Estara's Reviews > The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 2

The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 2 by Kairi Yura
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Apr 02, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: manga, read-in-2011
Recommended for: fans of intrigue, fantasy of manners, strong women, well developed characters
Read on April 01, 2011 — I own a copy

I'm really grateful we get the manga, too. This volume ends up the first light novel volume I believe, the initial stay of Shurei at the Imperial palace and the poisoning intrigue is cleared up - it is also made clear that Ryuki will stay on as emperor now, he makes a bargain to that effect with Lord Advisor Sho (whose probable identity is revealed in a very heartbreaking scene with Lord Advisor Sa).

The anime portrayed these goings on really well in episodes 1 to 13 of the first series, so not much was new - although I delight in the freedom Kairi Yura has, to show much more intricate clothing because she doesn't have to animate it.

Where the manga comes into its own is in the asides, in the explorations and added panels that give more room to the dialogues and relationships between people. The Black Wolf comes across much more menacing in his talk with Lord Advisor Sho, the added bonus pages show more of Shurei's mom than we get in the whole first series, I believe, and definitely show more of how her father and her mother interacted.

We get more internal views of Seiran and his inherent, unrepentant two-facedness - in the anime I really was only aware of that in the second arc of the first series.

The one downside of this particular volume is that Shurei is mostly in a token position here, after having set off all the interior growth in the first volume: Ryuki really shines in this one. Having seen the anime I know that this will change again, but this volume only reaps the climax from the set-up of the first one. Lots of action here for this story.

OH and can I just say THANK YOU to the translator and editors at VIZ for staying with the royal we for Ryuki ((view spoiler)) and with the elegant conversation used at the court! It really helps with the atmosphere.
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