Sakura is a princess who lives alone with a few maids in a mansion deep in the mountains. She's been engaged to the prince of the country since she was born. She doesn't like that fact, as she wants to decide her fate on her own. However, one day, a messenger from the prince suddenly came to take her to the capital…
Sakura-hime Kaden is a fairly old manga series, one I have chosen to finish after 6 years (2018). I read the series when it had first come about, and wanting to explore the nostalgia, decided to pick it up again. This is a story of a girl with a legend accompanied by an underlying theme of a slice-of-life, if you will. Throughout reading the story, readers will find themselves thinking of life, whether it be the story set in this manga, or their own. Full of romance, action, and fantasy, Sakura Hime will leave you with feelings and knowledge, so much that you might not
know what to do with it in the end!
Nonetheless, all 55 chapters have set up in ways that pull the reader with its twists and turns, and occasional cute, fluff, or angst moments that leave you wanting more between certain character interactions.
Read at your own discretion.
The story is set mainly in Sakura's perspective, however, if the story allows it, characters will be given moments, or even chapters to allow their thoughts to be read for the readers. These moments allow the readers to feel closer and delve more into their mind, and form a bond with them. I enjoyed these breaks, as they had allowed for more diversity in words and mannerisms of speaking from different characters, rather if the story was set solely in Sakura's eyes. Mind you, I read the series all in three days, not allowing myself to really think about the story, and rather go the next book, to fulfill my questions and curiosities that emerged from the previous chapter. The story itself has many holes that later fills itself along the way. There is nothing "life-changing" or "new" so to say in terms of concepts that the story explores, but needless to say, it does the job well done; to give the readers a sense of belonging in the character's lives, to be able to read their struggles and troubles in their own life and let the reader think for themselves in a way. I give this story an 8 because it is nicely written (although translated) and is able to convey emotions with the dialogue. I have felt what the characters felt in a sense, and if a story is able to use words to invoke feelings from me, then it already has a high rating from the start.
In a way, if I allowed myself to think of the story before already going to the next volume, the story can be predictable. Many of the answers can be found with thinking with how the plot progressed and set itself as. There were only a few, though strong moments in the series that had shocked me because of its sudden placement in the story.
In regards to fillers within the story, often they were placed to introduce or familiarize the characters to the readers, as later, they are found to be very, very important in the end. Deux ex machina is a concept not new to the story, but I find its usage to be permissible in the story. The ending left me somewhat unfulfilled, as I found it a tad bit too short. However, it did technically answer most of my questions spurred from the story.
The art is very, very nice and detailed to look at. The cover art was the first reason why I even picked up the series. The meticulous details to the story were a nice bonus, and they were times that I felt the art were able to express the strength of the character's words. I think the art style fits perfectly to the story, as the story heavily benefited from the panel art. There were definitely some panels that I wanted it to be in full colour form. Some images from the series still stick in my mind with how fantastic they are drawn to be as.
One downside to its art is that some characters can be quite too similar. They were multiple times I had to reread panels and match their voice to the correct character in my head. The important distinction between characters were their eyes and hair style, but even then, it could be hard for me to distinguish one character from the other. As for the backgrounds, they were drawn amazingly, and many times I was awed with the details of the background, whether it was of nature or buildings, as it was set in the Heian Era. One thing to note is that, if there was something off about a character's design, it meant that something had happened in the story. Attention to detail, a trait I appreciate and rate highly in the series.
I am not going to lie, it is quite difficult to write about characters without giving too much of the plot. What I will say however, is that throughout the series, you should familiarize yourself with the characters in present, as more and more will be introduced later on. All of them grow in ways that might be unexpected to you, but will leave you wanting to read more about them. The interactions between certain characters were nicely written, and there were some that I wish more dialogue was written between them. Nonetheless, the characters were given space to grow within themselves and present to you with their journey in their life, so I hope you enjoyed reading their story as much as I did. I was left with strong impressions of the characters, and I can only hope that their stories touched your heart as much as they did with mine.
I am picky of how romance is done with the story. Often times, it can be too much, too unrealistic, or downright disgusting in regards to how authors explore romance with their characters. However, in Sakura's story, readers are exposed to different kinds of love between the characters. Romance love isn't the only topic explored in the series, but rather friendship and family love as well.
There are A LOT of characters within Sakura's life, all of which the readers will be given a chance to learn about them throughout the story. There were no characters I found myself to dislike, but none that I particularly liked strongly as well. As readers, you will be find yourself siding with one character, but liking the "enemy" and vice versa. The character interactions between certain characters are just super cute, and I found myself rooting for more friendship love rather than the romance love. However, that is not to say the main lead wasn't cute as well! As there were romance love, there were also tragic love stories, but I found the end to be fulfilling in the sense that all characters remained where fate allowed them to be. All the characters grew throughout the series, and I feel somewhat motherly, to part away from them now that the series has ended. They lived their life to the fullest and now they will live happily with how they lived and presented their life to me, and the readers.
This rating is the only one that I feel I am qualified to write in. I have enjoyed this series immensely. and will definitely pick up physical copies when I have the means. The art has influenced my own artwork, and i have always envied the details put to work, and the story that was able to make me feel things as a reader. I have experienced it all, from love to anger, from shock to peace while reading the series. I would definitely recommend this series if you don't mind the topic of love being explored in different genres, and the time to appreciate the story and its characters in its whole. I will reread the series if time allows it; Sakura Hime has given me more reasons to think about love and my life, and I thank the story writers, author, artists, and the team for creating a work that I have enjoyed front to back.
Overall, this story is an 8 because 10 is a perfect rating, and 9 is a close-to-perfect rating. Realistically, 8 is the best and highest score I would give, because "perfect" is subjective, and my meaning of the word will change over time.
Thank you for reading, and I hope my review has given you some incentive to pick up the series and read of Sakura Hime and the struggles explored in the story, whether it be hers or the characters involved.
Another great installment by Arina Tanemura, Sakura Hime Kaden is a fantasy shoujo manga that may seem typical at first, but once you continue reading you'll find it actually has a lot of twists. Although the main character, Sakura, is a bit cliché, this manga is unique in other aspects such as the storyline and the other supporting characters. Personally, I believe that Shinshi Doumei Cross beats this one out but honestly it may be too early to tell because as of now the manga isn't very far in terms of the number of chapters. However, if you're a fan of any
of Arina Tanemura's other mangas, you won't be disappointed with this one.
Story: Although I'm not a big fan of fantasy manga, the storyline is actually pretty decent. It may not be the most original synopsis ever, but the plot is full of twists that you wouldn't expect. 7/10
Art: The art is amazing. Detailed and unique, Arina Tanemura has a great drawing style that I personally really enjoy. 10/10
Characters: The only character that I find a bit normal and boring is Sakura herself. Determined, strong willed, yet kind, she's pretty much like all Arina Tanemura heroines. Other characters, however, such as Aoba, Kohaku, Hayate, make the story more interesting and make up for that. I look forward to seeing them develop. 7/10
Enjoyment: As I mentioned before, if you're an Arina Tanemura fan chances are you'll like this manga. Although it isn't her best, it's still worth a read. From the very first chapter it's already full of suspense. 8/10
Overall: I suggest you give this manga a try. Although it may not be the best or most memorable manga ever, it's a fun read, just like any other Arina manga. 7/10
When i first came across this manga i wasent expecting much because there are so many shoujo/romance/fantasy mangas that i had just about run out of patience but i was wrong this manga is outstanding. When you first begin to read it you really fall inlove with the characters and get a pretty good understanding of who they are and what there goal is but suddenly the manga takes a sharp turn and then the characters you once thought you knew begin to change and their real personalitys come out making the manga amazing and unpredictable and though the fantasy plays a large roll in
this manga it also has a large amount of romance and comedy that makes the manga fun to read but it also makes it so good that you dont wanna stop reading it i reccomend this manga to any romance fans out there even if your not into manga.
Thanks and hope you enjoy this wonderful manga series Sakura-Hime kaden!
Another great manga composed by the awesome author of arina tanemura. seriously i'm a total fan of hers, i just can't get enough with her manga stories and art. Truly, i really hoped for a historical manga from a great mangaka and now i've got it. Recently i was really into a manga that was historical or more so mythological? but its not complete so to satisfy my thirst for that type of great manga, i found this very entertaining. I always love the romance in Arina's mangas, it just makes me blush and my heart beat hard. Its soooooooooo cute