For being a relatively new magazine, Aria has some tempting manga. While trying to decide on my latest order, I was going through their works and picked a few. Oujisama to Haiiro no Hibi (The Prince in His Dark Days) by Yamanaka Hiko was a surprising purchase for me, considering that I didn’t care for Ouji to Kotori. I think I was the only one that wasn’t crazy about it (lol), but it just felt too much like a Harlequin romance novel plot, down to the main guy being the classic foreign damsel in distress saved by the wealthy, handsome oil money prince. Characters are usually the most important aspect to me in a book and they were very lackluster to me. But when I read the blurb about her new work, Oujisama to Haiiro no Hibi, it sounded like she was showing us a much bigger range and I wanted to give her another chance.
Atsuko is a high school student who leads a harsh life because of her alcoholic father. She works dubious part-time jobs just to get by. The opening pages show her con a man who wanted to take an upskirt picture out of his money. She does this with no malice or any emotion for that matter. Atsuko figures misfortune is a given in life and nothing can be done about it. That is, until she meets people at the opposite end of the spectrum: a group of rich high school boys named Ryou, Itaru, and Shuuya. (?) From there, all their fates change drastically… Atsuko becomes a body substitute for the financial group’s heir, Itaru, and is subsequently taken away to a palace and becomes a “prince” in his place. With so much to gain from this deal, what could Atsuko possibly lose?
It’s a premise that has certainly been done before (I love HanaDan!), but I’m particularly intrigued by just how… dead Atsuko seems at the beginning. I’m curious to see how that will change. There’s just a few pages available for a preview.
If you poke around a bit, there’s positive buzz, including good comments about the characters, so I think this will be much more agreeable with me. :3 I’ll find out in early November when this order arrives (aah, can’t wait)… if it turns out to be crap, we are SO done. :-p