Setsu is a tomboy who lives in the small village Niolz and she's been participating in various Martial Arts Comepetitions in order to earn enough prize money to travel to the capital Bazen where King Lucaria resides... Luca, her childhood friend who left in order to ascend the "Scarlet chair" as the last rightful heir of the royal line. However when she finally arrives there and gets a glimpse of the King she's shocked to find a stranger in his place! What's going on? But more importantly what happened to the real Luca? Join Setsu in her quest to uncover the truth and find that precious childhood friend...
I rated this a 10 in every category (story, art, character, enjoyment, and overall). That doesn't often happen with me, but this manga has really impressed me! I'm a huge fan of stories taking place in historical kingdoms. What I found unique was the lack of magic. It made the story more simple, heartfelt, and realistic.
If I had to describe this series in one word it would be 'nostalgic.' That's the feeling I got while I was reading. The theme is friendship and there are a lot of flashbacks of when Setsu and Luca were children. The scenes were drawn so tenderly in Midorikawa
Yuki's dreamy, light style that it made me remember childhood friends I had in the past. There are also some great quotes throughout the manga that help evoke this feeling.
The characterization was excellent. I really cared about Setsu, Luca, the King, Dori, and Kulea. Setsu was an incredibly strong female lead. I liked that she was androgynous and could pass for a male too. The story ignores gender completely and only focuses on the emotional bonds of the characters. I found it really refreshing that there were sweet scenes between two males, two females, or a male and a female without bringing a sexual element into the story.
While Luca is technically one of the main characters, he remains a shadowy person and the readers only see him through the eyes of Setsu or the King. This mystery is present until the end when we finally discover what happened to him. Sometimes you can see where a story is heading, but I was genuinely surprised. It could not have ended more perfectly. This is now one of my favorite mangas and I hope that it's printed in English someday because I would love to own this!
Wow, I'm a bit amazed that no one has written a review for this yet. ^^ I didn't give the story and art a full ten because of how it's well written, yet it's not very full... It doesn't really answer all the questions I have for it and it has a big chance of being longer and better if you just add the right ideas to it; the art isn't my ideal kind of art, although it's rather plain and simple, it's the art that makes me really drawn to it. Setsu's character design and her personality and attitude on things truly do suit
her. I can just imagine her like that, if you by only her personilty and all. It's not too extravagent, doesn't make her look too pretty yet not too ugly. It's just plainly perfect for her as it makes her distinguishes able from a guy to a girl in a very subtle way. There are other characters too that I could ramble on about how they're perfect, but I'd rather not and I might just spoil it for you (I think I already did with Setsu >>'").
I absolutely loved this quant little manga and also like one of her (the author of this manga of course: Midorikawa, Yuki) other works (which is slowly becoming very popular since it is also an anime series), called Natsume Yuujinchou. I recommend reading the manga first, as the manga is a bit more explainable and the art is also better. ^^
Overall, this manga deserves a 10 as it's a very quaint and sadly unpopular (and finished manga Dx) manga that I think that everyone should read once in their life. It has a very laidback feel to it that you may or may not like. :D