I'm very surprised that no one has reviewed such a good manga yet, so I feel I need to do it justice by logging in and write one.
I'll try to write this review without spoiling too much. I have to say I'm lucky to get a hold of the complete raw files and able to read Japanese so I got to complete the series. Scantlations, however, are available up to half of vol.4 so far.
Set in alternative Meiji-era Japan (with emperor "Meidi" instead of "Meiji" in this manga). The story starts off with a boy, from a noble family but in dire financial
situation. So he decides to work as a chamberlain apprentice, leading him to meet with the female emperor. It explores court rules and westernizing Japan, but not as much as the story between the two characters and the boy's growth over years. Interesting and original story but not as strong as character, so I'll give it 8 for now.
Pretty good art and much better than most Shojo. You can tell characters' faces apart even though they mostly have same hairstyle. The details of Japanese pattern thing is also very delicate.
This is the strongest point of this story.
There will be huge character development in most characters.
The male protagonist is portrayed from being a boy to a young man. You will see a lot of his development in character. He's very sincere, kind and not stupid at all.
As for "the female emperor", I was doubtful of this concept of a female emperor initially - having read Oku and found it not as interesting as it should. I didn't have much expectation for this manga (it's a Hanayome series after all). But this female emperor is in fact a very charming character as well. She is graceful, cool while having a relatable and childlike side to her as well.
Even side characters, such as the protagonist's maid has a very interesting back story. They all have their histories and developments.
I really love this manga. Would definitely recommend it.