Sunday, January 20, 2008

Apothecarius Argentum

Apothecarius Argentum

By Tomomi Yamashita

Argent is a former slave, once the poison tester for the royal family. Over the years, he has developed an immunity to poisons, and has trained to become a master chemist able to cure any illness. Unfortunately, his very skin has become toxic, making it impossible for others to touch him. Which is quite sad actually, for Princess Primula, who’s life has been threatened once again by assassins, resulting in Argent’s recall to the kingdom to protect her.

There’s lots of story to spin out into further volumes, and it will be interesting to follow these two characters in a larger story arc. Argent is reclusive for several reasons, and his caution in the royal palace may be well warranted. Primula is a head-strong, courageous, though somewhat impulsive princess, who has yet to use her strength developed in training in the real world.

The drawing is good, very character based though, without the richly detailed backgrounds of other series. And there’s a bit of a mismatch in the dialogue, an unsuccessful attempt to mix romanticized medieval speech styles with contemporary language. But overall, it’s a manga full of potential, worth following up on future volumes.

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