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.
I think the most important thing anyone should know before reading this manga is that it doesn't really ends. The 4 volumes encompass 2 story arcs and even though those stories are told to completion, the main plot is never resolved.
Crucially, the romance goes nowhere. It's a real let down to read the last chapter ever published and find all those dangling plot threads.
That said, let me nitpick a little:
* The art is nice, but the artist's narrative is really confusing, specially in fight scenes. It's made worse by the classic shoujo manga gimmick of going light on backgrounds/establishing shots, so that sometimes you can
get really lost on what is happening and who's where.
* Lydia is a good character when she gets to act, too bad most of the time she's just wandering around wondering what is going on.
* Edgar is a very interesting character, but he's also a creep. I have never spent so much time screaming "it's a trap baby girl!" to a manga as I have whenever he'd go all romantic around Lydia.
* Raven is a narrative device, not a character. I guess he'd be fleshed out if the series took off, but, since it just ends, he ends up being The Thing Used To Save People and not having much of a personality. It makes me sad, since he's my kind of shoujo manga man.
* There is a serious lack of motivation to all characters. Protagonist or secondary, they all just seem to drift around and react.
To sum it up, I don't really recommend this series to anyone. It seems it's adapted from a series of light novels, so maybe if you watched the anime and want more you should go after the books. They're bound to better, right?