For the past six months or so, I’ve been reading plenty of manga, so I thought I’d start a little series here to discuss these little gems (or horrors!) I’ve found. We did a quick spotlight on one for Valentine’s Day, Shiawase Kissa Sanchoume (Happy Cafe), which is a cute shoujo romance/comedy about part-time cafe worker Uru and her weird co-workers. I don’t know why I read shoujo when the main character never chooses the love interest I would like to see her pick. I guess I just like the cutsie art.
Moving on to the latest manga I’ve been working through: Ookami-Heika no Hanayame (Wolf King’s Bride), another shoujo romance/comedy with historical charm. To stave off marriage proposals of ambitious government officials, the king’s aid hires a part-time consort. Yuurin is a city girl with a father who is constantly in trouble with the debt collectors and a younger brother with school tuition to pay. In need of the money, she takes the job with the belief that the Wolf King is just an act to secure the throne, and the king is truly a puppy, only showing this side of his personality to those he trusts completely.
Sensing the loneliness of the King, Yuurin pledges to be there for the King when he needs her. He comes to her after his work is finished at the palace and they often drink tea together and talk before he retires for the night. It remains chaste and pure behind the scenes for all the acting they do in public. Over the course of the manga, Yuurin must overcome many obstacles, some as small as acting her part well, and others as dangerous as assassination attempts. We discover soon enough, that like the King, Yuurin’s personality also has another side, a fierce and strong side.
Her greatest fear though, is when the “Wolf King” personality comes out. Yuurin is known in her hometown as not being very popular with the boys, so when handsome, forward Wolf King so much as pays her a compliment, she panics.
Unfortunately, Yuurin is constantly getting into trouble and breaking things, resulting in her need to continue to work as a part-time bride for the King. The King grows very fond of Yuurin so some of these misfortunes seem almost planned. Eventually, Yuurin figures out that the quick beating of her heart means she has fallen for the King and tries desperately to talk herself out of such foolish feelings. After all, she is a lowly commoner and he is way above her station.
This manga is still ongoing and currently in the 43rd chapter as translated on Manga Fox. If you like slow building romance with a sprinkling of humor set in historical scene, then this one is for you. It reminds me a little bit of Kamisama Hajimemashita minus the reverse harem aspect. These two are the only love interest in this story with the only things coming between them is politics, intrigue, and their own stubbornness.