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Two soldiers from warring countries are bound by a pledge as master and servant. Taki Reizen is a commander of sublime beauty, shouldering the fate of his nation. Called "Mad Dog" because of his rough temperament, Klaus von Wolfstadt has sworn his loyalty to him as a knight. Despite this, those around them are cold and disapproving, full of various misgivings. For all their genuine feelings, what will come of love made cruel by the violence of war?
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This series will make you want to read it over and over again...and each time you read it, you will discover something new to fall in love with.
The relationship between Taki (uke) and Klaus (seme) is one of extreme complexity which is only heightened by the setting in which it takes place: They are in the middle of a war in which Taki has an important role and Klaus is his personal knight. The theme of forbidden love is done really well in Maiden Rose: Taki is extremely aware of the difference in their positions, and tries to do what is best for his country, but his love for Klaus frequently takes over. The contrast between his exterior facade and his underlying gentle demeanor heightens the romance which tugs (read as "yanks") at the heart strings. Klaus, on the other hand, is very devoted to Taki and wants them to be happy together, regardless of the loyalties to their respective homeland. He has frequently shown the desire to be gentle with Taki, but is unable to do so properly. As the setting takes place directly on the battlefield, there is an atmosphere of both hope and hopelessness. This helps emphasize the state of Taki and Klaus' relationship. Each has sacrificed something in the hopes of being together: Klaus has abandoned his home country and a conflict-free life; Taki has sacrificed his pride and his freedom. Yet, at any moment, either of them could die and all of their hardships would have come to nothing. Still, they struggle, they fight and they step forward for the sake of a better and peaceful future. Their relationship troubles mainly lie in Taki's position and representation of purity, and Klaus' life as a soldier which frequently haunts him. However, although their relationship is difficult, they are completely devoted to and trust in each other.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
when Klaus almost dies and Taki tries to save him despite the protests from his colleagues, he says something along the lines of "this can't make me dirty!" implying that he values Klaus' life over the pride of his nation (one of my favourite scenes...always makes me want to cry)
Another thing that I love about Maiden Rose is the theme of fate. They seem to have met several times throughout their life though neither really seem to remember the meetings very clearly. There are frequent references to the two yearning for another country though neither knows why. There are also mentions of those in the Reizen (Taki's) household and Wolfstadt (Klaus') family who are drawn to a "far off land" and "flowers" (respectively). These implications heavily suggest that Taki and Klaus are meant for each other regardless of the difficulties in their relationship; it's done beautifully, in vague mentions and panels with a recurring image of flowers.
Maiden Rose has a really strange organization. It begins with their relationship at the most complex time (when Taki is resisting the most, and Klaus is the most reckless) so it almost makes you think that Taki is just being abused. However, as the series progresses, the two manage to improve their relationship (albeit slowly), and you get a glimpse of how much they really care for each other.
Anyway, Maiden Rose is probably one of my favourite yaoi manga series ever. The art is beautiful, the story is unbelievably good, and (IMO) has one of the best romances once you start getting into the complexity of their relationship. You can't help but want a better future for them after all they've been through.
Personal opinion --> 10/10 (rating may vary from person to person due to the rape scenes)
Oh yes, here's a quote from the manga which basically says everything about their relationship:
"You'll never understand what it is like to meet a person, once in a lifetime, that you are willing to give up everything for" - Klaus Von Wolfstadt
... Last updated on June 1st, 2012, 8:14pm
One of the masterpieces in the manga world without a doubt!
I have absolutely nothing to complain about this manga. I'm personally not keen on military-themed manga, so I was put off after finding out this is one and a bit reluctant about checking it out. However, I picked it up anyway and treated it as merely something to kill time. I never expected I would discover such a gem.
The author's art style is unique and able to convey the emotion of the characters. Every scene is very detailed and well-drawn with great care. At first I was a little put off by Klaus' foreigner appearance because it's a bit different from the norm, but I fell in love with him in no time and utterly enjoy the sight of his face ❤❤❤
More than the art, the thing about this manga that got me totally captivated is the way the author presents the story. Inariya-sensei likes to mix up the events from various points of time, so there are times when you can be confused and wonder when it happens and what is going on. However, if you turn this around, it means that the author put great thoughts into her story. This manga is not like the typical yaoi when you can just quickly flip through it and are still able to understand what's going on. This is surely not something so cheap. This manga requires you to slowly savor it, pay attention to every scene, word, expression, the clothes the characters had on (in my case), and the situation to link the events together and reorder them, and..., at the same time..., savor the sweetness of the passionate love that slowly seeps into you and gets you sweetly overwhelmed.
And also, I strongly advice you not back down because of the seemingly rape scenes at the beginning. You will discover it is not rape as you read on. Why is everyone so fixated on the rape thing. Why don't you read the whole story before judging? In my definition, “rape” has a really heavy and disgusting meaning when you force another to have sex with you even though the other person doesn’t has any feeling for you. If the ones who criticized this manga had just taken the time to read the rest of the story, they could know that Taki was totally okay with having sex with Klaus before they came back to Japan. I could say that their feelings already got across to each other by that time. They were literally lovers. Klaus followed Taki to Japan, abandoning everything behind, even his own family. He told the sister he loves so much that he might not ever see her again, just so he could stay with Taki. Taki is just that important to him. He came to Japan brimming with the hope that he and Taki could be happy together forever, just to be given the cold shoulder by Taki. He didn't know about that purity thing Taki has to keep up for the sake of the soldier; He didn't know anything about Japanese culture after all and no one ever told him anything. He sacrificed everything he has, and I mean EVERYTHING, his family, his friends, his future, his human rights,...; he is in a country where he is all alone among strangers. He accepted all that, just to be able to live with Taki. But that very person who was just intimate with him not long ago now bluntly rejected him without a word of explanation. It's not even needed to be said that Klaus was utterly confused. Why don't you put yourself in his place to see how that would feel? Giving up everything and devoting your whole life to one person just to receive that. Klaus was just so confused and he had absolutely no one he could consult with. He eventually reacted that violent way as a desperate resort to gauge a reason from Taki, even though he treasures Taki so dearly. He wasn't himself at that time. You should have seen his stupidly happy and blessed face when they were on their way back to Japan, thinking he and Taki could be together for sure. The Klaus who was so happy and contented just kissing and caressing Taki now turned into such a twisted violent beast. Can you imagine how much Taki's rejection hurt him? And even after all those shit, he still keeps sacrificing himself by taking morphine non-stop to be able to stand firm on his feet to protect Taki. It was just heart-breaking when you got the whole picture.
I'm currently rereading the manga for this is the kind of manga that calls for a second read to understand the story better. My fellow yaoi-lovers who are fed up with the typical never-changing manga, try this out and your thirst will be quenched. That I can assure you! (Once you finish reading, try Silver_sky's comment below. I enjoyed reading it ^^)
... Last updated on February 16th, 2015, 11:39am
Amazing! A must try
Maiden Rose is so, so good. Two times, I was about to read it but dropped it after a few pages due to the artwork. Do not be deterred by Klaus's physical appearence!! At first I thought he looked really awkward with the big mouth and all, but after two chapters, I fell head over heels in love with him. He is sex. The plot is complicated, intriguing and absolutely amazing. The realism of forbidden love is spot on. The smut is... WONDERFUL. You can practically feel the passion being excruded from them. Yeah, the sex is really good. Like most of the reviewers here, I don't think it was rape because Taki could have stopped it if he wanted too (even just by physical strength). While this is possibly one of the best yaoi mangas I've ever read, the setting changes were slightly confusing. The first time I read this, I didn't quite understand. The second time, I picked up a lot more details, but there's still some parts I'm not too sure about. ANYWHOOO, this is a MUST MUST MUST read. Anything by Inariya Fusanosuke is gold.
... Last updated on April 21st, 2012, 8:04am
bitter-sweet and addictive
I first stumbled upon the manga, closely followed by the anime, back in 2011 and I must have re-read it over 20 times by now.
Maiden Rose has been a rollercoaster ride and the plot structure confused the hell out of me, at first. The flashbacks slowly filled in the story and added the needed emotions we require to understand Klaus's actions towards Taki -the rape and abuse- however, why not address the manga in order of events? If I was to read it -without going back and forth between timelines- I think I would have understood it the first time round. Just saying.
War themed mangas are not a favourite of mine. I will honestly state that they bore me to tears and I did skip a lot of dialogue -more than I'm willing to admit. However, once I knuckled down and actually read the story I could grasp the understanding and thus the reason's for most of the events that take place. Also, I didn't know that this is based in an fictional world -late to the table- and if you can grasp that in the beginning I feel it will assist you greatly, especially with the understanding towards the politics.
I am in awe over Inariya's art, and because of this, I was utterly disappointed with the anime; the anime did not reflect her art at all. Shameful. Although I'm not a fan of her themes and plots, she is one of my top five favourite mangaka solely based on her art: brilliant!
I am eagerly hanging on for what follows but lets take a step back and ask ourselves: how can this end? If you have read any of Inariya's works you will know she's not one for 'happy endings'. Most, if not all, of her works are sad, twisted and end on a low. Sure she throws in romance to give you hope...but only to crush that hope with tragedy, or, by not completing the story at all - a separate bone to pick with Inariya *grumble*
I do hope Inariya completes this; last I heard she had writers block(?). I also hope the DMG keep licensing all the available volumes (I own volumes 1 and 2).
This is definitely a test of patience and understanding. I strongly suggest to all new readers to take this slowly; this has many characters and events that require your full attention. Other than that, enjoy, because it's definitely a worthy series.
The manga that sold me on yaoi
This is an absolutely gorgeous, fascinating, engrossing manga. And so much to sink your teeth into psychologically..
My sweet spots with manga tend to be pretty specific, and war/military ones (while I don't unilaterally dislike them) aren't one of themes I specifically seek out, either. It doesn't matter. It's a major part of the plot, but it's interesting and adds just the right sort of angst. (I say that as someone who typically rolls their eyes at angst.)
This isn't straightforward or lighthearted. Other commenters mention the rape scene(s), and for good reason. Some people are turned completely off for good, others try to defend it as not rape. It's definitely abusive, and it probably is rape. After all, rape is rape because one party says "no" and the other party doesn't stop--having had consensual sex in the past, loving each other, or being really upset doesn't change that fact.
However, I think it's useful to consider the ambiguity some people see from a perspective of BDSM. In BDSM you choose a specific word or signal: typical rules for "no" and "stop" don't apply. The brutal scenes between Taki and Klaus are a little like that, in the sense that Taki is specifically choosing not to give an alternative signal that, according to Klaus, Klaus would take as "no".
Now, the reason it's probably rape anyway is that it's pretty clear it's not something they sat down and negotiated (Taki has never explicitly agreed that his "no" doesn't mean "no" or that there is a different signal). But the power dynamic is...complicated...between them.
And it's important to note that Taki never really gives affirmative consent or initiates things. Taki is torn over his desires, he's not able to fully own or take responsibility for them. As time goes on this just gets worse, and he actually does say "no" when he means "yes" (as far as we the readers can tell). He NEEDS Klaus to force him to absolve Taki of any blame. So there IS a pinch of justification for Klaus not listening to "no" and seeking other signals. (Not, of course, IRL, but in story terms.)
What we see as their relationship becomes increasingly dysfunctional is that Taki is sort of punishing himself via Klaus...Taki wants to suffer. He wants to feel hurt and humiliated and be unable to enjoy sex with Klaus because Taki feels guilty and dirty. Taki feels that way because he wants Klaus and in his heart thinks it's wrong, because he let Klaus become his knight--to Klaus's detriment and great risk--and because Taki sees loving Klaus (emotionally or physically) as innately a failure to meet standards and fulfill duties Taki takes VERY seriously.
At least, this is what I think the author is telling us.
it's been years since its last update, i wonder if anyone knows any news about this wonderful manga? *dies at corner*
this is among the most read or favorite among many yaoi out there.
the art,angst, story, and of course the "forbidden-ness" of Klaus and Taki's relationship not only gender based but also in terms of status and country.
buy it,and read it, you'll never regret it.
Very good for my taste
Maiden Rose should have the honor of getting my very first review as well as my very first ten because it's just that good. Like I said, MR is great for my taste but it is definitely not for everyone. I've read a lot of the reviews here and elsewhere and the biggest problem people seem to have with this manga is the rape. I actually liked how Taki forgave Klaus so easily for the rape issue. It shows how much complexity Taki has in terms of personality and decision-making. But I think that it's good that for once, the rape didn't lead the uke to fall in love, but lead the seme to understand the uke's position more and show the uke that he loves him by actually REFRAINING from sex. You don't get that very often from a BL manga. Even The Tyrant didn't pull that off consistently.
The characters are definitely more complex than the usual yaoi characters. I thought Taki was the more brilliant jewel in the lot with his stoic face and the fact that everything happens from Klaus' POV but Klaus is becoming more and more brilliant than ever in the later chapters. Also, one extra chapter had Taki's monologue and it was just... brilliant.
The art speaks for itself. I found the first chapters a little cluttered in terms of layout but the art itself is still breathtaking. It seems Inariya-sensei had difficulty with the cluttered layout too because her later chapters seemed to be more free and fluid and breathtaking.
Finally, the plot is kinda hard to follow and digest. It's not for people looking for a fluffy romance. MR has RAPE, politics, mysteries, war and more. There are intrigues left and right and touches on a lot of delicate philosophical issues mainly on religion, war, love, government, culture, society and even existence. This is a very fine piece of art. Very intelligent in terms of plot construction and character development as well as possessing a great amount of symbolism through out the entire work. Also, I would have to say that no other manga has ever utilized visual symbols better than MR. The symbolism in the manga shows you just how much thought has been invested in this manga. I'd like to make a longer review than this. Maybe I should make a livejournal for it but anyway, long story short, this manga is absolutely not something to pass up.
... Last updated on August 31st, 2011, 9:12am
Not exactly my manga
I feel kind of stupid. Everyone else seems to be in love with this manga except for me. The plot was interesting and the art was very nice (especially in the sex scenes ;D) but the characters...urgh, I'm not sure how to say it. Taki Reizen was as beautiful an uke you could wish for, perfectly submissive, but with a bite. Klaus practically exuded strength and sexiness from his pores. They were perfect for each other and their forbidden love was beautifully passionate, but...I just couldn't get it. To be frank, the manga felt like it was trying too hard to make me fall in love with it. Everything was right on, but I just couldn't get on board with it all. After reading the other reviews, I'm starting to think it's just me that feels this way. Darn =P
... Last updated on July 25th, 2010, 5:38am
this mangaka is amazing. her usage of visual imagery in being symbolic of the main characters' relationship and feelings for each other is BRILLIANT. even the poetry of some of the inner monologue is genius and spot on. GOD I LOVE YOU FUSANOSUKE-SENSEI.
i agree with everything silver_sky said. the contrast between the two characters, being from different countries altogether with different lives and backgrounds and different futures planned for them, but fate brings them together time and time again. they yearn for each other despite their distance, both physical distance and at times, emotional distance. something inexplicable binds them together despite all the odds stacked against them. their romance amidst a terrible war is like a flower trying to blossom in a crack on the road, but it does anyways. even they themselves begin to get in the way of their love, what with taki vehemently rejecting klaus for the sake of his image and position in a delicate time during the war and klaus' violent reaction to that denial (i think the questionable scenes are just dub-con at its finest. taki desires klaus just as much as klaus does him, but doesn't give in for both of their sakes and even seems to take the violent treatment as punishment for his cruel rejection.).
i also love the strong role women, specifically mothers, play in this manga; a rarity, especially in BL. both taki and klaus are compared to their strong and spirited mothers, both whom many characters in the story held in high regard.
dont miss this highly poetic and beautiful story! i want more so badly.
oh my god..
I can't believe I hadn't read/heard of this manga at all until now. It's the PERFECT recipe for my ideal yaoi. What are the elements of an "ideal yaoi" for me, you ask? To sum it up:
- Forbidden Romance. - A Strong bond between the main couple. These guys have a history, and their bond is strong as heck considering that Klaus gave up his entire life to be Taki's knight - A beautiful uke who is headstrong and stubborn, yet behind closed doors, he's a sensitive tsundere - You can FEEL the attraction off the pages.. you know why Klaus is infatuated with Taki and vise versa. E.G.: They ain't just in love with each other for sex, but for their personalities. - Slightly possessive Seme. - Uke is the master and Seme is the slave - Both are fiercely loyal to each other.. Damn so touching. - ANGST +LUST, lust, angst, lust.. freaking LOVE it. I love angsty yaoi's and let me tell you, each chapter was filled with angst and my heart was explodin'. -Flipping hot steamy sex ahhhhhh
Aside from that, to be honest, I didn't care to much for the military aspects since I found it a bit confusing to follow, but I do like that this yaoi has a plot. The story basically spells out TRAGEDY, and I can't see it ending in any other way. That's what makes Taki & Klaus's relationship all the more tense. I'm also interested in Katsuragi and his knight. I also must add that I ADORE the little chibi extra chapters.
Taki x Klaus is just way too beautiful/sweet/hot. They're hands down one of my favorite yaoi couples of all time. The only downside to this manga is that there's only 25 chapters out!!!!!!!! I'm dying for more.