Earl and Fairy (Hakushaku to Yousei) is not your average fairy tale; actually you might not want to go so far as to even call it one.
The (not your typical fairy tale-tale) begins with interrogation at gunpoint. Edgar, a strikingly handsome young man, is ready to kill for the information required to grant him vengeance. Information which requires the knowledge of Miss Lydia Carlton, one of the world's few remaining fairy doctors.
Lydia Carlton is a seventeen-year old fairy doctor living in a world which no longer believes in the existence of fairies. Instead of seeking out her help, her fellow townspeople gossip about the crazy girl who talks to 'fairies' and does all manner of odd things. Lydia's closest companion is a fairy cat named Nico who acts pompous, drinks his tea from a cup, and has a bit of a mischevious side. Nico is also the one who points out the dangers in front of his mistress.
Danger which starts when Lydia attempts to make a visit to London to see her father. Instead she is unknowingly kidnapped, saves a young man imprisoned on the same ship, and finds herself the now 'guest' of this man, Edgar. Edgar whose good looks win him hearts but underneath is a manipulative liar. Edgar who leaves Lydia with no choice but to help him find the sword of the merrow, the sword which belongs to the Blue Knight Earl. Claiming the sword would show him to be the true descendant of the Blue Knight Earl. Edgar doesn't believe in fairies and he certainly is no descendant but he will attempt it.
At his side is a young man, Raven, who is the host to an evil sprite. Any implied danger to Edgar and the blood-thirsty sprite turns Raven into a kick-ass fighting demon. Raven proves himself to kill mercilessly to protect his master. His sister, Ermine, is Edgar's other companion who escaped with him from the clutches of an evil man known simply as 'Prince.'
Lydia may appear to be a delicate naive girl but she has definite courage and fiery spirit. Even knowing Edgar is only using her she protects him. Edgar who never fails to be amazed at Lydia's kindness. Who is also entirely baffled by Lydia's continued refusals about his 'undying' love for her. She knows he has no qualms about taking out anyone in his way, including her. Finding the sword of the merrow will only be the beginning for this unusual pair. And what will Lydia do when Nico reveals Edgar's plan to use her as a sacrifice? Not all is at it seems in this unconventional fairy tale.
A Quick Recap:
Hakushaku to Yosei is an anime, light novel series, and a manga. I've watched, read, and gone through all three for one reason. Anyone who knows me knows just why I would've gone for this series, even if it had been called Lamest Manga on Earth. Thankfully for me I really found myself enjoying Hakushaku no Yosei. I found a lot of admiration for Lydia who has put up with so much crap for using the gift she was given in life. The girl has courage, a huge heart, and the ability to see the best in even the worst of people (like Edgar).
Edgar himself at times reminds me of a smarter Tamaki from OHSHC. He's got the surface charm. If that were his only trait the manga would have gotten old fast. Instead his dark past (a bit like Ciel's from Kuroshitsuji), incredible intelligence, and genuine confusion over the good in Lydia makes you want to keep on reading. Not to mention having Raven who is a bit of a bad-ass sociopath.
I also like the way the manga follows the light novels (mostly and a bit out of order). Sadly no one has gotten far enough to translate anywhere near to the last one. Which makes me a bit frustrated as I really enjoy the storyline. I plan on checking back in regularly in hopes of further translations.
To the Reader:
Having been reading mainly darker manga lately Hakushaku no Yosei was like a refreshing mojito. There is a lot of fresh humor (think the mint in a mojito) and an overall sweetness to the storyline. If you are an action manga fan there may not be enough for you here. For pure romantics you may get frustrated at the lack of whimsical love scenes. O well. In the manga world nothing is ever simple which is part of why Hakushaku to Yousei is a mix which should be sampled by any reader.
If you would rather try it out via anime, the anime does stick to the light novel storyline and via that the manga. You don't have to do all three to get a feel for whether or not this is the one for you.
Name(s): 伯爵与妖精; 伯爵與妖精; The Earl and the Fairy, Earl and Fairy, Hakushaku to Yosei, Hakushaku to Yousei, The Earl and the Fairy
Author: Tani Mizue
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance, Historical, Humor, Drama etc
Volumes: 4 (15 chapters total)
Pages per Chapter: ~30+
Light Novels: Yes (however not all translated)