- Mangaka : Toma, Rei
- Publisher : VIZ
- Genre : Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo
- Published : October 2012
Reimei no Arcana (Dawn of the Arcana) Vol. 6 Introduction
As much as Nakaba tries desperately to avoid Lemiria’s foreseen death, fate seems determined to play out as shown in the Arcana. Prince Cain shows no sign of relenting no matter how much Nakaba pleads with him, and she falls into a slump for failing to convince him to give up his murderous plans. The group, along with their new companion Leon, head to Senan discreetly, hoping to hear news of the fallout in Belquat. Unfortunately, their vigilante activities to save a poor Ajin slave lead to their discovery by an unsavory person.
Starting off in the midst of battle, there’s a lot for the reader to immediately take in. It seems no matter what move Nakaba makes in order to protect Lemiria, she always ends up right back in danger. She becomes solely focused on protecting Lemiria to the point that she throws herself in front of Cain’s blade. However, Loki’s quick actions save both girls and leave Cain dead. Nakaba wrestles with her own personal feelings of guilt and anger at Loki for stabbing Cain, but she comes to accept that the path Cain forged was his own and she needs to pull herself together for Caesar and everyone else. She confirms her love for her husband as Loki watches from a distance, regretful.
The group leaves the secluded Ajin village with Leo in tow after the elder requested he accompanies them. As they ponder over their next move, unsure if Belquat will label them dead or traitors, Bellinus proposes sneaking into Senan and awaiting news. The shift then turns back to Belquat with maids and servants gossiping about Cain’s death and Caesar’s greedy mother seeing it as her chance to advance her son as the crown prince. The scene shifts again, this time to Cain’s grieving widow Louise. She reminisces on Cain’s kindness in the face of his unrequited love for her as she yearned for his brother but the thought that he would never return brings her to tears.
Back on the outskirts of Senan, Bellinus reveals his plan to have the group pretend to be traveling entertainers in order to get papers to enter the country without revealing their identities. The chief magistrate Gouda asks for a performance before he’ll sign the papers and he ends up thoroughly impressed with their dancing, sword-fighting, and fire tricks. He secretly called Lemiria and Nakaba back to his bedroom for more ‘entertainment’, but Nakaba convinces him to drink so much he passes out.
On the carriage ride into Sedan, Nakaba apologizes to Caesar for bringing him along on her quest for social reform seeing as it caused him to lose his brother. Caesar assures her that while he wants to make her happy, this is what he wants for himself. The two seem closer together than ever and when they end up in a bedroom alone, it’s no surprise yet again Caesar expectantly, hopefully, jumps on Nakaba. Nothing happens though as the sound of an angry man screaming and beating his Ajin slave interrupt them. Nakaba and Caesar run to the Ajin woman’s aid and publicly shame the man until he relents. Loki warns them not to draw attention to themselves as a luxurious carriage stops near them. To Nakaba’s horror, it is the crown prince of Sedan himself who recognizes her flaming red hair.
1. Caesar is Really Cool and Dependable
Compared to Loki, Caesar has often been the more irrational, weak, and emotional one. This volume shows Caesar becoming the confident, wise, and capable future king he can be. When Cain dies, Caesar doesn’t cry for him or nor does he villainize him. He sees Cain for the product of abuse he was deserving of both pity and punishment. Caesar also sees how wrong he was in the past by going along with his family’s persecution of the Ajin. Instead of being too prideful to admit fault or too ashamed to make amends, he decides for his own sake to help Nakaba bring justice to everyone even if it means fighting his own father.
1. Despite Being a Jerk, Cain’s Death is Pretty Sad
Of course, Cain’s backstory makes him a little more sympathetic, but it also shows how powerless even members of the royal family are. Seeing Cain crying as a mere child because ugly thoughts were consuming him and he had no one to turn to is tragic. Louise, who had done little to earn sympathy reminiscing on how she was forced into a loveless marriage and then started to care for Cain just before he’s killed, might bring tears to your eyes. Neither the king nor queen seem to care much in the wake of Cain’s death. If Caesar’s heart had not been stirred by Nakaba, he might have faced a similarly hopeless, bitter future.
War and death are becoming ever present in Reimei no Arcana. It’s scary to think that a character that’s been around since volume 1 could be killed when it seemed like there was a chance for redemption. It seems one thing this volume keeps emphasizing is how much pain can twist a person and how much kindness can save someone. Cain had no one that would love him for him, and Caesar did. Similarly, Bellinus betrayed his longtime friend Caesar but his sister kept him from pushing the others away. Cain wanted to connect with Nakaba but it was too little too late for him.