Manga Review: Dawn of the Arcana Vol. 1

Dawn of the Arcana 1Source: Library
Publisher: Viz Media
Series: Dawn of the Arcana #1
 Paperback, 192 Pages
 Fantasy Manga
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: 3/5

Princess Nakaba of Senan is forced to marry Prince Caesar of the enemy country Belquat, tantamount to becoming a hostage. While Caesar is pleasing to the eye, he is also selfish and possessive, telling Nakaba outright: “You are my property.” With only her attendant Loki at her side, Nakaba must find a way to cope with her hostile surroundings, her fake marriage…and a mysterious power!

Dawn of the Arcana was a random grab for me at the library. I was mostly surprised they actually had the first volume of something and I just grabbed it in surprise. It’s not too far off from the stuff I normally read, so it was a decent way to spend an hour.

DotA focuses on Nakaba, a princess from Senan who is forced into a political match with a prince of the neighboring kingdom. Right off the bat we see that the tension is extremely high between the two countries, and between Nakaba and the prince, Caeser. In this tension, we find out about her mysterious power that seems to revolve around seeing events that have happened in the past or will happen in the future, and we get to know Nakaba’s servant Loki. There is supposed to be a theme of political intrigue in this, but really if I’m being honest this is mostly about the romantic tension that exists between these three characters. Which is…slightly problematic. Loki has an odd age gap with Nakaba, which isn’t normally an issue but he is shown as having raised her from when she was really young. So I think he’s probably in his late twenties or so, while she’s in her late teens. But they are still more preferred over the slightly abusive Caeser, who has a serious issue with Ajin, part animal servants, like Loki.

It’s not a bad read however and I really liked the world building set up, though it is admittedly very simple. I think this will be one of those series that I read to offset my more serious reads. It’s kind of light and a bit fluffy so it makes for a good down time breather. I will say I hope the relationship between Nakaba and Caeser becomes less “you’re mine” and more in way of actual consent, or just doesn’t happen at all.

3 star

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