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From CMX: As a boy, Argentum was a poison tester for a royal family. Later, he developed an immunity to toxic substances and became a master chemist with the ability to cure any illness. Returning after a long absence, he is assigned to be Princess Primula's bodyguard. But any potential relationship will have its limits, as Argentum's very touch has itself become poisonous.
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I wish I hadn't decided to re-read it
I used to love this series so much. Then I re-read it almost a decade later and...I regret doing so. I can no longer look back at it fondly, and part of my younger years feel tarnished. Ugh.
Here's the thing. This series comes off as a very Strong Female Lead driven story. From Primula's personality, to her penchant for physical past times, our MC blasts onto the pages as a strong-willed princess ready to challenge gender stereotypes. Perhaps a lttle naïve and innocent and sheltered, but strong. And full of potential for growth.
If you have hopes about any of the aforementioned points, I'd advise you to jump ship. Run away. As much as it pains me to realize as an adult, it's a trap. Akatsuki no Yona does a much better job of growing a strong female lead, even with its flaws.
First of all, the story is far more focused on Argent, his skills/talents, his trials/tribulations, his story. To the point of Primula seeming like a side character. Even disregarding Argent, the story is still far more driven by the machinations of the many powerful men surrounding our princess. Heck, even the second male lead is more active in the plot and the political intrigue than Primula.
She just gets to be forcefully kissed and touched by men, told she's like "a flower", ordered to follow her duty and marry, and claimed as "mine" by different men. She doesn't get to react for herself when she's assaulted, or even get angry - the men get angry (conditionally) in her stead. She might as well be an object wih all the (lack of) consideration the men give to her opinions/desires.
Something else that really bugged me was that after that one training scene at the beginning, the Princess of Steel never picks up a sword again. She is just consistently relegated to be the oblivious figurehead as the men plot, plan, and protect. Her father, Argent, and Lorca may be battling wih their wits, but Primula is left in the dark or used as a pretty pawn.
On top of that, the story is just rife with restrictive gender stereotypes and harmfully misogynistic ideology. Examples:
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
- "You may be strong, but you're still a young lady." In response to the lie that she's fainted from seeing blood. Excuse you, most women see more blood than men ever will. - The assumption Lorca would rule over Beazol and Navara (both of their countries) if they married, and the focus on him as suitable king, dismissing Primula as a sovereign. - The ostracized doctor who is labeled a "murderer" for helping prostitutes with abortion, and the accusations from Argent that she's "killing babies" - The idea that women are unfit rulers because they're "driven by emotion" - this stung even more because it had almost been subverted in an earlier chapter. Then the author reneged & confirmed the sh** stereotype. - Every time something comes up, the men don't even bother to let Primula know something is happening. They just share the info amongst themselves, and make a plan together. Leaving Primula uninformed and unaware. This really pissed me off when Lorca and Argent faked their deaths, and manipulated her to "protect her".
It's depressing to re-read a series I used to love so much and find so many flaws. Can no longer recommend.
... Last updated on June 17th, 2018, 12:31pm
Brilliant but sometimes tiresome
I love it, except the parts where they remember or recapitulate a lot of stuff that already happened, it gets tiresome. Besides that, the story is well developed, the characters are acceptable and each one of their issues are really important to the development of the story, as they become solved (or become heavier in due time).
I wish I could read the remaining chapters to see how it ends... I would really like a happy ending.
I liked it, until it died. OK, awesome story/summery. decent art. epic characters. but the story goes down-hill after a while. it gets boring and old and a bit like i-dont-want-to-read-this-anymore. So i suggest you read the first bits then stop at least before he wants to change. you will understand what i mean when you/if you read this. but the beginning deserves a 10 i suppose.
First came across this in a bookstore when I was in 5th grade, 9 y/o. I loved the first volume instantly but I had to go home. I never saw that manga again and back then I wasnt a manga freak yet. I didnt read anything besides bleach that my dad brought home. It took me 5 years till I found a site, and the time to read this. I read it one shot and waiting for the next releases. Probably the first shoujo manga that I came contact to (but not fully read). A great plot strong heroine, lots of guys (lol). Really good manga.
It was really good in the beginning, but...
So, I started reading this and I really loved it in the beginning and it caught my attention. However, after volume 5 or so
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
it kind of got boring, especially when Argentum started wanting to become normal and went on a trip. After that part, everything went down hill and it got REALLY boring, so I just skimmed through the rest of the volumes. It did have a nice plot and everything, but it kind of got annoying after a while, because there were way too many side characters (in my opinion) and they were more developed and showed up on the manga than the main two characters. The ending was okay.
If you like long stories, with a good amount of politics and a serious plot, this is for you. But if you are looking for a nice, cute shoujo, I don't think you will like it.
i just recently found and read this series and HOLY WOW i love it to pieces. been itching for more and almost had a stroke when someone recently picked it up again, it seems.
im a huge sucker for the forbidden love genre and the politics involved only make it better. it's rare that you see political intrigue in a shoujo story like this. and BELIEVABLE political intrigue at that. major props to the mangaka.
Was a let down when it was dropped but made smiles when it was picked back up
It is a fun one. Shoujo often fades into jealousy and stupid stuff to keep it going. After all, you can't have your two lovers get together too soon. Here, one of them having a poisonous touch does the trick. Just as magically, after being partially published, someone else has taken up the journey of finishing the translation.
I really like this manga. The plot is so original and thrilling, with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting.
The characters are amazing: Primula the tomboy/fencing princess of doom, Argentum the bishie healer with a frighting ability and a dark past (not to mention a forbidden love interest!)...Soda the funny and annoying apprentice (I love when he voices Argentum's inner love-love thoughts ), Caru, the half-blind etiquette instructor... Even the king is a great character, though I can't decide if I like him or not. I also think it's great that, even thought there are a lot of characters in this manga, I don't get them confused, or forget who someone is. Each character really sticks out in my mind as a distinct persona.
My only complaint at the moment is that the plot can get a little confusing sometimes. It generally clears up in a couple chapters, though, so that's nice.
... Last updated on June 26th, 2011, 12:06pm
It was an unusual enough concept to capture my interest and the blend between modern scientific knowledge and oldern apothecaries was well done with the added fantasy theme allowing such advanced knowledge at times to be easily accepted. The story certainly caught my interest and I devoured the first volume in one sitting. Things start a little slow but picked up by chapter 3 enough to have me wishing to read more. The art wasn't amazing but it was quite good and the main character was certainly interesting with hints of a darker side to him which added volumes to his personality. Another this I liked about this was that it has a strong female lead not some damsel-in-distress type character but she did start to irk on me a bit sometimes. Worth checking out but be prepared for a possible long wait if you only read scans though. If you liked the first volume Amazon are selling the other volumes of this for £5.
... Last updated on November 27th, 2008, 10:31am
As I read the first chapter, I was a bit disappointed,andthe art didn't help either. However, the story got slightly better at the end of the first volume and I find myself wanting to read more. It's a shame that the scanlations stopped, but I guess that just means I'll have to try searching for it in stores, where it probably won't be....>>
(Note, I NEVER comment on a manga. This is my first one. )
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