- Mangaka : Toma, Rei
- Publisher : VIZ
- Genre : Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo
- Published : August 2012
Reimei no Arcana (Dawn of the Arcana) Vol. 5 Manga Introduction
With Bellinus now truly on their side, Nakaba and co. make their way to the small Ajin village in hopes they can prevent the impending massacre. They are understandably met with hostility due to their mostly human group, but Nakaba’s love for Loki grants them an audience with the village elder. While at first determined to fight the army of Belquat despite Nakaba’s warnings, the Ajin eventually agree to evacuate the women and children seeing how earnestly she and the others wish to prevent bloodshed. With Prince Cain, Caesar’s older brother, leading the attack, Nakaba thinks she can reason with him. However, the appearance of a different Arcana proves that Nakaba’s power can either be a help or a hindrance when it comes to making judgments.
Bellinus sees Nakaba as not only someone with a good heart but as someone who would face death to protect his sister, which earns Nakaba his loyalty. Caesar is willing to overlook Bellinus’ betrayal as he himself used to be compliant with his father’s cruelty, knowing that even as the crown prince, Caesar was not safe from the king’s abuse. With their goals finally united, they hurry to the Ajin city in the mountains to warn of the approaching army from Belquat. When they arrive, the group is met with curiosity and outright hatred, which they expect from people who have suffered because of humans. Caesar carefully mentions in front of the other Ajin how Nakaba views her own Ajin servant as a treasured companion which earns them a meeting with the village elder. It’s nice to see that, despite Caesar’s jealousy, he understands the bond shared by Nakaba and Loki.
Nakaba, Caesar, and the others are surprised to learn that the village is not surprised by the news of advancing humans and that they plan to fight. They warn that the new weapons can even pose a threat to Ajin warriors but the village elder has a surprise of his own; many of the villagers have an arcana. Some great, some small, many Ajin are able to manipulate elements which they are ready to use on any army that threatens their peace. Nakaba is surprised to learn of other arcanas besides hers, and so many different ones to boot. Unmoved by Nakaba’s warnings, the village elder has them stay the night so they may rest before fleeing the impending battle. That night, Lemiria confronts Nakaba about her glowing red eyes the day she saved her and demands to know what her arcana is. Nakaba tries desperately to act like she doesn’t understand, and Lemiria, unconvinced, relents.
The next morning, the group again pleads with the village elder, telling him that Belquat comes to secretly massacre the village, not subjugate them. They go so far as to plead to be held as hostages to buy the Ajin some time. Leo, a young Ajin with the fire arcana, doesn’t want to trust any humans but, yet again, Nakaba’s graceful pride and stunning sense of justice win him over. The Belquat army is indeed forced to halt, unable to attack with members of the royal family inside. Cain asks that Nakaba and Lemiria be released as a show of good faith, which they allow.
Afterward, Cain has a talk with Nakaba and they connect on liking their ‘commoner’ hair colors. Nakaba has to hurry away, though, as the arcana shows her scenes of Cain’s past. His mother, a queen kind and loyal to the king but made fun of because of her blond hair and commoner upbringing. She sees the pain this brought young Cain for his mother and how he strived to be a great prince and one day, the perfect king who would silence any cruel words against his mother. With the queen’s death and black-haired Caesar’s birth, Cain’s status as the crown prince was revoked. Scenes of a smiling Caesar unknowingly getting all of the things Cain longs for show just how his resentment grew over the years but Nakaba’s heart is filled with sorrow for the blond prince.
After talking the next morning, Nakaba speaks about his unfair treatment due to his hair being like how the humans treat Ajin, urging him to change his mind. He seems moved, almost healed by her words, and assures Nakaba he will call off the battle and rescue Caesar. He suggests the girls head back to the castle first and Nakaba readily accepts, still unable to forget the image of Lemiria being impaled on a letina blade. Lemira has the carriage stop a little way into their journey saying she needs to use the bathroom and then tells Nakaba they’re going back. Nakaba won’t listen to her, so Lemiria reveals that she too has an arcana and the ability to see into people’s hearts. She knows Cain has become gifted in deception due to his incessant mistreatment and has seen the intense hatred he has for Caesar in his heart.
Nakaba laments her arcana of time as a useless obstacle that impacts her perception, knowing she wouldn’t have been so easily deceived due to her hatred of the royal family if she hadn’t seen Cain’s past. She confronts Cain with her new knowledge and he confirms the worst. He cares little for anyone that has to die and if he could take Caesar down with them, he would be happy. Caesar and Loki manage to get Nakaba away from Cain as Leo uses his arcana to burn the Belquat soldiers to death where they stand. It’s unknown what fate will befall Lemiria as she’s seen suddenly running towards them.
1. There are More Ajin and More Arcanas
While, before, we had a limited idea of what Ajin look like, in this volume we get to see a great range of Ajin appearances. Not only that, but we learn that there are multiple arcanas ranging from small tricks to battle-worthy abilities. Seeing how Nakaba’s arcana actually blinds her instead of revealing any helpful truth causes us to think about the gravity of such power.
1. If You Don’t Like That Some People Who Deserve Redemption Refuse It
Most people enjoy a good bad-guy they can empathize with, especially if he comes around and joins the good guys like our good friend Bellinus. However, despite Cain’s past being so sad and unfair, we can’t overlook his manipulation of Nakaba and his disregard for others’ lives. Nakaba gave him a chance to let go of his past and aim for a better future, and Cain tried to kill her for it.
Even though we’ve seen Lemiria’s impending death for two volumes now, we’re still no closer to knowing if she makes it out alive. With the inclusion of Nakaba being deceived because of what the arcana showed her, this could be foreshadowing that she’ll be powerless to save Lemiria. We’ll have to see what lies in store for our heroes in the next volume!