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Book Title: The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 4|
The author of the book: Kairi Yura
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 2.14 MB
Edition: VIZ Media : Shojo Beat
Date of issue: August 1st 2011
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Read full description of the books The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 4:This volume does not bother with reintroducing anything (apart from the first page added by the publisher explaining about some of the characters and the basic set-up, similar to the upper part of the copy at the back of the volume) and I can honestly say that if you haven't read the earlier volumes you will have no idea what is going on.
AND HOW GREAT IS THAT!!!
The author and mangaka expect us to be invested enough by now to get right to the nitty gritty and the machinations and manoeuvrings at court and in the ministries going on - with the overall aim of Emperor Ryuki being the legalisation of female civil servant candidates.
I adore the fact that when necessary the background of the problem is explained in much more detail than in the anime, so you understand why hurrying the process is so bad. It makes the work that her various allies do for Shurei and the trust they set in her even more vivid and believable.
The actual work in the ministry part of the story was finished in the last volume though, in this one we finally get a real intro to Seiran's old friend Ensei, and what he is doing in the capital at this time and what his importance is to the overall plot. Nice ^^. My favourite bit with him was the scene at the grave though - the fact that Shurei had someone she trusted but had not been part of the family to finally articulate her grief and fears to - a sympathetic ear, so to say.
I really have to question the decision of the translators/publishers to translate Ko Shurei as Shurei Hong, because all the subtle connotations of the Ko name - from Minister Ko to the Ko quarter in the capital can't be picked up by people who only read the manga.
There's a bit of light relief when Minister Kyo finally takes off his mask - we never got to see that in the anime, if I remember correctly (and I can understand the problem of the idea, although the mangaka does try to do her best to overcome it).
Another nice feature is that two characters the anime showed only in the Sa Province Arc coming up get introduce earlier - and their father's relationship to Shoka shown in more detail (now I'm a bit sorry we never got a flashback episode to the time of the Wolves of the Wind for good). The relationship between Ran Shuei, Shusui and Shoka gets a side glance - interesting because the anime kept this to the second series entirely.
Ryuki again was fairly distant (due to the plot and understandably in his position) - he got some cute time in his earnest love and misunderstanding though, and an intelligent comparison of the way he loves and the way Ran Shueei loves.
I especially enjoyed the final chapter of the volume, although it is only a coda to what went before, because it shows the internal and external growth of Shurei's self-confidence and trust - better than the anime I think.
This is a girl who wants to become a civil servant. The man who loves her is trying to enable that and even as he helps in the attempt he knows it may mean that he himself will never get the love he wishes for in the way he wishes for. To my mind - this looks like shoujo - and I love my bishies - but this is josei, or at least a manga for girls in their early 20s trying to define their way in life. And a manga for people who like to think of what good governance and politics would entail.
Read information about the authorAlso known as 由羅 カイリ
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