- Spoiler-free review -
This manga has a lot of nudity. That’s just a fair warning, in case you don’t like ecchi.
So far, I've read 13 chapters, and I already love it! This is just for those who might consider reading it.
So, what is the premise?
The story is about a queen that sometimes goes outside her castle to go on adventures, alone, without anyone knowing where she goes. One day, her city gets attacked by monsters and was destroyed. Now she has to travel all the way with her people to seek help from other people.
First of all, I don't
usually enjoy ecchi stories, i only liked very few, and this this one really caught my eyes. Maybe because of the “plot”? Wink wink
I was entranced from the first page. The first chapter has blame vibes to it. There is little to no dialogue. The chapter relies on visual storytelling more than tedious exposition, but don't expect that to happen a lot in later chapters. It doesn't happen a lot, but when it happens in some pages, it's satisfying. I enjoy these quiet/silent pages.
While not being as good as Berserk and Vagabond, it still works. I would say it’s above average. The reason why I gave it an 8 is because I liked the visual flow in it. Whether it is visual storytelling or a fighting scene, you feel the tension. There are also a fair amount of well-drawn backgrounds.
You know when AoT had the monsters attack the walls and people? And then the manga switched to boring stuff like training and whatnot? Well in Stravaganza it's the opposite, it has a bit of build up along with irrelevant stuff and some slice of life moments. I enjoyed those to be honest. Then at chapter 8 the plot kicks in. I really liked this approach a lot. Sadly, I can't say it wasn't random. Like, the manga switched from slice of life, to ecchi, to comedy, to tragedy, to actual plot. That could get pretty confusing. Hopefully the plot will settle down later on. Sometimes the manga goes without any dialogue for some pages or more. I hope a more consistent plot will eventually kick in. The main lead is a girl. I liked the action scenes too. There are also giants. You can say there is no plot or goal in this manga. While being episodic, each episode is connected with each other. So, while there is no goal or anything, the plot is continuous. There are a few adventures here and there as well. If I wanted to describe this manga better, I would say it's like if a girl made a diary about her life in her fantasy world, this would be the result. A slice of life of the main lead. You know, like, if something big happens, it will be written. I feel there will be some arcs that have an actual important story. The best thing about this manga is that there is no stupidity in it, and it often gives me the feeling "Oh wow, they didn't use that stupid cliché, well, that was breath of fresh air". This manga is quite unique to me. So much in it that I liked, yet no plot. I appreciated some things in it too. This is not a big deal but sometimes some chapters have these small details, subtle things, that I really appreciate. Compared to other manga and anime, really good stuff. The world building in this manga is really nice so far. There are giants, other locations and other people. Fascinating world that lets you sink in. It reminds me of One Piece a bit. It is certainly above average. If there's character development and a better plot , I will give it better ratings.
I wouldn’t necessarily call the characters good. I like the main lead a lot though. She is fun and adventurous. She takes risks. She is not a perfect leader at all. She makes mistakes, which leads to some bad results. Not a lot of them, but enough to see how flawed the character is. Most importantly, the characters are not annoying. There’s sadly not a lot of character-development as of yet. Still, I like the cast.. I like the relationship between characters. They are dynamic and engaging.
Sometimes I get One Piece vibes from it, slice of life chapters, action chapters, and adventure chapters. It is pretty much everything. I can safely say this manga is all over the place, but I don't mind it at all. Read the first 4 chapters and if you don't enjoy those, you might as well drop the whole thing entirely.
TL;DR: Random plot+random pace+ecchi = this manga.
Claria is a Queen half a day, and an explorer the other. She likes to explore the outside of the city walls and often goes to this incredible and marvelous world taken from Alice in Wonderland. Fairies, Lizardmen, even giant monkey-like creatures, she does this on a daily basis to escape her responsibilities at the castle, and whilst doing so, she always wears her distinctive steel helmet to hide her identity.
Isai no Hime tells a fantastic story about a world where humanity is not a the top of the food-chain. Humanity has built cities taken from an
era similar to that of the Romans, and they reside always on defense of creatures that might invade at any second.
Little dialog is needed to tell this story as it relies more on it's amazing art.
Few mangas look as beautiful as this one, and the style can even be compared to works by Miura, Kentarou(Berserk). The details are just perfect, the imagination behind the costumes, the historial theme, the armours, monsters, and the characters are on a different level. Outstanding through and through with each chapter.
Although it does follow a main storyline, Isai no Hime often leaves you hanging waiting for the plot to continue. It prefers to further some side-stories with some comical relief and ecchiness that do well to change the dark tone of the story but distract from the seriousness and greatness of it's main storyline. Nevertheless, the story is told so well that you feel fully immersed in this fantastic world from the first chapter.
Claria, our main character, needs few words to express her goals. Her interactions with other creatures and the environment speak for themselves. Little does she speaks that she often transmits with actions, she's a strong character with an indecipherable personality.
One of the most underrated mangas due to its mature themes, Isai no Hime creates a wonderful and stunning world that excels in the art department but lacks in plot continuity. With an intriguing main character and an extraordinary storyline, this manga will make you wish you lived in that era.
Stravaganza - Isai no Hime is a 'simple and straightforward' fantasy tale.
While it has nothing new to offer, it does work quite well for most parts. And it's probably because the series presents itself as just that - a simple fantasy tale.
For a series about an often-scantily-dressed princess, Stravaganza surprisingly has a lot of heart to it. If you are willing to look past some moments of naivety and absurd (ly well-drawn) fanservice, you will find many of its characters to be quite likeable.
(I personally enjoyed all those glorious uncensored tits, but if unnecessary fanservice kills your enjoyment of an otherwise interesting manga, this one
is probably not for you.)
The manga also has a lot of great, and sometimes brutal, action sequences. All those panels are a real treat to look at. You can almost feel the powerful hits during some fights.
All in all, while it is no 'Lord of the rings ', Stravaganza is a fun-to-read fantasy adventure by its own right.