My late manga recommendation this Monday is Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii otherwise known as ‘ The World is Still Beautiful.’ This manga falls under shoujo but I’ve throughoutly enjoyed myself. You must first get past the fact that the main character’s (17/18?) love partner is an 11/15 year old boy king. Though awkward at first, this manga will make you see the world they live in. King Livius, does not see with the eyes of a child. Bloodshed was required to rise to the top and become king of the world. Princess Nike comes to meet her fiancée under demanding but interesting circumstances. King Livius I. wishes a wife that can summon the rain. Nike Lemerchier is chosen for the task after she looses in an official matters-resolving rock, paper, and scissors game. She is packed and sent to the sun kingdom where she is denied entry to the palace because not only does she look like a beggar but she beats up four guards.
The pair starts up on a rough patch as king Livius is cold, dry and arrogant toward his wife to be. Princess Nike in return fights back as she refuses to be bossed around by a child. Thus, their strange but endearing adventures take place.
Additional Notes based on things I enjoyed about this manga:
There’s just something touching about the way Nike summons the rain. She needs to understand the desires, the suffering, and the beauty of the world. Often times when she sings, the citizens of the country feel that intense and powerful sentiment she conveys through song. Her compassion and regard for other people is what usually lands her in trouble. Nike is straightforward, persistent, kind and honest. She is brash as a princess and doesn’t measure her words.
Contrary to her, King Livius is dark. Witty and charming but harsh at times, possessive and jealous and cruel as a ruler in order to ensure peace. Princess Nike begins to melt that darkness away but there are times when it still shows. Often times King Livius doesn’t punish offenders by decapitation or other torture methods not because he can’t or feels sorry for the offenders but due to princess Nike’s interference. Aside from evident elements of war, he is a respectful and supportive companion. He deeply cares for his wife’s to be opinion of him and becomes heavily unstable when Nike isn’t beside him.
The children in this manga (not all) do not behave like real world children. Although they are young, they have a very heavy burdens on their shoulders, responsibilities and arranged marriages. One wrong word or action could mean war between nations. Although we’ve forgotten, this is history. This was exactly how children from royalty were (aside from the magic aspects of the manga.)
Let’s discuss the magic aspects of the manga. Rain summoners have been talked about since ancient times. What is known as a /witch/ could easily have been a woman that specialized in medicinal herbs that were unknown at the time but useful in curing certain ailments. At times, the manga does an awesome job at demystifying certain legends or beliefs.
I’m not exactly certain which era it represents because modern day terms such as ‘otaku’ at times are used yet they lack technology such as cellphones. That’s the beauty of manga, however, it doesn’t have to be historically/politically correct or even make sense.
The art style is simple but non-awkward. It’s not tainted by weird shadows or complex inking, but it also doesn’t fall into the flat/ stick figure category either. If something is visually unappealing, sometimes it’s difficult to get into the story at all.
This manga has kept me interested since the day I picked it up, I have not been able to put it down. It is still ongoing but within 2-3 days, I’ve devoured all the chapters!
Note: I have just started watching the anime and so far it is rather enjoyable!