The real world is just over the nearest balcony.
Title: The Violet Knight
Genre: Adventure, drama
Publisher: Cross Infinite World (US)
Artist: Ako Tenma
Translation: Charis Messier
Original Release Date: September 12, 2016
Review copy provided by Cross Infinite World
It’s always tough to be thrown out of your home. It’s even harder when you are literally thrown out of your home.
By your parents. Over a balcony.
In perhaps the most egregious example of, “Oh, I forgot to tell you…” ever, Yuki’s parents reveal her father is from another world, and now they’re sending Yuki there. Violet-eyed Yuki’s body has not grown at all since she was 10. So they figure, hey, maybe she’ll grow over there. As we find out, Aridol has knights and magic, and the dad only mentions all this as he chucks Yuki over the balcony.
And you thought your parents didn’t prepare you well for the real world.
Fortunately, Yuki is immediately rescued by Luca, a prince with a strained relationship with his eldest brother. She ends up becoming his Master, which unfortunately isn’t as fun as being the Sovereign in Kiss of the Rose Princess. In true RPG form, the two set off to face a pedophile.
Yes, you read that right.
Originally a web novel, The Violet Knight isn’t afraid to include some shocking imagery. The general’s creepy interest gives Yuki a good reason to act like the Legendary Witch that mentally scarred the general; more importantly, it gives readers a reason to be hooked by the story. When the first Boss is a pedophile, who knows who Yuki and Luca will face next? The other battles aren’t quite as shocking, but some dangerous situations last longer than other bad situations for a hero/heroine in another world. A couple of the situations may seem to be resolved a bit too conveniently, but I don’t know how else these parts would have been solved without a big “The End” sign.
What also helps capture my interest is Yuki’s abilities… or rather lack of. While most protagonists arrive in another world with some sort of special or legendary power, Yuki shows no special talents. She is good at archery, but that’s because she practiced for years. Her appearance is certainly a key plot point, but how much of her appearance is coincidence versus something more remains to be seen. Otherwise, she reminds me a bit of Usagi from Sailor Moon without all the loud crybaby-ness. (Everyone seems to treasure Yuki like the characters in Sailor Moon treasure Usagi as well.)
Yuki isn’t the only one without any magic. Almost everyone is reduced to old-fashioned warfare. It’s a little disappointing for those looking for a more traditional fantasy series. Don’t expect a traditional warrior-mage-healer party in The Violet Knight. In fact, Yuki’s party is pretty limited: an elite swordsman, his younger retainer/assistant, a brawler, and his sister. Not exactly a super team. At this point, though, the group’s mission is still unclear. I mean, I am almost positive that Yuki and company will save the conquered kingdom of Rvydom. But that’s hard to do when the other two countries are on the brink of war — even moreso when Luca’s own kingdom is fanning the flames. Right now, everyone is just following orders or saving people close to them, not plotting to overthrow an evil ruler. The story seems to be shifting toward this RPG-type adventure, but the story ends with Yuki having to face a more personal, independent challenge first.
Two main things really bothered me about The Violet Knight. (Well, besides the whole “kick your daughter to another world without explaining anything” deal.) First, Yuki keeps her real age hidden for much of the volume. Luca doesn’t display any knowledge of knowing Yuki is older than she looks. We see him disgusted when meeting the aforementioned general, but a particular scene comes across as slightly disturbing.
The story is also slow when it isn’t building toward drama. When the story is approaching a crisis, The Violet Knight is so good. But once everything is resolved and Yuki is traveling back to home base, the plot drags. It’s these periods that would be an opportune time to delve more into Aridol’s history or reveal key information like, oh, I don’t know, what the other two princes are up to! Even Yuki’s friendship with companions Ain and Tita rings hollow because the everyday life is skipped. (The two are set up to be the series’ beta couple though.) I know not all the chapters can live up to the thrill of kidnappings and executions, but it just feels like there is a big difference between the volume’s high and low points.
Once again, Cross Infinite World has commissioned Ako Tenma. As I mentioned in my My Favorite Song ~The Silver Siren~ review, this is a welcome addition. However, Yuki tends to look older than she is supposed to. I picture Yuki looking like the heroine of Petite Princess Yucie in my head. I know Yuki mentions she used to be tall for her age, but everyone around her treats her like a child, and she seems short for her age at best. Oh well, at least it makes some illustrations less disturbing with a (what appears to be) teenager in danger instead of a young child.
The Violet Knight is another winner for English fans looking for shoujo/josei fiction. And while the rating may be the same as My Favorite Song, I would actually put this one ahead slightly. Yuki goes through some dramatic, scary situations, and I can’t wait to see if Yohna will take a cue from her characters and push Yuki and the gang over the proverbial balcony.