The story is set in 19th century England and centers on a "fairy doctor" named Lydia. Her life takes a 180-degrees turn when she meets a legendary blue knight count named Edgar and his crew. He hires her as an adviser during his quest to obtain a treasured sword that was supposed to be handed down to him by his family.
Hakushaku to Yousei was published in English as The Earl & the Fairy by VIZ Media under the Shojo Beat imprint from March 6, 2012 to December 4, 2012. It has been published as El Conde y el Hada in Spanish by Editorial Ivrea from August 1, 2014, to March 6, 2015.
It looks like your standard sappy romance manga but it's not!
I don't write a lot of reviews but I think it's a shame that this great manga has such a low score. I think that is largely due to misunderstanding the story and the characters.
Hakushaku to Yousei tells the story of a fairy doctor (a person who can see and communicate with fairies) and a man searching for a fairy-related treasure. The story is original and well told. The plot is character driven - not romance driven. So, even though there are romantic elements, your attention will always be drawn to whatever
predicament the characters are in. The past plays a significant role in the story but it is not overbearing. The original creator does a fantastic job of pacing and revealing information at just the right moment.
The characters are realistic. They use their brains but are sometimes ruled by their hearts. Lydia, the main female character is sensible and strong. But she isn't presented as the stereotypical "I can overcome anything the world throws at me" shoujo lead. Likewise, Edgar's true nature is never swept under the rug. Raven truly is a stoic that few can understand - even the reader isn't given special insight into his character. I love the fact that I was often taken for a loop when the characters didn't do what I expected (what would be conventional for this genre of manga) but did do what was natural to them. It's also important to note that the characters are not ridiculously intuitive. They don't always figure things out right away, they don't always know what's going on and that means the reader doesn't always know right from wrong either. If you are the type of person who wants to know and understand everything right away, you probably won't enjoy this manga. If you enjoy being thrown into the story with the characters, you probably will enjoy this manga.
I have absolutely no complaints about the artwork. However, there isn't anything particularly outstanding about it either. I do appreciate the level of detail in the backgrounds and in the characters' clothing. It's not so complicated that it's distracting, but it's still very good. Also, I'm glad that the fairies looked natural - not whimsical.
Hakushaku to Yousei was a very enjoyable read. I will definitely watch the anime so that I can see the characters in action. I will also purchase the light novels so that I can see what happens to these wonderful characters!
- This story confused me greatly at 1st. I tend not to read the smaller texts in the manga, but in this case, if you didn't read every little thing in the manga, you'd probably be lost. For me as a reader, I skim read. I read, but I skim at the same time. I did that with 'Wuthering Heights' and understood the series pretty well. And yet with 'Hakushaku to Yosei', I was confused at the end of the manga which I finished not too long ago (due to the fact that I read online and the updates are a bit slow
at times). So after rereading, the plot itself didn't entice me b/c I saw no real purpose behind it all. I wasn't convinced of why Edger did what he did and why Lydia did what she did. I couldn't see their justification for most of their actions. -
- As for any review that I do (and I've only done... 10 or so) I always give the art a 10. Why? Well, I can't draw any better. I reference the art maybe, but that doesn't make me better. I can't draw any better and the fact that the mangaka drew such a drop dead gorgeous viscount is enough to give it a 10. -
- I couldn't relate to any of the characters. They may have been well drawn, but I felt that the mangaka could've put more time into the character development. I didn't care for Lydia since the start of the series. I also had a hard time understanding the human logic of why Lydia and Edger were doing what they were doing. Honestly, if they had died at the end of the series, I wouldn't really give a shit. I'd just be like, "Oh.. it's over. Next manga." I felt no empathy, no sympathy, no likeable emotion towards them. I just read the 15 chapters. After that, not a single fuck was given.-
- As you can tell from above, I did not enjoy the series as much as I had hoped. It was recommended to me as well so it really disappointed me that a friend kind of... over exaggerated a lot of the plot. -
I picked up this manga seeing how lovely the cover art was. Plus, I could see a beautiful ship approaching with the two main characters on it, Lydia and Edgar. The title was also alluring: The Earl and the Fairy. I adore historical manga as I do historical fiction, so I was sold on the description of a Victorian romance set in 19th century England involving fairies and other mystical creatures. This manga proved to be a delightful mix of mystery, love, and fantasy.
The author sets up the story quite nicely, describing the Victorian era by clothing, setting, and speech. Right away readers can see
what’s so special about Lydia; she can see fairies, brownies, goblins, and more, all of which many people cannot see at all. It’s no surprise that they scoff at her “fairy doctor” title. No one believes in fairies any more. Despite the pressure of public opinion, Lydia’s beliefs are firm and unyielding as a result of her desire to remember her mother’s teachings.
While a strong heroine is usually admired, Lydia’s courage can be reckless at times. Because of being doubted all the time due to her profession, she’s used to holding her own head high and listening to her heart. She could be wrong sometimes, but she doesn’t find out until she’s in a little deep.
I found the story particularly intriguing when Lydia met the earl under unusual circumstances. From the beginning to the end, the earl was shrouded in mystery. He exudes elegance and refinement and knows he’s attractive, so his interactions with Lydia don’t always seem genuine. Though I love a handsome male love interest, it’s difficult to like someone so exceedingly cool. As the story unfolded, his past was brought up and further muddled his character. That definitely made him imperfect, but I wasn’t sure whether or not he was a good person and was confused as to what was the truth.
Despite my iffiness on the characters, I was thoroughly engrossed with the plot. Legends and myths of treasured items lost in time, magical worlds thought to have been made up, everything lovely and beautiful beyond one’s wildest imaginations… The amazing artwork coupled with a fantastical story reminded me of novels I had read in my younger years involving evil witches, fallen angels, wishing stones, and more. There was always more to find out in addition to where the hidden treasure was, like what exactly the earl was planning, who was involved, why someone acted in this way, etc.
The artwork for this manga was absolutely gorgeous. I wished every page could have been in color. Lydia’s hair was always drawn so lightly, and she was so pretty. The earl was definitely attractive in every way; I swooned at every panel he was in. Their clothes were very detailed. The artist took great pains into making sure their Victorian garb looked authentic with the sleeves just so and ruffled collars. I loved seeing Edward in coats and Lydia in dresses all the time.
As you can see, the adventure aspect in this manga was amazing. I finished this manga in the span of two days, two volumes each. There was a wealth of characters to meet, a budding romance to unfold, and so much more to see. Unfortunately the manga ends before the light novel does, so there isn’t as much development in the plot as I’d have liked to see. It does make me want to read the light novel and watch the anime, though. Hakushaku to Yousei was a short read, but very pleasant nonetheless.
There’s nothing overly complex about The Earl and the Fairy. You have a fairy doctor whose sole occupation is helping fairies, whether it’s with internal fairy conflicts or their conflicts with humans. Then you have a mysterious Earl who seeks her assistance for some tricky nobility contentions. The two formulate a unique friendship, one that is constantly questioned by a sassy, bow-tie wearing, whisky-drinking kitty cat (upon seeing said feline, I was totally sold).
The characters, although quite entertaining, are nothing overly special, but they are a pleasant step away from the quintessential shōjo traits, which make themselves apparent early on. The portrait of young girl
(named Lydia) in blossoming adolescence with a cheery perception of a profession of which she has no experience would be the very first thing the reader is presented with. But you’ll note that she’s not a student, she’s not ditzy, and she’s most definitely not a boy-crazy harlot searching for self-worth in the opposite sex. This was a delightful change of pace from the norms of shōjo. Her intellect and kindness make her very easy to become smitten with. Then we have our dashing Earl, who is (expectedly) flirty and charming, yet regardless of his fun personality he comes off as rather enigmatic, and you soon recognize that he’s not your standard prince-type. While the male protagonist is very stereotypical, the two characters have a tasteful chemistry in the way they interact that just feels great to read. My favourite character is the fancy feline friend of our darling fairy doctor (no surprise there, right?). He is an absolutely enchanting little critter. With a snarky tongue, a taste for the finer things in life, sophisticated attire, and cute compassion for his comrade, his presence really rounds off the cast nicely.
My favourite characteristics of The Earl and the Fairy probably began when the references to Celtic lore were introduced. I have always admired fantastical creatures like mermaids and any folklore stories pertaining to them is almost like porn for me. When the plot of this series took us to an island off the shores of Ireland, called Manan, all because of some mer-tails (ha, see what I did there?), the fangirl within me squealed with excitement. The execution of the adventure and the expression of these Irish fables were wonderfully winsome.
The usage of supernatural qualities continues throughout the four volumes, however, the quality of suspense begins to lack momentarily in between the two different story arcs. Because The Earl and the Fairy is so terse, there is limited space for filler material; actually there is none to speak of. While this can be an appealing aspect, it also hurts the writing. The conversion of plot as the story unfolds is left feeling abrupt and rushed. It’s almost tangible as you begin to feel this hastiness at certain key parts of the story. When you finally approach the finale, there is a slight taste of emptiness upon the tongue. Questions loom above your head, dangling from threads of curiosity.
The brusque nature of the plot notwithstanding, The Earl and the Fairy was an enchanting serial to sit through, especially due to the art. The clean and polished nature of the artwork draws your attention to the page, the details fine and shadowed with articulate care. Even if the pages are brimming from corner to corner, your vision never feels overwhelmed. It is comfortable to the point that it compels you to take a moment or two to truly admire the fine lines and thick strokes that illustrates the story. While at first glance it seems standard, the longer you read it, the more you realize how lovely it is.
If you are a fan of fantasy and supernatural traits with an appetite for the shōjo genre, then I recommend this to you. It’s different from your standard high school drama but in all of the best ways. While it’s not the greatest thing out there, it definitely doesn’t disappoint. My rating for The Earl and the Fairy consists of seven brownies outta ten.