and Nakaba finds herself unable to resist. Caesar ends their kissing to embrace her and ask her not to lie about such things. Nakaba feels safe in his arms, which also causes her to feel guilty, knowing that she may have to betray him in the future.
1. You Love the Drama and Complications of Palace Life
Reimei no Arcana does a good job of showing both the obligations and freedoms of palace life. Caesar’s carefree and glamorous lifestyle paired with Nakaba’s frugality and self-discipline show greatly how much one’s outlook can be affected by the circumstances of their birth. Caesar doesn’t want his mother to accuse his wife of trying to murder him but he sees it as more of an annoyance than an injustice. Keeping up appearances is pretty important, though it goes against Nakaba’s usual insistence on sincerity. Loki’s grudge against Caesar, stemming from the actions of his father, further demonstrates that because a certain royal family member didn’t commit a crime, they are all happy to benefit from the misfortune and abuse of others, which raises some difficult questions.
1. You Want Your Female Lead to Be Cold and Unrelenting
Some people may not enjoy Nakaba’s moments of uncertainty or may see her hesitation in killing others as a weakness. It may be frustrating to see someone whose own mother was killed by a rival nation fall in love with a prince of that country. If you’re not one for stories of redemption and prefer tales of revenge, this may not be the manga for you.
We’re getting led into even darker territory than volume 1 with lots of foreshadowing to make us even more on edge. While there’s a bit of a natural resolution to volume 2, we can expect greater turmoil from Nakaba’s monologues. Seeing a much more vulnerable side to Nakaba with Caesar is a rather big departure from her self-assured coldness in the first volume. We don’t know if Caesar will meet his death in the next volume or even if we can really consider that a bad thing. Guess we’ll have to continue to find out!