Russia, 1828. Natalia's family is fallen nobility, left poor by her father's chronic illness and mother's poor management. Her family's only chance at revival is her marriage to a wealthy noble. With her family's hopes riding on her future husband, what chance does a poor poet have at winning her heart...?
Judging from how it seems at first glance, it is easy misunderstanding this as a typical shoujo in which love prevails over every circumstance, even more so when the setting is about nobility and the difficulties that come with it. While this is partially the truth, this work focuses on a more realistic aspect of how things were dealt with in Russia back in the early 19th century and is based on real life events, which assures the reader that there are no magical turnarounds or happy endings out of nowhere.
The story is centered on Alexander Pushkin and consequently, the important people around him who on their own right become a main character and each has their own problems. Romance plays a huge role and is the key to everything progressing, but the realistic take of the environment then, the maturity of their actions and the focus on the workings of that time, make this a really refreshing read. There is not exactly a right and wrong side, because everyone has their reasons and the best thing is, that the characters themselves understand that and granting that there is over-dramatization to enhance the experience, it has a good balance on things. All the while, the reader is introduced to numerous of Pushkin’s works that are intertwined with the development and add to the atmosphere that it has created. One of the drawbacks is that the pacing can be very abrupt with time skips here and there, people coming and going in a blink, just so we can only see the key parts of events so we can understand the line the story is moving on.
The ending is also successful in delivering a conclusion that fits this tale, without betraying everything that happened to each of the character. It might not be the ending most people would like, but it stays true to its original story and its own rules to the end.
The characters at first seem very plain and one dimensional and despite the fact that not everyone becomes a fleshed out three dimensional character, their personality and thinking expands, discovering new sides to themselves and how far they are willing to go for the things they want. They are slowly starting to look more like a human, though unfortunately as this is focused on the romantic development with added drama and the pacing can be pretty bad at times, the development still lacks to provide enough to make them whole, especially the ones being secondary to the plot. However, they give insight to the environment and the actions they are taking based on it. Maybe they are not as relatable for modern day and age because of that, but they manage to get through the message of their struggles and the logic behind them.
Unfortunately, the art is not as good as the rest of the content, but it has nice little details to compensate for that; giving Pushkin a darker skin tone to show the racism against him, the details on the various dresses noble women wore to balls and such. The main characters are easily distinguishable and they have their own style to separate them from the rest and at least the main cast’s expressions have a richness to them. It is not memorable in any way, other than maybe some pages that the creator has taken a more symbolic path to narrate the events.
I sincerely enjoyed this and I was glad to be proved wrong of its quality. I do admit that this resembles a soap opera, but it tackles on some things so much better than one, which is why I got impressed and why I gave it a high score. Thankfully (or not) for me, I did not know Pushkin’s life so how some things turned out were a big surprise, but it made me so much more interested in finding out more about his poems, as his life seemed not too happy. Anyone interested a bit in Russia’s “history” (loosely used, since it contains a lot of events that are historically checked, but can hardly be considered a good source) in a time when freedom was born in people’s heart, it is a fun read.
Fun fact: This started just as a Russian series called "My poor Nastya" was ending, which is a true soap opera with a similar setting and seeing the same historical characters in both, it feels as though they are loosely connected and was even more fun for me.read more
This is one manga that I really wanted to write a review the moment I finished reading it. This is only my 2nd time writing a review so pardon my skills. Here goes...
Story: 6/10 Fair
It was a pretty good story if not for some areas where I feel frustrated and I didn't particularly like the ending.. I didn't understand why did the author/artist decide to end it in that way when it could have been done in another way that made a bit more sense.XS However, all in all, it was still a pretty good story to make me want to read all the way to the end as soon as possible.
Art: 9/10 Very Good
Art work was lovely.. So much attention to details (clothes, backgrounds, etc) and all the lead characters are lovely eye candies. The funny thing is Pushkin doesn't look his age!! hahahaha.. He kinda looks the same age as D'Anthes!! If not for his mature ways, you wouldn't think he's that much older than Natalia.
Character: 8/10 Very Good
I like most of the characters in this story. However, there was a point when I started getting frustrated and irritated with Natalia although in the end, it sort of goes away but I can't say I ended up liking her character, I guess I still resent some bitterness towards her from the way she behaved. One thing I really din't like about her character was her wishy-washy-ness and that is on top of her betraying Pushkin. I REALLY liked Pushkin though. He's a character you just can't bring yourself to not like, despite his random dueling challenge and hot-temper, he is such a gentle and kind person. You would tend to feel sorry for him and because of how nice a character he is, and Natalia had no reason to betray him. He was a very loving a sweet person who cares so much for her and the family. He does so much for her and sacrifice all pride and everything just for her! Hence why people who read this would tend to be a little bit upset with Natalia. Now, about D'Anthes, I tried to hate him because we all know it takes two hands to clap to have an affair... So it's not entirely Natalia's fault but the way D'Anthes' character is, it's sooo hard to hate him.. Instead you end up feeling sorry for him and blaming the affair on Natalia (I think it could be just me being bias here :S) It's just that he's always getting his heart broken, it's always sad to see him cry and his pained expression. In the end, you just can't bring yourself to hate him when you see the pain and heartbreaking moments he goes through. He's like a lost puppy in love. I did wish Natalia's sister and Pushkin would get together as he really deserve someone who appreciates him and cares for him the way he does for someone he loves. :( that way, it's not so heartbreaking to know that Natalia doesn't love him as he can still be happy with someone else.. after all, she wants to be with D'Anthes anywayXS
Enjoyment: 7/10 Good
I did enjoy the it for the most part. It's only certain small parts that I felt abit of frustration and irritation (thanks to Natalia) and the ending. Until now, it still kind of gets to me. I wish there's an alternate ending to it. :(
Overall: 6/10 Fair
I think there should be an alternate ending where D'Anthes and Natalia gets together in the very end. As in she remarries him. And maybe even Pushkin fate can be tweeted a bit so that he ends up falling in love with Natalia's sister who appreciates him much more and has loved him from the very beginning. Maybe then I'll give it a 8/10 hahaha (I tend to be very skeptical.. I seldom give a 10/10 unless it's really perfect XD) read more
This is by far the most enjoyable true history-based manga I have ever read. I was quite interested with the history genre, but I have long forgotten how exciting and thrilling they were. This work was based on true history, that left me appalled by the end of the series. The ending was not what I expected, and the choices of some characters infuriated me. However, the mangaka herself made a good effort to give in detail the true history behind the manga. The graphics fit the characters, and the characters were well portrayed. This manga will make you keep wanting to read through the end.read more
I chose this manga to be my first review since I'm currently reading it, and also because it's so powerful. I mean, the story really isn't a typical shojo story, and there isn't anything to call the story predictable (unless you already know the history behind it). I like historical fiction to begin with, and the romance was a plus, but it wasn't what I expected. I cried today reading the chapters, I felt so much pity for some of the characters. I don't agree with some of their choices (that's life), but I was moved by their thoughts, their selfishness, and their passion. It makes me wonder what if the actual people from history felt this way? Bronze no Tenshi might even make you wonder what would you do in their situation, what if fate had dealt you their cards (so to speak)? If I were you I'd give it a chance if you're not afraid to love and hate the main characters (only reason why I gave "character" a score of 6), and if you have an interest in historical Russian culture.read more