Sep 30, 2023
I will start by saying that Yukari Ichijo is a genius regarding storytelling. Just as expected from someone from the "Year 24 Group". That said, the argument of the book about people from very different backgrounds trying to acquire similar goals is enticing. My problem is the premise behind the creation of the character: the author wants to convey the message that if you are pretty and rich, you are good and if you're poor you are somewhat doomed and evil (maybe a punishment from the gods?). Something that is rarely true in reality. Wealthy and beautiful people are kind of cxnts let's be honest.
It seems a very shallow outtake and very Japanese I must say. Not very mature for a Josei. The phrase gifted by the gods is repeated in regards Shio and Ranmaru and the poor girl with a difficult background was made into a lowly rat (very imperial thinking).
Shio has her struggles and that makes you empathize with her as a character, but personally, I prefer stories where the heroines don't go under this aura of perfection and show their flaws. And after all that, I finished the series and that can tell you how good the mangaka is at telling you the stories even though you don't align the values or the message.
The ending, on the other hand, seems pretty outdated for me. Especially when it was written on the verge of 2010s, 20 years after the third feminist era. It's just, again, another very Japanese decision, that may not go well with a Western audience.
All in all, it's intriguing, you connect with the characters at a human level and the ending sucks. The premise of good equals beauty or wealth sucks too. But it's worth reading it because it is Ichijo's creation.
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