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The Earl and the Fairy vol. 1 by Mizue Tani, Ayuko (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

February 12, 2012 by  



Delightful, captivating and featuring beautiful artwork, Ayuko’s manga adaptation of Mizue Tani’s light novel series “The Earl and the Fairy” is an intriguing storyline that makes readers craving for more!  An enjoyable first volume and I can’t wait for vol. 2!

© 2008 by Mizue Tani, Ayuko. All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: The Earl and the Fairy Vol. 1 (伯爵と妖精/Hakushaku to Yosei Aitsu wa Yuga Na Dalakuto)

STORY AND ART BY: Mizue Tani, Ayuko

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shojo Beat

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: March 6,  2012

Edgar Ashenbert claims to be descended from the human ruler of the fairy kingdom, and he urgently needs Lydia’s help to find and claim his birthright, the legendary sword of the Blue Knight Earl. Things will never be the same for Lydia as she is pulled into a dangerous quest against dark forces!

In 2008, the light novel series “Hakushaku to Yosei” (The Earl and the Fairy) was created by Mizue Tani and was serialized into a manga series for Cobalt Magazine by Ayuko.

The series proved to be popular as Shueisha released two drama CD’s and also began serializing the manga series for “The Margaret”.  And not long after, the series received an anime adaptation plus a visual novel for the Sony PS2.

And now the series receives its American debut in March 2012 courtesy of Viz Media as part of their Shojo Beat imprint.

“The Earl and the Fairy” is set in Victorian England and there is fear because a blonde serial murderer responsible for killing over a hundred people is on the loose.    We see a short scene of a young blonde man with a gun at a laboratory at Gotham Research Institute who is looking for the Phantom Star Sapphire, also known as the “Merrow Star”.  He has a doctor at gunpoint and the doctor tells him he will need the help from a fairy doctor.

But does one exist?

This leads us to a location near Edinburgh, Scotland.  This is where a fairy doctor named Lydia Carlton resides.

Unfortunately, no one in town believes in fairy doctors but Lydia believes in them, since her mother was also one and she also has a fairy named Nico (who has the presence of a normal cat) keeping her company.  Meanwhile, Lydia receives a letter from her father who wants her to visit him in London.

While she is excited to go, Nico is worried because of the serial murder on the loose.  But Lydia, who is quite naive, thinks that no one will want to hurt her because she is broke.

As she arrives to the port, she is greeted by a Mr. Huxley who is waiting for her.   Lydia is surprised someone is there to greet her, but as she joins Huxley into the ship, as she plans to unpack in her bedroom, she hears a noise from her closet.

Inside is a man with dark hair, he tells Lydia that Huxley is the ringleader for a band of criminals and now they are on his ship.  If he is found, they will kill him.

Lydia doesn’t believe the man but when she tells Huxley that she heard a noise from her closet, immediately Huxley and his men begin scouring her room for the man hiding in the closet.  But quickly, the man grabs Lydia’s hand and the two escape from the ship.

The next morning, she wakes up to find out the man with the dark hair is actually blonde.  He introduces himself to be Edgar Ashenbert, Earl Ibrazel and with him are his two servants, Ermine (a woman) and Raven (a man).

Lydia feels that she has been abducted by the Earl and immediately, the two are to meet with the Marquess and Marchioness Eugen of Denmark.

While she observes the Earl during dinner, he begins talking about how he is a descendant of the Blue Knight, a Knight who swore fealty to Edward I and was featured in the novel by F. Brown.  In the book, fairy servants faithfully attended to him and while the guests at dinner think that the Earl is just joking as they don’t believe fairies are real, Lydia starts to share her opinion.

For someone who is a fairy doctor, Lydia tells everyone that the Blue Knight is the lord of the Fairy Realm.  Why can they believe the Blue Knight is real but not believe in fairies?

As Lydia wants to know why she is being held captive by the Earl, he explains to her that he is in search of the sword hidden by Julius Ashenbert 300 years ago.  The sword would prove his lineage but unfortunately, only his ancestors were able to see fairies, he cannot.

He goes on to explain that Huxley is just looking for the star sapphire that adorns the blade and that Huxley has been trying to eliminate him.  While the Earl is trying to find the sword before he does in order to establish his rights as a descendant of the Blue Knight.

Meanwhile, the police are looking for this serial murderer who looks a lot like the Earl.  But the only way one can find out if he is the serial killer is by looking at a tattoo imprinted on his tongue.

Because Lydia is not sure who to believe, she decides to take the job in order to help the Earl find the sword but not for his sake, mainly because she wants to make sure an impostor does not take control of the sword and also, because she needs the money.

But what if this charismatic man ends up being the feared serial killer?

Delightful, captivating and featuring beautiful artwork, Ayuko’s manga adaptation of Mizue Tani’s light novel series “The Earl and the Fairy” is an intriguing storyline that makes readers craving for more!

For one, it revolves around the purest of hearts, the protagonist Lydia, a fairy doctor, who decides to take on a job as a hired employee by the Earl to find a sword that was once owned by the legendary Blue Knight.

As the Earl tells Lydia that he is the descendant of the Blue Knight and wants to prove his lineage, the reader is also aware that there is a serial killer on the loose, who has similar characteristics as the Earl.  Can the Earl be a serial killer?

Meanwhile, Lydia knows that she is wanted because she is a fairy doctor and because she has lived her life encountering people who don’t believe in fairies, now her abilities are needed but who’s side is right?

So far, the first volume of “The Earl and the Fairy” shows great potential.  With the few characters, including the mysterious servants of the Earl, I wonder how the adventures of Lydia and the Earl will go as the story continues.

For now, they live their lives similar to fugitives on the run, but in this case, trying to escape from Huxley and his men, who want the Earl dead.

So, for the first volume, manga fans who love bishojo characters and a storyline that has a good balance of humor, darkness but also possible romantic comedy elements, I can only look forward to seeing how things turn out for vol. 2.

As for the manga series, although I have not read Mizue Tani’s original light novels, nor have I watched the anime series, I enjoyed the artwork and overall adaptation by Ayuko.  Characters are well-drawn, cities and environments are also created nicely and for the most part, the artwork compliments the story with efficacy.

Overall, “The Earl and the Fairy” is an enjoyable start for the manga series and I look forward to vol. 2.  Recommended!

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