Kajika is the fourteen-year-old heiress of the Burnsworth Corporation who just wants to live a normal life, but her father has other plans. He informs Kajika that her fate is a heavy one to carry and he will only tell her the full details when the man she intends to marry is by her side. As such he has set up a ‘marriage game' for her; Kajika will meet three men that he has specifically picked out and she is to select one of the three to become her husband. There's just one catch; Kajika must also make her chosen man fall for her, since the ‘suitors' are unaware of the game in which they are participating. For a girl who has never loved anyone except for her pet leopard, this game will prove to be a trial. With her over-protective childhood friend and personal shadow, Li Ren, keeping a close watch, will Kajika be able to choose who will become her lifelong partner and finally learn of her true fate?
(potential spoilers) There's power in choosing your destiny, in knowledge and danger stems from ignorance and allowing your successors to repeat your mistakes. I read this manga many years ago and the story always stuck with me. I went in expecting a reverse harem with some drama and maybe light angst, but I wasn't expecting the intricate tale woven from such basic plot line. The author breaks out of the box with one add on: she has to guess who is a part of her harem of suitors, and they have to fall in love with her without knowing they're a part of the game. There's political intrigue, mob antics, and love trangles riddled with plot twists. Kajika She's a very stoic but unserious character. She reminds me a lot of a manic pixie dream girl, but she has people who hold her accountable to her actions. This story centers a lot on her childlike nature (she's a teenager) and the need for her to act like an adult and shoulder her family's burdens. Li Ren He's my favorite. He was always my favorite and will most likely always be my #1. Most every one of these characters are so well rounded. He seems impartial or aloof but in order to protect Kajika and her father, he needs to act like his feelings don't run as deep as they actually do. Rumaty I was in shock when I found out the twist to his character. I think his story arc is crafted beautifully. I always find fictional countries and monarchies to be rip offs of other already established regions, usually England or Spain. Raginei has its own religion, traditions, lore, and traditional clothing. The internal laws and loyalties run so deep that I know that Mustafa (Eugene) In all honesty he reminds me of Ash from Banana Fish. I think they reflect each other's sorrow, they've both been raised to be used for slaughter, nothing more than scapegoats for their "guardians". BUt I like that the author allows him to be much more thaqn his sorrowful situation. He grows into a wonderful person. In all honesty I highly recommend this manga and the anime. I think it's a good adaptation.
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