With the author's characteristic humour and creativity, the work describes one girl’s fantasy adventure. Yvienne Magnolia's beauty widens the small villagers' eyes she is living but she never knew what her future would be, since it is destined too high to imagine for her at that time...
As the lord of the manor tries to kidnap her, Yvienne flees to Lowood Institution for wizardry and witchcraft she never thought to go leaving behind her family.
In the school, she meets interesting people, like, January Lightsphere who shines purple aura compared to his noble but peculiar family, and Lariatte, an orthodox fighter family's heir, who will be her closest mate.
Ciel: The Last Autumn Story, is a beautiful tale, like a refreshing breeze, or delicate glass figurine. The late 19th-century French setting is wonderfully illustrated in an airy and delicate art style.
Yvienne Magnolia, a country lass, attracts the eye of a local count's son. To save herself from being kidnapped, she decides to flee from her hometown. Before she can do that, she is invited to join a school for young witches and sorcerers. So her mother packs her off to Lowood Magic School.
In this world, witches are much more powerful than sorcerers (males). And they are paired
up with a life-long partner witch. Thus we follow the story of Miss Magnolia and her partner, Lariatte, and their life inside and outside of school.
Despite the fact that witches hold the power here, there are lots of important male characters. All of the characters are very interesting, and show a lot of depth. Of course, there's Yvienne, who looks like a sweet innocent girl. But she freely uses her beauty and feminine charm to manipulate the gentlemen. Larriatte is a cold, lonely, impassive girl. The one everyone avoids. There's also January, the self-depreciating young lord (he's my personal favorite). The enigmatic and powerful Daughter (that really is his name). The scary, oddball teacher Krohiten.
Ladies rule the roost here, which is a fun element. And they are capable characters, rather than weak or overbearing stereotypes. And they wear wonderfully elegant and trim uniforms. There is a very light tone of shoujo-ai as well as shounen-ai. Very light, I say; I don't think there's enough to scare away anyone who doesn't like it.
Sometimes funny, sometimes serious, Ciel is a delightful shoujo series, that keeps getting better and better as it continues.
I'll start off by saying that I have no idea how the chapter system in Ciel works, so just assume I've read every English chapter, and the majority of those in German/Korean. (I took German in school just so I could read this, dammit!)
To be honest, I'm not completely sure how exactly I should review this manwha. The thing that really kept me reading was the incredible atmosphere Ciel had; after what is the single longest prologue I've ever seen, it was hard to say that all was well in the world-- a couple of people burning alive, and hints of an unavoidable
disaster in the near future-- it made the characters feel helpless, in a way, but at the same time, the art style and fine lines and sunshine made every chapter have an empty/hopeless yet bright feeling to it. This probably wasn't meant to be intentional, but it really makes the art stand out in comparison to the other graphic novels I've read (for fans of That Game Company, it's similar to playing Journey by yourself when the lights are out). And the art does get better; there's a huge change between the anatomy of the characters from the first volume to the tenth one. The only thing I could point out is that the backgrounds aren't as detailed as I would usually like them to be, but it isn't really noticeable most of the time.
The characters are another great thing about this manwha. As previous reviewers must have mentioned so far, each and every one of them have unique backstories-- I especially loved how the main heroine's origins are always very secretive, even though she lived a very (technically) normal childhood. Yvienne's quips and sharp remarks keep her from being a Mary-Sue (even though she would seem to be one), as with the hints that something is quite off about her. January's past is quite angsty, but what he takes out of it is quite different than what a typical character would. Larry's personality shines through much more than her backstory, and her development is quite realistic, even though she has her quirks. Saying anything about Daughter would spoil, and Krohiten's actions in the story are quite interesting. It takes a great deal of time for the story to kick off, so it's hard to review without including a huge load of spoilers.
The story is the weakest part in my opinion - the pacing starts off incredibly slow, but the author is pretty good at building it into a climax (sometimes interrupted by sudden humor. But she's good at humor, so it's okay?). Stuff does get real later on, but that's volumes later. Terrible things happen, not discluding the main four.
This review must seem incomplete because of the lack of detail to this section, so feel totally free to write me off as a dumb, giggly fangirl-- I was a bit stupid to focus so much on the art and characterization anyways. (Will saying I like Berserk make everything better?)
RATING MAY CHANGE WITH TIME - WILL BE UPDATED EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE.