Henkyou no Roukishi: Bard Loen

Alt title: Old Knight in Frontier

Vol: 9+; Ch: 64+
2016 - ?
4.028 out of 5 from 188 votes
Rank #2,986
Henkyou no Roukishi: Bard Loen

A lone knight who for many years served House Tersia, on the eastern edge of the continent. Now old and weak, he saw that it would not be long before he left this world. And so he retired from his master’s service, gave up his fortune and set off on a journey. A carefree journey with rare sights and food. But he did not know it. That this journey was the beginning of a story that would one day be talked about all over the continent.

Source: MU

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I love the setting and world-building. I like how the concept of us following an old hero on an adventure and read about him experiencing the world and reminiscing the past. the The artstyle is really nice, with some awesome character designs. The main character is quite gentle yet very strong, and I identify a lot with the way he appreciates good food! It's also great to see how MC approaches other people and other species without prejudice, often taking the time to learn their values. HOWEVER. READ THIS PASSAGE FROM THE SERIES. "..Aidra's body was soft, supple and drenched in brightness. By grasping that SMALL body, Bard was able to obtain unparallel happiness." AYO?? You guys- I seriously wanted to believe Bard viewed Aidra as maybe a younger sibling figure he dearly cherished, hence his desire to protect her. But the way she is drawn in the manga during her childhood is kind of suspicious, like her poses seem a bit sexualized/hyperfeminine for her age. It's strange because she is described as a "tomboy" character. To worsen my doubt, the next line after that is, "A long time had passed, and Bard regained his senses. Aidra's father and elder brother were right in front of him, so was it okay to hold her?" ... which kinda sets in stone that his feelings towards her aren't not-romantic. Dear lord. I'm just tired of seeing female characters in male-centered adventure or hero stories portrayed in this manner. Yes, maybe it's accurate for women of this setting/time period to meet their end in sad silence, without having achieved anything besides bearing children, while the men get all the glory and exact the revenge for her sake. I would have loved it if this series could break that mold for once. It's falling into that "dead-wife" trope. I'm also not loving my suspicions on the p*dophilia from MC as much as I genuinely like his character. It's a big shame because this is kinda a big peeve for me, which is why it's rated a bit lower. There are no other issues besides this, as far as I can tell.

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