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Manga Review: Shinigamihime no Saikon

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Genre: Historical Drama / Romance / Shoujo / Comedy
Installments: 13 chapters in 3 volumes (English translation at Mangafox)

When I saw this title available at MangaFox I decided to give it a run and found myself fascinated. The big problem was the rate at which each of the 13 installments were released, but having noticed its recent conclusion, I finally got around to finish the series this evening. *happy dance*

GIST
After her future husband is assassinated just before they exchange vows, Lady Alicia Faitlin is given the unjustified name “Princess of Death”. Given her parents’ passing and the inheritance of heavy debt, she is sold off as a bride to a strange duke by her uncle. Though Grand Duke Licen shows a harsh face in public, the young woman’s presence has a rather curious affect on the various people that she meets. As the plans of an organization bent on religious enslavement become evident, numerous secrets from the past will begin to unravel as well. And how will Alicia’s odd eating habits affect the outcome of the final battle.

THOUGHTS
I adored the rather silly and easy-going Alicia from the very beginning, but had my doubts as to whether or not to like her husband. Though she obviously doesn’t want to be alone, she’s used to it by the time that she marries the Grand Duke. She doesn’t assume a love match or anything like that, having only met her husband on the day of her wedding. However, she clearly wants to get to know him better – something that he tries quite hard to avoid.
There is no doubt that Grand Duke Licen is rather fond of his wife, but he is a man with one of the best poker faces on the planet. As a reader I’d been effectively fooled by the writers. However, by the end of the series his behavior makes sense. This strong characterization was nothing short of brilliant, but the writers were also careful not to overshadow the other elements of the story.
The rest of the characters each had obvious strengths and weaknesses, with the rather silly and possibly crazy assassin Ruark offering some rather odd moments as well. I rarely take a liking to assassins and murderers in shows or books, but he was one of the cooler characters I have come across in manga of late. Then we see supporting characters such as the mischievous maid Nora and the troubled Triece whose interactions helped moved the storyline along.
The linework is rather nice, bringing those characters to life with apparent. There are obvious shoujo stylings, but the manga stands well on its own. The romantic elements are mild, with a focus on character development for a few of the characters.

CONCLUSION
I found this manga rather amusing, with enough going on to keep this reader waiting for months for new installments. It is a short series as well, meaning that you can probably read through the entire thing in an hour or so which is certainly not a bad thing. However, this is not a series for anybody looking for a true drama as it has a lot of silly (but highly amusing) moments in it. I give it a rating of 8/10, one less for making me wait – hahahahahaha!

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Author: keikomushi

Reader, Writer, New Media Buff, Anime Fangirl, Gnome Hunter, Last Action Femme Fatale, Appreciator of Nature, Jack-of-all-trades.

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