Sadly, this is not Thirteensugars writing this entry. It is still Impz, due to the fact that my stupid girlfriend wriggled out like a piglet from the review of the first episode. She literally frustrated me with her inability to keep with the schedule, but she will be back with Episode 2 when it comes out. Please reject her claims that she is supposed to start only at the second episode. Which reviewer starts reviewing a series at the second episode anyway?
Lazy Thirteensugars. At least a consolation is that you know who to blame for the delay of this entry. Anyway, personal vendetta aside, Hakushaku To Yousei is the third shoujo series in this season, other than Nodame Cantabile and Skip Beat. As expected, we will be covering this series until it bores us. That said, will the first episode turn us off already?
In a dark room, a blonde man threatened a doctor with a gun, and asked for the whereabouts of the “ancient sword.” The professor said he did not know about the sword, but Lydia the fairy doctor might know. A gunshot then resounded in the night sky. In Edinbergh, Lydia received an invitation to England by her father. Huskly, a ship mate, brought Lydia on a ship to London. Nico said that the man was rude to identify Lydia just from her hair. Nico also pointed out a mass murderer suspect (blond hair and purple eyes) on the newspaper. After that, Huskly told Lydia to move to another room that is arranged for her. Describing the lush new room, Lydia wondered why her father booked such an expensive room. Not long after, she heard a knock on the cupboard.
She opened the closet and found nothing. However, a man suddenly grabbed her from behind, and she wondered if she will be killed. The man simply murmured, “Save me.” He said that Huskly is evil and he is enslaved by him. Huskly will kill him, and will deal with her after that. Despite being unsure of the threat, Lydia believed him. Lydia and the man made a plan, and they managed to escape. He asked if Lydia was worried she might be abducted by a pervert, but told her not to worry because he will save her. During their escape, her bag fell into the sea.
It turns out this man is an earl, with a dark skinned servant named Raven. He introduced himself as Edgar J.C. Ashenbert, Earl of the Blue Knights. Lydia said she had no time to deal with him, as she had an appointment in London. However, Edgar said the ship left. She realized that she is being abducted by Edgar and asked if his kidnapping is a ploy to capture her. Edgar said that it was the only way to be deliberately caught by them, so that he can get close to her. He also asked Raven to prepare an evening gown for Lydia for the ball later.
After she changed to her gown, Edgar complimented her. He added that she would be prettier if she smiled. She asked why she had to smile, and Edgar said the reason is for him. In the ball, Edgar suggested that he is interested in Lydia, but she sternly rejected his advances. They also talked about the Earl of the Fairies, with everyone thinking it is a joke. However, Lydia raised her voice, and said that it is the truth. She continued to say that it is an irony that they believe in the existence of the Earl, but not the fairy kingdom. Edgar, after being questioned by the others, said that he believed of this world as well. He said that he can only bring his bride back, so he is waiting for Lydia to accept his offer. Lydia realized he saved her from the awkward situation since she raised her voice.
At the deck, Nico was appreciating his wine and he asked what Edgar wanted. Nico said if he is the Earl, he probably wanted her help but told Lydia to stay clear. Nico added that he felt that Edgar looked pretenious but Lydia felt that Edgar was handsome. Edgar then appeared, with Lydia explaining that she was talking to Nico. Edgar simply said that fairy doctors can see things humans cannot, and asked for her help to retrieve the lost heirloom, the sword of Mellow/Merou. He also admitted he did not have the power to see fairies (the Earl should have the powers) and she said that she cannot believe or help someone like him. He told her that she does not need to believe him, but she lost all her valuables. Huskly is also hunting her down.
For me, one of the key things that I like about shoujo is the character chemistry between the main female and male. In this, Hakushaku to Yousei hits the right spot with two extremely likable main characters. Lydia is the strange girl who is misunderstood due to her talent. I hope she does not turn into the standard damsel in distress role in the later stages of this series, but it seems that this girl has more spunk in her than the many spineless female leads in shoujo series. Lydia possessed that quirky feel that makes her rather different. I hope it stays that way
Edgar, on the other hand, is a standard scream-at-your-face guy that is extremely mysterious and attractive at the same time. My girlfriend has many k-moments in the kyaa-o-meter, mostly due to the tension between Edgar and Lydia. I have predicted a 6th round TKO by an extremely powerful 8.7 point punch in the kyaa-o-meter for my girlfriend. I mean, these two have a chemistry that is already apparent in the first episode.
My girlfriend also noted during our shared viewing that the animation for this series is simple but effective. She added that she is surprised at the quality because there is a lot of detail put into the dresses and background in this series. I did not really take look of it until she mentions it. Surprisingly, she is right. I find that if Skip Beat (still bitter about the animation level) had the animation quality of Hakushaku To Yousei, it will be awesome.
I must admit that I am a bit confused at the start with the appearance of that man who is looking for Lydia. Is that Huskly? Is that Edgar? I am still trying to figure that out. The OP is very nice, and heads up to the wonderful seiyuu voicing the two main characters. They seem to fit the characters to a book. A quick look at ANN confirms my suspicions that it is Mizuki Nana in the main role. No wonder it is so good.
So, is it worth watching? Yes, if you are a shoujo fan. There is absolutely no reason for you to reject this. However, I cannot recommend this to any action fans. This is strictly shoujo material. Stay tuned on Saturday for a female perspective on this series by Thirteensugars.
Verdict: Good shoujo fare. Others need not apply.