Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dawn of the Arcana Vol. 1 by Rei Toma

A colorful cover, it sure called my attention. This book is a graphic novel, it is in a  Japanese comic format which means you would have to read it from right to left, not like the books we would normally read which are from left to right. The cover of the book is located in the back of the book and the back of the book is located in the front. It does sound confusing, for those who don’t know what I am talking about, to get a better picture of this check the video below.
          When I read the title I saw the word “Arcana” I did not really know what the word “Arcana” meant, but according to Google it means secret or mysteries. Also, this book is just the first one of a series; I read volume 1, I cannot really say anything about the author, I did some research but not a lot of information was out there.
  Princess Nakaba is from the country Senan, she marries Prince Caesar of Belquat the enemy country. Prince Caesar sees his new wife as an offering for peace between the two countries. Princess Nakaba is discriminated and looked down upon because she has red hair. Everyone knows that royalty has black hair only.  Princess Nakaba’s attendant went with her to Belquat, his name is Loki. Loki is an “Ajin”, which means that he is a demi-human with the ears and tails of beasts, their senses surpass those of a normal human. Prince Caesar does not like “Ajin” because of their skills. The royal family holds a banquet and they expected Princess Nakaba to dress accordingly, but she does not. The King becomes upset and asks for an explanation; Loki says that he is the one to blame. The King becomes angry and slashes Loki with a sword. The King orders that Loki is to be killed, but Loki manages to escape but he is badly injured. When Princess Nakaba sees Loki’s blood, she got this vision, her visions show the past or the future. Princess Nakaba does not really understand why she is having these visions, and why they only happen sometimes. Princess Nakaba is worried about Loki, so Prince Caesar tells Princess Nakaba that if Loki returns to her, he will see that he is forgiven. Princess Nakaba takes out her whistle and blows it, and Loki appears. Prince Caesar orders that Loki's wounds are to be treated. Towards the end of the novel Prince Caesar is going to joust, the winner will get a kiss from Princess Nakaba, Prince Caesar defeats everyone.But, Loki decides to challenge Prince Caesar and Loki wins, Prince Caesar was mad and became even madder when he saw that Princess Nakaba was kissing Loki. Prince Caesar thinks that Princess Nakaba is just like any woman, who chooses the stronger man. Princess Nakaba tells Prince Caesar that he kept his promise to return Loki to her, she tell him that Prince Caesar will win next time. Prince Caesar hugs and says that maybe she is the woman that will stand next to him.
     Overall I really like this book, the plot is good, and the art is great as well. If you are a person looking for romance, action, politics and mysterious powers, this is the book for you. I like this book a lot, and I will try to read all the volumes to know what happens, so far I believe there are 11 volumes out. In Volume 1, it is not really explained why Princess Nakaba has these visions, this is not explained until volume 2, so if you want to know what happens read the series. There are many uses for graphic novels and Teachers should be informed. I would really recommend graphic novels, because graphic novels are a great way to get students involved in reading more. Graphic novels helps visual learners because they see what is going on. They will also help struggling readers feel accomplished when they finish reading a novel.


Samantha said...

I definitely would've had a tough time with the Japanese format, so good for you for tackling that! I think it would be interesting to introduce this book to a student who is already into graphic novels because it encourages the continuation of reading with the different volumes. If a student likes the first one, they have a whole series ahead of them to keep reading. I also like that you talk about the importance of graphic novels for visual learners, because as I am not one myself, it is important to remember as a teacher that some students respond better to graphic novels than traditional novels.

Sean Andrew said...

I have always wanted to see manga flourish. As a kid that has been reading manga for almost eight years, I am happy to see that it is getting some accreditation now. And I agree, learning to read manga is a bit of a struggle at first, but once you get through a good chunk of them, you learn to read them within almost fifteen minutes for each volume. And they are perfect for visual learners. They can see exactly what they are reading through using the pictures.