Following my earlier post on fantasy adventure shoujo manga, I have decided to open a new post for this series as it is so epic!
Alfheim no Kishi by NAKAYAMA Seika (妖精国の騎士 by 中山星香)
It all started in many years ago, when the queen of Gulan accepted the devil’s deal to help her husband gaining the millitary power of his kingdom…..
After losing his battle to Fire Dragon King, the Grand Prince of the Underworld was trapped in the prison of infinity but saw his chance of escape through his deal with the queen of Gulan – he would reincarnate as her son and the human prince of Gulan. He would also seek the power of the Sword of Light through which he would then be able to regain his fatal power again….
Meanwhile, legend has it that the kingdom of Altodias was blessed under an old magical spell but would be perished by the one who drew the Sword of Light. Years later, the prince and princess of Altodias were the twins both chosen as the heirs of Sword of Moon and Sword of Light. By chance, the little Princess Rosely drew her sword and thereafter, her kingdom was bound to be doomed….. That evening, her father was betrayed by his friend and alliance, the king of Lorimer who joined force with the king of Gulan to attack Altodias. The king was killed in the attack and the queen disappeared, whilst the little Rosely was also separated from her twin brother Rolant during their escape.
Rosely was later rescued by the handsome green-eyed king of the Alf. Growing up as his foster daughter in Alfheim, “the green forest”, Rosely learned magic and martial arts from the Alf. Five years later, the 17 years old Rosely decided to leave Alfheim to avenge for her loved ones and lost country…..
Princess Rosely of Altodias, heir of the Sword of Light
After spending five years in Alfheim, Rosely stepped foot in the destroy castle of Altodias where she met Arthur, the chosen heir of Sword of Sun. Later in the series, Rosely disguised herself to become Arthur’s servant to gain access into the castle of Lorimer where she attempted killing the king as revenge. However, during their course of adventures together, Rosely began to develope trust and later an intensive relationship with Arthur.
Prince Rolant of Altodias, heir of the Sword of Moon
After being separated from his twin sister, Rolant was rescured by the White Wizard from whom he learnt the skills of magic and sword fighting. He would join his sister again later in the series as they travelled and built alliances with others, including Princess Shendola whom Rolant just could not resist to tease at anytime! : )
Prince Arthur, heir of the Sword of Sun
Raised as an adopted son of the king of Lorimer (Altodias’ neighbouring country), Arthur’s real father was the king of Gulan. He tried to persuade his (biological) father to stop his brutal conquering of other countries, but eventually joined the western alliances in order to resist Gulan’s growing power. Arthur’s first encounter with the twins was when they were little and he later helped them in their escape during the attack on Altodias. He met the 17 years old Rosely again (whom he originally thought was a mysterious fairy) at the destroyed city of Altodias. In spite of discovering Rosely’s true identity, Arthur found himself being deeply in love with her and tried to protect her from her enermies – the King Gulan as well as the dark prince from hell!
King of Alfheim
The little Rosely was bedazzled when she encountered a mysterious handsome Alf in the forbidden woods. He, who turned out to be the green-eyed king of the Alf, rescued Rosely and became her foster father. As King of Alfheim, he was supposed and expected to refrain himself from the feelings of human emotions, despite being 1/4 human. But towards the end of the series when the Alf king appeared again as the dark prince was about to kill Rosely, the king warned the prince of the “eternity poison” – should he kill Rosely, he would then be suffering from the posion and to bear its pain eternally, just as the king himself already was. (….this either suggests the king’s fondness of Rosely as a fatherly figure or on contrary, a deeper romantic feeling which the king had suppressed all along???)
Grand prince of the Underworld
Since discovering Rosely being the heir of Sword of Light, the grand prince sought after the princess and in particular, the sapphire of her sword. In many of their encounters, the grand prince attempted to agitate her for negative thoughts and emotions so that he could rebuild his power using the negativity absorbed in the sapphire. But as Rosely continued to resist his temptations, seductions or even his other means of forces, the grand prince became increasingly obsessed of possessing her despite harming or even killing her….!
My favourite part of the stories comes the “romantic” interactions (of course~) between the prince and our heroine. I found the prince’s character far more interesting and colourful than Arthur-the protogonist (sorry Arthur fans!). In fact, I like the character so much that I even wish he could one day becomes the protogonist himself! (…. that’s if the author is really going to continue with the next installment of the series.)
Lord of the Underworld – the egoistic lord was determined to exterminate whatever that threatened the harmony of the Underworld, especially when the balance between Light and Darkness was broken since Rosely’s appearance…..
….. and zillions of many other characters in this epic fantasy shoujo manga!
Note: GALLERY of Alfheim no Kishi here
My say: Ok, here’s the thing: its artwork may appear to be somewhat rudimentary if compared with the likes of Crystal Dragon by AHIBE Yuho and many others in the 70′s. But it could also be something to do with it being a typical 80′s shoujo manga, in which the style of drawings seem to be more casual and lines less defined, etc…. So I guess some people may be turned off by its artwork whilst others like it/ don’t mind about it?
Alfheim no Kishi is a very long series. Altogether 54 volumes in total (not to mention its sequel and other spin-offs), Ouke no Monshou (Daughter of the Nile) remains as its only match in shoujo manga. However, whilst the latter recycles its story plots (and dialogues!) page after page, the gripping story of Alfheim no Kishi evolves rather rapidly in each volume.
Similar to Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings in which the ring itself bears a significance in the story, the Sword of Light (or the sapphire inside the sword) becomes the key in Alfheim no Kishi. Personally, I found both stories very complicating with the flux of different characters, other than the main ones, kept being introduced into the story. But thankfully, with a sound structure of the story, everything does make sense towards the end!
But most important of all I think, is the fact that this is a COMPLETED series – how many time have I, or yourself, been sucked into an epic series only to find out it is uncompleted, and felt being left cliffhanged in the “end”?
In short, I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested in a “shoujo-manganised” version of The Lord of The Rings.