Saturday, April 13, 2013

Rosy's scrawled manga recommendation: Himegimi To Sanbiki No Kemono by Miyuki Mitsubachi

Himegimi To Sanbiki No Kemono
Miyuki Mitsubachi

The royal palace of the kingdom of Alba Forest received one letter of advance notice. That is, "We shall take the last treasure left behind by the late king to his beloved daughter, Violet." The sender of that letter was a group of robbers called the "Three Beasts." When Violet meets one of them by chance, the crow, her life changes greatly!

Alternative names
The Princess and the three Beasts
The Princess and Three Wild Beasts


Manga reader sites (free)
Manga Here, Manga Reader, Manga Fox

Rosy's scrawlings on Himegimi To Sanbiki No Kemono
I began reading this manga with a doubtful attitude, as I do find overly flowery stories a little off putting. And this one, judging from the cover and the fact that the main character is a princess, looked very flowery indeed. But I was pleasantly surprised by Himegimi To Sanbiki No Kemono as it treads the fine line between fairytale and modern romance, only falling into excessive sweetness once or twice. For the most part, it is a bright story of coming of age, first romances, uncovering the past, discovery and adventure.

Himegimi To Sanbiki No Kemono focuses on Violet's need to break free, discover and become strong enough to rule a country. She's the stereotypical caged princess at the beginning, except she has a touch of a wild streak and a desire to discover more about the world. She has the adventure bug, thanks to her father. In fact, she's so caged that at times it reads as though she should have been brain damaged as a result. But I suppose this just serves to emphasise her desires. From caged princess, Violet is suddenly given the opportunity to roam the world freely, thanks to the Three Beasts. These beasts are actually just thieves with beast names except that the one named Crow can leap so far he reads a little like Superman or Batman. Crow's ability isn't entirely natural, and along with his forgotten past, Violet's father's death and Violet's need to follow in her father's footsteps, the group begin a journey that leads to the uncovering of some dark truths.
The story is set within a old European like world, though a little more spacious, clean and bright. There's castles, balls, pirate ships and orphan homes. All the expected scenery is included and woven into Crow and Violet's tale. Still, even though there is so much that's expected within Himegimi To Sanbiki No Kemono there is a light sense of play in the writing, especially with respect to Violet's characterisation. While you are always within familiar territory the story is woven well and engaging. It is a light-hearted read for those in need of a gentle escape.
The art of Himegimi To Sanbiki No Kemono is a mix between manga and comic styles, the comic mostly used to illustrate the scenery while the manga is mostly used to illustrate faces and other physical features. It is an interesting mix that makes the manga seem more multicultural than the writing alone ever could. Otherwise, the illustrations are mostly light, a tad scratchy but well drawn and intriguing during action scenes. I find the stick thinness of most of the characters a bit disturbing but this doesn't detract from the story or the costumes the characters are drawn in.

I'd recommend this manga to: women in need of a light escape, those who like fairytales and romances, particularly romantic triangles.

Notes on manga reader sites
The quality of manga readers can vary. The uploads are often done cheaply or as a serious hobby by a collective. Be aware that sometimes licence hasn't been given but the sites noted above, Manga Fox in particular, are extremely careful about adding and pulling mangas according to license agreements. So you shouldn't have to worry too much about the material being pirated. There are also translated works and non-translated. Amongst the translated works you will find that the quality of translation may vary according to the skills of the translators. Usually the works are perfectly readable anyway, with only a few added or dropped words or a word in the incorrect tense or with/out plurals. But sometimes the text becomes gobbledygook. In which case, either seek another version or give up and buy an official copy once a printed translation comes out. The other issue of note is you may need to expand the screen to read the text easily as sometimes the scans are minimised a little.
I find that if a page doesn't download properly or some other issue occurs (too slow or someone ordered the pages incorrectly etc.) with one reader then skipping across to another reader and picking up where I was is quite easy and rarely annoying.
Otherwise, enjoy and watch out you don't get too addicted you forget about the necessary things in life.

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