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Requiem of the Rose King, Vol. 1

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Richard, the ambitious third son of the House of York, believes he is cursed, damned from birth to eternal darkness. But is it truly fate that sets him on the path to personal destruction? Or his own tormented longings? Based on an early draft of Shakespeare’s Richard III, Aya Kanno’s dark fantasy finds the man who could be king standing between worlds, between classes, be Richard, the ambitious third son of the House of York, believes he is cursed, damned from birth to eternal darkness. But is it truly fate that sets him on the path to personal destruction? Or his own tormented longings? Based on an early draft of Shakespeare’s Richard III, Aya Kanno’s dark fantasy finds the man who could be king standing between worlds, between classes, between good and evil. Richard’s father, the patriarch of the House of York, is poised to become king of medieval England during the bloody Wars of the Roses. But just as success is imminent, he is abruptly cut down. Plunged into despair, Richard acts out in revenge and must face a powerful and beautiful new enemy.


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Richard, the ambitious third son of the House of York, believes he is cursed, damned from birth to eternal darkness. But is it truly fate that sets him on the path to personal destruction? Or his own tormented longings? Based on an early draft of Shakespeare’s Richard III, Aya Kanno’s dark fantasy finds the man who could be king standing between worlds, between classes, be Richard, the ambitious third son of the House of York, believes he is cursed, damned from birth to eternal darkness. But is it truly fate that sets him on the path to personal destruction? Or his own tormented longings? Based on an early draft of Shakespeare’s Richard III, Aya Kanno’s dark fantasy finds the man who could be king standing between worlds, between classes, between good and evil. Richard’s father, the patriarch of the House of York, is poised to become king of medieval England during the bloody Wars of the Roses. But just as success is imminent, he is abruptly cut down. Plunged into despair, Richard acts out in revenge and must face a powerful and beautiful new enemy.

30 review for Requiem of the Rose King, Vol. 1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    Because the York/Lancaster dynastic conflicts weren't confusing enough as history, we need non-factual versions illustrated with anime people who mostly all look alike. Seriously, this is probably better if you ignore the historical basis altogether. It is dark and angsty but seems solid, at least at this early point. However, I did have a very hard time telling any characters but young Richard apart, including the ones on opposite sides, which made the political parts hard to follow. And of cours Because the York/Lancaster dynastic conflicts weren't confusing enough as history, we need non-factual versions illustrated with anime people who mostly all look alike. Seriously, this is probably better if you ignore the historical basis altogether. It is dark and angsty but seems solid, at least at this early point. However, I did have a very hard time telling any characters but young Richard apart, including the ones on opposite sides, which made the political parts hard to follow. And of course there are multiple Richards and multiple Edwards.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Shoujo can be dark, gruesome and controversial: Based on Shakespear's Richard the third. Requiem of the Rose King was one of my most anticipated manga of 2015, and it lived up to my expectations. Based on an early draft of Shakespear's Richard 3, this manga follows the tragic tale of a character named Richard, born into the world an intersex person. Richard is born with both the body of a male and a female, and for this reason, his mother cannot bear to look at him. It would not be an exaggeratio Shoujo can be dark, gruesome and controversial: Based on Shakespear's Richard the third. Requiem of the Rose King was one of my most anticipated manga of 2015, and it lived up to my expectations. Based on an early draft of Shakespear's Richard 3, this manga follows the tragic tale of a character named Richard, born into the world an intersex person. Richard is born with both the body of a male and a female, and for this reason, his mother cannot bear to look at him. It would not be an exaggeration to even say she fears and hates Richard, for she purposely abandoned him in the woods where witches are rumored to reside and accuses him of basically being demon spawn. THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL SHOUJO. THIS IS DARK AND GRUESOME AND VERY DIFFERENT. The story is set in medieval England against the War of the Roses, and our characters are stuck in the middle of it. Here, we follow the House of York and Richard's father, who is trying to take back his crown from Henry Lancaster, a devout Christian. The art is beyond gorgeous, and you can actually tell that the characters are European! The women are not damsels either, especially Queen Margaret, wife of Henry Lancaster. She takes charge of the war for Henry, who is tormented by the sins his soldiers commit. Joan of Arc is twisted into a mischievous spirit, and for those who are religious like me, it would be best if you don't take offense at a lot of the liberties this manga took regarding faith. Saying that, religion is a prominent part of the manga, but it isn't shoved down your throat either so both atheists and religious folk can enjoy the story. Regardless, this was set in a time where religion was a big part of life. For a shoujo manga, this certainly isn't your typical story. We follow an intersex character who is burdened with shame, depression and self-loathing, and a heavy focus is spent on the characters and how they are faring against their situations. The art is absolutely beautiful and I found myself staring at many of the pages for a long time, completely amazed. There were times where it even seemed very Tim Burtony in its style. It's not Vagabond, but it truly stands above most manga in art. If you like witty dialog and politics, strong women and controversial topics, breathtaking art and something new, I highly suggest you give this a try. If you liked: Rose of Versailles, Pandora Hearts, dark shoujo, medieval England, gorgeous art, Tim Burton, you will probably really like this!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    This doesn't deserve a 5 star rating probably but it is a shoujo manga about the Wars of the Roses and Richard III might secretly be a girl. It doesn't make an enormous amount of sense and is kind of hard to follow and many of the character portrayals are questionable but it is a SHOUJO MANGA ABOUT THE WARS OF THE ROSES AND RICHARD III MIGHT SECRETLY BE A GIRL, so your star rating system is invalid. This doesn't deserve a 5 star rating probably but it is a shoujo manga about the Wars of the Roses and Richard III might secretly be a girl. It doesn't make an enormous amount of sense and is kind of hard to follow and many of the character portrayals are questionable but it is a SHOUJO MANGA ABOUT THE WARS OF THE ROSES AND RICHARD III MIGHT SECRETLY BE A GIRL, so your star rating system is invalid.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marquise

    There's only two ways to approach this manga: you either cleanse your mind of any expectations or demands of historicity, accuracy and plausibility, not to mention a good dose of suspension of disbelief, or you simply don't read it at all. This is marketed as a retelling of Shakespeare's take on the Wars of the Roses as per the Henry VI and Richard III plays, but I'd say this is its own story altogether, more "inspired by" than "based on" Shakespeare. And while I've never had trouble with Shakesp There's only two ways to approach this manga: you either cleanse your mind of any expectations or demands of historicity, accuracy and plausibility, not to mention a good dose of suspension of disbelief, or you simply don't read it at all. This is marketed as a retelling of Shakespeare's take on the Wars of the Roses as per the Henry VI and Richard III plays, but I'd say this is its own story altogether, more "inspired by" than "based on" Shakespeare. And while I've never had trouble with Shakespeare's outlandish plot because of knowing exactly what its inaccuracies are as well as the reasons the Bard had for writing them (hint: look at who his patroness was), I struggled to see the point of the plot in Aya Kanno's manga. For a start, Richard of Gloucester goes from the Shakespearean hunchback with a withered arm and a black soul to . . . a hermaphrodite cursed by witches? Yes, that is it. "Richard" is, by choice of his father who bestows his own name on him, raised as a boy, identifies as a boy out of love and worship for Richard, Duke of York, but at the same time his "other side," the girl side, comes up all the time to torture him, so he ends up being a nebulous, androgynous someone. This was hard to understand, given what we now from archaeological and historical sources. Shakespeare's hunchback does have at least some remote basis in reality, as the real Richard III had scoliosis, but inter-sex, two-gendered Richard? That's pure fantasy. Second is the characterisation of Cecily Neville, Duchess of York. Oh, sure, the Cecily in Shakespeare does lament being the mother of a monster, in the same way the poor mother of a serial killer would feel horrified and burdened by being his mother. But this Cecily here is a cold bitch, abusive even, and outright hates her son for no other reason that he was born with two sets of genitalia. Please, at least Shakespeare was perceptive enough to have Dickon's mother have cause for her feelings, while Kanno doesn't bother beyond her Monster & Devil's Spawn hysteria. In other words: Cecily Neville in Richard III hates her son for his black deeds, Cecily Neville in Requiem of the Rose King hates her son for existing. I could go on and on. What's Joan of Arc doing here as a ghost who appears to Richard? How come Richard wouldn't know who Harry Buckingham was? Why have they erased Edmund of Rutland from history? Why does Richard have that Emo haircut with the lock over one eye that's period-inaccurate? But I don't have the energy to bother with a full breakdown. This is very evidently NOT meant to be historically correct, but at least it could have been more credible. As it stands, I'd say the art is its only selling point, though it's also very generic in how it depicts characters (they all look alike, with long flowing hair more suitable for fantasy manga than for 15th century England, save for Richard and his Emo hair).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sean O'Hara

    Okay, bear with me here. This is a manga retelling of the War of the Roses, based upon Shakespeare's Henry VI cycle and Richard III. But in this version, instead of being a hunchback, Richard was actually born intersex, and his mother treats him as a demon spawn, seriously warping his personality. Oh, and he's haunted by the ghost of Joan of Arc, who's using him as a vehicle to exact revenge on England. Oh, and it's published in a magazine aimed at teenage girls. And people wonder why I prefer man Okay, bear with me here. This is a manga retelling of the War of the Roses, based upon Shakespeare's Henry VI cycle and Richard III. But in this version, instead of being a hunchback, Richard was actually born intersex, and his mother treats him as a demon spawn, seriously warping his personality. Oh, and he's haunted by the ghost of Joan of Arc, who's using him as a vehicle to exact revenge on England. Oh, and it's published in a magazine aimed at teenage girls. And people wonder why I prefer manga to American comics.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bogi Takács

    Wow, this story really had all the bad tropes about intersex characters one after another. It kind of signaled that it would eventually subvert... ONE of them, but I am not sticking around to find out more. Maybe more later, but I wanted to quickly get this off my chest. Sure, this is supposed to be an extremely random retelling of some of Shakespeare's Histories for wacky entertainment, but really, there was no actual content behind the intersex "rep" besides a set of stereotypes I've seen so ma Wow, this story really had all the bad tropes about intersex characters one after another. It kind of signaled that it would eventually subvert... ONE of them, but I am not sticking around to find out more. Maybe more later, but I wanted to quickly get this off my chest. Sure, this is supposed to be an extremely random retelling of some of Shakespeare's Histories for wacky entertainment, but really, there was no actual content behind the intersex "rep" besides a set of stereotypes I've seen so many times before and they were bad the first time around. From the forced disrobement to the Horrible Secret Which Must Be Concealed At All Costs. I would like my wacky Shakespearean entertainment to be less frustrating, please. _____ Source of the book: Lawrence Public Library

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Ladies and gentlemen! Presenting the "What In The Hell Did I Just Read" shelf! Because sweet jesus what in the hell did I just read? The scene is England in the Middle Ages where the land is fraught with war and strife as the War of the Roses rages. The house of York meets the house of Lancaster over and over on the field of battle and just when one seems to have overcome the other the tables turn and the fighting rages on. In the midst of this endless struggle for the throne Cecily Neville, the b Ladies and gentlemen! Presenting the "What In The Hell Did I Just Read" shelf! Because sweet jesus what in the hell did I just read? The scene is England in the Middle Ages where the land is fraught with war and strife as the War of the Roses rages. The house of York meets the house of Lancaster over and over on the field of battle and just when one seems to have overcome the other the tables turn and the fighting rages on. In the midst of this endless struggle for the throne Cecily Neville, the beloved duchess of noble Richard of the house of York gives birth to...a devil's spawn... Wackiness ensues!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If, like me, you're partial to historical accuracy at least up to a point in your historical manga I think its relatively safe to say you want to run, not walk, but run the hell away from this. If, unlike myself, you always wanted to know how the story of Richard III might shake out if Richard was (view spoiler)[secretly a girl or possibly intersex (I haven't decided even after five volumes and the manga refuses to specify) and frequently visited by the ghost of Joan of Arc and constantly at odds over his/her repressed love for King Henry who for unexplained reasons doesn't want to be king and just wants to wander the forests and herd sheep then do I have the series for you! I just can't with this. I can't. I am unable to cope with the traditional manga gender swapping concept with this. I get it and its an interesting take on the whole "Richard was unnatural" thing that's usually evidenced by a hunchback and a withered arm but making the crux of the story here who everybody sleeps with and/or is in love with kind of cheapens it. I just can't get behind all these towering figures drawn as spindly androgynous goth characters and reducing the War of the Roses to a weird pseudo magical romp with poorly researched historical tidbits just kind of tossed in all higgeldy piggeldy. There's also a lot of weird nonsensical magic throughout. Mostly it comes across as strange prophetic dreams and psychic links between characters. Still its wildly out of place and not so much mysterious as it is confusing. Don't even get me started on Joan of Arc. I have no idea what she's doing here. Confusing is actually a word I'd apply to this entire story. Aya Kanno has chosen to try to shoe horn in a bunch of typical manga tropes; gender swapping, unrequited love keeping two people apart, social insecurities keeping a character from finding happiness into actual European history where it just doesn't make sense. I don't need Buckingham to be an angsty teen with rage issues or the Duke of Clarence being the "dumb" brother who's too stupid to breathe let alone lead people into battle. (hide spoiler)] I've made a noble effort here but its time to say bye bye to War of the Roses manga style.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I really wanted to like this as I have a particular interest in the War of the Roses. This story and history combo are far too complicated to be translated into manga and without my previous knowledge, I would have been incredibly lost.

  9. 5 out of 5

    ~Cyanide Latte~

    *Read as part of the 25 Days of Manga challenge for December 2020.* THERE ARE NO WORDS, ONLY SCREAMING. I DON'T KNOW HOW OR WHY I ENJOYED THIS BY THE END. HELP. I'VE FALLEN AND I CAN'T GET UP. *Read as part of the 25 Days of Manga challenge for December 2020.* THERE ARE NO WORDS, ONLY SCREAMING. I DON'T KNOW HOW OR WHY I ENJOYED THIS BY THE END. HELP. I'VE FALLEN AND I CAN'T GET UP.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Holly Letson

    I read this awhile back, and I wanted to like it. Really, I did. I just couldn't. It feels like it tries too hard to be all dark and such, but ultimately, just fails. The art is nice, but I didn't care for the story. I read this awhile back, and I wanted to like it. Really, I did. I just couldn't. It feels like it tries too hard to be all dark and such, but ultimately, just fails. The art is nice, but I didn't care for the story.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dylan

    Aya Kanno's art and a re-imagining of two Shakespeare histories. Yes, so amazing. Aya Kanno's art and a re-imagining of two Shakespeare histories. Yes, so amazing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Stas

    I was immediately hooked after reading the first volumn. The story and illustrations are fantastic! Highly recommend!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I picked this manga up because I love the art. It's highly detailed and the characters are unique enough that it's almost impossible to mix them up. The story was difficult for me. It was confusing that multiple characters shared names (multiple Richards, multiple Edwards) but you could tell who was on which side, at least. The hard part was figuring out what sort of timeline existed, and where the characters were located from panel to panel. This manga is 100 percent dialogue. The entire plot is I picked this manga up because I love the art. It's highly detailed and the characters are unique enough that it's almost impossible to mix them up. The story was difficult for me. It was confusing that multiple characters shared names (multiple Richards, multiple Edwards) but you could tell who was on which side, at least. The hard part was figuring out what sort of timeline existed, and where the characters were located from panel to panel. This manga is 100 percent dialogue. The entire plot is told in dialogue only. So there is no text box to say something like, "Year 1445, France," or, "three weeks later..." You just have to assume a lot from the dialogue that time has passed, though you're never quite certain how much. I did like the story overall, and I would have rated the manga higher if not for the lack of explanation/description boxes that are in literally every manga, graphic novel, and manhwa I have read before this one. As for the plot, in case you're curious about the details: The story follows Richard III in his childhood. In reality, King Richard III suffered from scoliosis that left him with a severely deformed spine and earned him the reputation as a hunchback. (There are some awesome documentaries out there if you go looking.) But in the manga, the author chose to replace his spinal deformity with being intersex. So he is treated as you would imagine someone in the middle ages would be. Few people know his secret, but his mother certainly does, and she rejects him as a spawn of satan, frequently referring to him as a demon child. Richard is an outcast, not entirely by his own choice. At least his father, Richard II, seems to love and accept him. Richard III idolizes his father. Though he is the youngest child, the younger Richard inherited his father's namesake, so feels at least a little special. And his greatest hope is to see his father take the throne, so he encourages him to fight for it with an apparent glint of bloodthirst despite still being a child. Richard has visions, often involving the spirit of Joan of Arc, and lets them guide his growing ambitions to help his father become king and to become a warrior champion for his father. On the other hand we have the current king, Henry VI. Henry is portrayed as a complete coward, but there's something sweet and endearing about him. He and Richard III have a chance encounter, and despite Richard's off-putting personality (he's very independent due to being shunned, and has no friends), Henry quickly decides he likes him. Henry pretends he is a shepherd, but it is hinted he may actually believe that at times. (He WAS known as "Mad King Henry," after all.) Henry is king but he is not in control. Regardless of what he says, whenever he bothers to attempt ruling at all, his wife, Queen Margaret, does what she wants, even if that involves commanding the army to attack instead of inviting peace like Henry wants. I liked the budding friendship between Henry and Richard, but they had two very brief encounters, so it seemed a little odd that when Henry fled his castle, he was crying that he wanted to see Richard. Their relationship could have used some more buildup before it got so emotional... Anyway, I have another volume, so I'll give it a try before I decide whether or not to continue buying the series. The manga so far has focused on Richard coming into his own and I look forward to seeing him grow further as a character.

  14. 5 out of 5

    queen0f_hearts

    I’m not going to lie, this took me some days to finish. To my mind, it’s quite quick-paced, I mean, there are like three wars included in just one volume! The characters itself seem interesting and the different relationships between them are the real gem of this. Also, I find the power struggles entertaining. But, let’s be serious here, the historic feud between the houses of York and Lancaster were complicated enough, so do we need a repetition in this more fictional style? I say, yes!Firstly, I’m not going to lie, this took me some days to finish. To my mind, it’s quite quick-paced, I mean, there are like three wars included in just one volume! The characters itself seem interesting and the different relationships between them are the real gem of this. Also, I find the power struggles entertaining. But, let’s be serious here, the historic feud between the houses of York and Lancaster were complicated enough, so do we need a repetition in this more fictional style? I say, yes!Firstly, there’s this overly mysterious atmosphere of Richard, whom his own mother calls a demon and who can see that dead witch who even talks to him. It’s as authentic as a fictional story can be to see him question and doubt himself and I am truly not sure yet, is he a boy or a girl? And while his mother loathes his that much, his father, the duke of York, loves him so much and their bond seems to be even deeper, considering Richard’s strange dreams and the duke hearing his voice in his head. Their connection to each other makes the end of this volume even sadder and I’m afraid of what will become of Richard now. Or, to be more precise, which path will he choose?Aside of the duke of York, there’s the duke of Lancaster, Henry, who’s the current king. Though he’s a whiny character who prefers to pray to God instead of fighting, I like him and think he’s a good king because he doesn’t want the people to die. Can one blame a person for seeking peace? I don’t think so. I wish the rest of his family was more like him. But instead, everyone seems to be driven by an insane hunger for power. It’s so human. It’s so sad.The few meetings of Henry and Richard (though Richard doesn’t know yet, the other is the duke) were treasures because they both were so good and character-wisely healing for each other. This is why I’m curious for their next encounter (someone please free poor Henry ;-; ) and I hope they find a way to live next to each other because this might be the only possibility for peace between their houses.So very political and historical, I cannot not love this story and I’m definitely all in for the next volume!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Selena

    Requiem of the Rose King is fascinating. I'm not sure how much I like it, but I'm definitely intrigued. This manga follows the "demon child" Richard, son of Richard of the House of York, during the War of the Roses. I wouldn't call this historically accurate by any means (Joanne of Ark's ghost is haunting people as a witch and other vaguely magical stuff is going on). Also, I'm pretty sure some of the clothing is anachronistic (though I'm by no means an expert on this time period). If you're a bi Requiem of the Rose King is fascinating. I'm not sure how much I like it, but I'm definitely intrigued. This manga follows the "demon child" Richard, son of Richard of the House of York, during the War of the Roses. I wouldn't call this historically accurate by any means (Joanne of Ark's ghost is haunting people as a witch and other vaguely magical stuff is going on). Also, I'm pretty sure some of the clothing is anachronistic (though I'm by no means an expert on this time period). If you're a big history buff of the time period, I suspect you'll be a bit disappointed on this front. The artwork reminds me a bit of an updated 1980s shoujo style. The faces are very expressive, though I admit they're similar enough that a lot of the blond-haired dudes look the same (to the point where I have trouble telling them apart). The story itself is hard to describe. I hate to throw out A Game of Thrones, but I'm pretty sure GoT is based on the same war as this one. It's not as heavy on the political intrigue, since it's a lot more wars and fighting in this first volume when it comes to Lancaster vs. York. It's got a bit more creepy factor going on, too, since Richard's supposed to be demon spawn. It certainly grabbed my attention, even if I had some trouble following what was going on. I'll give the next volume a shot and see how it goes.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I have NO idea what to make of this. It's been 7-8 years, but I have read Richard III and Henry the VI (both inspirations for this manga title) so I thought I knew what I was getting into. I was a little leery of mashing the two titles together, but Shakespear is so dramatic (especially his Histories and Tragedies) that I thought it would make a good pairing with a Shoujo manga. What's completely thrown me are the liberties that Kanno has taken with the characters and historical inspiration. I me I have NO idea what to make of this. It's been 7-8 years, but I have read Richard III and Henry the VI (both inspirations for this manga title) so I thought I knew what I was getting into. I was a little leery of mashing the two titles together, but Shakespear is so dramatic (especially his Histories and Tragedies) that I thought it would make a good pairing with a Shoujo manga. What's completely thrown me are the liberties that Kanno has taken with the characters and historical inspiration. I mean, first off, Kanno decided to swap the physical deformity of Shakespeare's Richard III to him now being intersex (!?!?) and Joan of Arc is a character, but she's now a spirit who haunts Richard. UMMM?? I'm not intersex, so I can't at all speak to the depiction of it that Kanno presents here, but I'm dubious of it (to say the least). The plot is also a little jumbled - things seemed to happen VERY quickly and I initially had trouble keeping track of who was who. This issue may lie more with me, but I felt like all the faces (except for Richard's) looked very similar which lead to some of my confusion. The narrative would occasionally jump around time-wise and I found these scenes weren't clearly delineated either. The art is typical shoujo-fare: very lithe, tall and beautiful people with sharp features everywhere. It is very pretty to look at though. I'm curious about the 2nd volume, and I'll probably give this series a few volumes before I decide to commit to it (or not), but for now, this was simply an 'okay' read for me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Haylee

    I absolutely love this manga. In fact, it's one of my favorites. It's a reimagining of Richard the Third, but instead of Richard being crippled, he is intersex, which causes all sorts of problems for him in his relationships with others, in his own character growth, and in his feelings of self-worth. His mother Cecily has always referred to him as a demon spawn that will bring down their noble house, and he's haunted by the ghost of Joan of Arc, who is continually feeding his inner hatred. There I absolutely love this manga. In fact, it's one of my favorites. It's a reimagining of Richard the Third, but instead of Richard being crippled, he is intersex, which causes all sorts of problems for him in his relationships with others, in his own character growth, and in his feelings of self-worth. His mother Cecily has always referred to him as a demon spawn that will bring down their noble house, and he's haunted by the ghost of Joan of Arc, who is continually feeding his inner hatred. There's also the backdrop of the War of the Roses, in which the House of York and the House of Lancaster are at odds, competing for the throne. This manga, aimed toward an older female audience, delves deep into the relationships between the characters while managing to retain a strong balance with the plot, bringing out the best of both aspects. It's a great reimagining of one of Shakespeare's best works, and one that is emotional and addicting all the way through.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jo Ladzinski

    Content warnings: Transphobia, misgendering, medieval violence The premise of this manga is that it is Richard III but instead of having a hump, Richard is intersex, with elements of Henry VI woven throughout. This cover kept coming up on recommendations and feeds, so I had to dive in. Dear readers, this is going to ruin my life and I am excited. We’re introduced to the conflict of the Lancaster and York families which has lasted for a while. It looks like the Yorks are winning, but things take a t Content warnings: Transphobia, misgendering, medieval violence The premise of this manga is that it is Richard III but instead of having a hump, Richard is intersex, with elements of Henry VI woven throughout. This cover kept coming up on recommendations and feeds, so I had to dive in. Dear readers, this is going to ruin my life and I am excited. We’re introduced to the conflict of the Lancaster and York families which has lasted for a while. It looks like the Yorks are winning, but things take a turn for the worst when York retreats. I love the relationship King Richard has with his son. His death is completely telegraphed, but its depiction on the last page pulled me right in. It’s moving, it’s brutal, and I went two days before I caved and got the last volume. Richard’s mother, Cecily, is a piece of work. She hates her son for being intersex, even though everyone around him otherwise accepts him. The other character who’s an asshole is the ghost of Joan of Arc, whose sole function seems to be to terrorize Richard. I’m invested enough that I definitely want to know more about her and the context for why she has latched onto this goth prince.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Katja

    So, I recently found out there's Wars of the Roses manga which has Richard III as the main character. Of course I had to check it out! And I've liked Aya Kanno's other work too. It's based on Shakespeare but pretty heavily remixed. Richard is a tragic character rather than purely evil, and most of all, I liked how Kanno changed the malformation aspect. The art is beautiful to look at, every character is super gorgeous. Don't mind that at all. The story indeed takes a lot of liberties. And if you d So, I recently found out there's Wars of the Roses manga which has Richard III as the main character. Of course I had to check it out! And I've liked Aya Kanno's other work too. It's based on Shakespeare but pretty heavily remixed. Richard is a tragic character rather than purely evil, and most of all, I liked how Kanno changed the malformation aspect. The art is beautiful to look at, every character is super gorgeous. Don't mind that at all. The story indeed takes a lot of liberties. And if you don't know about Wars of the Roses, I imagine it can feel confusing but I didn't find it difficult, just very fast-paced. Characters appear and are named only after chunk of pages and events happen rapidly. Overall atmosphere is very dramatic and brooding, fitting for the setting and the main character. I liked this and am intrigued to see what kind of character Richard grows up to be.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lapassehistoire

    |Review in EN & FR| What a lovely read ! Fine features, interesting and engaging characters and a historical intrigue that makes you want to discover more. Thanks to the mangaka, I also want to read Richard III and Henry IV of Shakespeare! + : everything - : at first, you may be lost by all the look alike characters ------- Quelle jolie découverte ! Un manga aux traits fins, des personnages intéressants et attachants et une intrigue historique qui donne envie d'en découvrir plus. Grâce au mangaka, j' |Review in EN & FR| What a lovely read ! Fine features, interesting and engaging characters and a historical intrigue that makes you want to discover more. Thanks to the mangaka, I also want to read Richard III and Henry IV of Shakespeare! + : everything - : at first, you may be lost by all the look alike characters ------- Quelle jolie découverte ! Un manga aux traits fins, des personnages intéressants et attachants et une intrigue historique qui donne envie d'en découvrir plus. Grâce au mangaka, j'ai aussi envie de lire Richard III et Henri IV de Shakespeare ! + : tout - : au début, on se perd un peu dans la multitude de personnages qui se ressemblent physiquement

  21. 4 out of 5

    CylonRev

    The genres demons AND royalty together?! COOL!! Loved the art in this! I could definitely relate to Richard (Not the king one) I think this story has a lot of potential and I hope to see that in the future volumes. I was kind of confused at points in this but the characters seem intresting....BUT.. I think to make them even more interesting we need to know more about them and their backstory. The war was also kind of confusing. Common questions I was thinking through out the story: What who's fi The genres demons AND royalty together?! COOL!! Loved the art in this! I could definitely relate to Richard (Not the king one) I think this story has a lot of potential and I hope to see that in the future volumes. I was kind of confused at points in this but the characters seem intresting....BUT.. I think to make them even more interesting we need to know more about them and their backstory. The war was also kind of confusing. Common questions I was thinking through out the story: What who's fighting? Who's that? What's that? Oh so that's that person. .... ............wa- .... ................ ...... wait..... is it? Will definitely keep reading this series though! 😆

  22. 4 out of 5

    DonutKnow

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Intense. A lot of power hungry characters 🤔

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brynn Rova

    Intriguing, but I think I'll need to keep reading to get more into it Intriguing, but I think I'll need to keep reading to get more into it

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    Read #1 Started on July 28, 2019 Finished on July 28, 2019 2019 Reading Rush Read #3 2.75 stars This was kind of a muddled confusing mess—mostly thanks to many of the scene transitions—but I can see potential. Will probably try the second volume eventually.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Laura Martinelli

    I do actually like Aya Kanno’s work, but between her first two series published in America, my feelings toward them are dramatically split. I really liked Otomen (although I will say that that series went on for about eight volumes too long), and I thought that Blank Slate wasn’t really that great. So when Viz announced that they were bringing over her newest series, I had figured that I would flip through it and maybe buy the first volume. And then I read that was going to be a reimagining of I do actually like Aya Kanno’s work, but between her first two series published in America, my feelings toward them are dramatically split. I really liked Otomen (although I will say that that series went on for about eight volumes too long), and I thought that Blank Slate wasn’t really that great. So when Viz announced that they were bringing over her newest series, I had figured that I would flip through it and maybe buy the first volume. And then I read that was going to be a reimagining of Richard III and I am sold. (Even though I haven’t actually seen or read most of the original play. YES BAD ENGLISH MAJOR BAD. I’ve seen the Reduced Shakespeare Company version, though? If that counts?) I will say that I thought that this was good and I’m really interested in picking up the next volume whenever it came out. However, there were a lot of moments of “Wait what” in this that distracted me from the story and my brain trying to figure out how certain plot elements were going to play out in the future. (view spoiler)[The major change that Kanno brings to the story is that Richard is actually biologically female, and was raised as male. (Biologically female or they’re a hermaphrodite. The artwork suggests the former, the writing and other characters’ description of Richard as a “demon child” suggests to me that it could be the latter. I am leaning towards the former explanation to be honest.) And I actually really like this angle, if Kanno develops well enough in future volumes. Richard’s characterization is still largely ambitious and power-hungry, if only towards their father’s sake. Richard is the one who pushes their father to pursue the English throne and to goad the House of Lancaster to battle. And considering how this volume ends, I’m interested in how that will develop. And I do like that even though Richard is presented as being more sympathetic, they’re still ambitious and potentially ruthless instead of being a straight villain. And it also works because we get such a great exploration of Richard’s relationships, not just with their mother and father, but with their brothers and Henry as well. I like that Richard’s desire that while their “deformity” is one of the reasons why Richard wants to be seen as a worthy son, I do like that their father does truly love Richard. (I don’t know exactly what’s going on with Richard’s mother on the other hand). And I like that Richard does get on with their brothers, and for the first volume, there’s really no sibling rivalry. I also really like how Henry VI is shown in this, and his own personal struggles of being pious and being the king. I really liked the moments between Henry and Richard in the field, and how Henry is just ready to hand the crown over to Lancaster if that’s what will stop the war. (To actually be honest, when I saw the cover and read the cover copy, I did think that this was going to be a BL version of the play. It doesn’t quite go there, but things still get pretty subtext-y between Henry and Richard). And I really liked Margaret—I liked that she’s the one willing to go to war and the hint about her previous love affair made me really interested in how that will turn out in the future. But most of all, I’m really interested in seeing Kanno return to gender roles and constructs in a more serious examination of those themes. That we have Richard’s patronus Joan of Arc in this series (and I don’t know what’s going on with Joan’s characterization because seriously what the hell) and that there is an actual endgame going into this series makes me hope that maybe Kanno could pull this off. I don’t know if she’ll portray it perfectly, but there’s less of a chance of the plot being unnecessarily drawn out. (hide spoiler)] As I said, I think there are just a few things here that jolted me out of the manga (manipulative patronus Joan of Arc, the reveal of Richard) which aren’t bad plot points, but the way they’re handled jolted me out of it. I am still interested in what’s going to happen in future volumes, and if Kanno’s twist on the material will largely effect the story. (I also have plans to give this to my Shakespeare-obsessed best friend to see what her reaction will be.) I’m definitely planning to pick up the next volume, and I really want to see what happens next.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nona

    I picked this up despite a somewhat lackluster review in OtakuUSA magazine, and I'm glad I did. The entire series is based on Shakespeare's commonly grouped Henry VI part 1, 2, and 3, and Richard III, starting with Richard as a child. In this version he is not a hunchback, but is instead apparently burdened with a less obvious but no less isolating difference. He is cursed by his mother as a demon, but his father loves him and he in turn is devoted to his father. According to a note by the author I picked this up despite a somewhat lackluster review in OtakuUSA magazine, and I'm glad I did. The entire series is based on Shakespeare's commonly grouped Henry VI part 1, 2, and 3, and Richard III, starting with Richard as a child. In this version he is not a hunchback, but is instead apparently burdened with a less obvious but no less isolating difference. He is cursed by his mother as a demon, but his father loves him and he in turn is devoted to his father. According to a note by the author there are at least parts that come directly from the plays, some of it her own translation and some of it from an apparently well-known and respected translator. I am not familiar enough with the first three plays to spot any particular passages, but I suspect that the retranslation of the manga to English has resulted in the loss of any artfulness in the language. Even without that I still enjoyed this telling, seeing the warring of love and hate within Richard and knowing what will come of it. Seeing Henry as someone who wants nothing to do with being a king, much less defending his claim to the throne. Seeing Richard and Henry's lives connect in unexpected ways that will only heighten the tragedy to come. I eagerly await the next volume.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Miss Susan

    retelling of henry vi and richard iii where richard is born intersex (demon child! his mother cries) and is devoted to making his father king and proving himself as a son on the battlefield. meanwhile henry is very religious and consequently kind of pacifist also joan of arc is demon. yeah, i don't really know what to say about that part as you can tell from the description it is all extremely shoujo and as i haven't read the plays i don't know where it's going. i look forward to finding out! 3 st retelling of henry vi and richard iii where richard is born intersex (demon child! his mother cries) and is devoted to making his father king and proving himself as a son on the battlefield. meanwhile henry is very religious and consequently kind of pacifist also joan of arc is demon. yeah, i don't really know what to say about that part as you can tell from the description it is all extremely shoujo and as i haven't read the plays i don't know where it's going. i look forward to finding out! 3 stars

  28. 5 out of 5

    FoxClouds

    Personal rating: 4.5 stars Read in one sitting! It is a blend of Shakespeare's Henry VI and Richard III and some original plot. I hesitate to call it a retelling but the art is so beautiful and the story is well developed. The panels are wonderful. Lots of details. Wish there'd be more fantasy/magic though but otherwise it is exactly what I love in manga. Personal rating: 4.5 stars Read in one sitting! It is a blend of Shakespeare's Henry VI and Richard III and some original plot. I hesitate to call it a retelling but the art is so beautiful and the story is well developed. The panels are wonderful. Lots of details. Wish there'd be more fantasy/magic though but otherwise it is exactly what I love in manga.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Read this in one sitting. It was amazing, couldn't put it down. Engrossing series. Read this in one sitting. It was amazing, couldn't put it down. Engrossing series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Caleb Tomas Calder

    MY GOD WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?! Richard bby I'm sure you're not a demon D: your mother just bleh. Also, hail the fucking psycho queen xD HenryxRichard is life. MY GOD WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?! Richard bby I'm sure you're not a demon D: your mother just bleh. Also, hail the fucking psycho queen xD HenryxRichard is life.

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