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REVIEW: Hakushaku to Yōsei (Earl and Fairy)

Posted 01-07-2009 at 07:18 PM by The Anime MMOG
Updated 01-07-2009 at 07:28 PM by Catharsis
Hakushaku to Yōsei (伯爵と妖精, “Earl and Fairy”)
Genre: Fantasy, Love-Romance, Shoujo
Year: 2008
Episodes: 12 episodes (season 1 completed)


It is 19th century England. A young lady named Lydia, a “fairy doctor” who can see and interact with fairies, is on a ship heading to London to see her father when she encounters a dashing man who introduces himself as Edgar Ashenbert, the long-lost Earl of Ibrasel (aka the Blue Knight Earl), a nobleman both legendary in England and the fairy kingdom. He seeks Lydia’s help to find the mythical Sword of Merrow to claim his birthright as the Blue Knight Earl.

Episode 1 Screenshots:
Spoiler!


E&F would have been the typical shoujo reverse-harem, as it certainly had the usual spices for such - a young heroine surrounded by dashing men, off to an adventure within a passably amusing plot, with romances budding along the way – which would have been normally off-putting for myself, except that the characters just intrigued me.

Case in point: Edgar.

Do NOT be deceived.

Oh, Edgar; a perfect, gorgeous, charming Adonis. The blonde hair, tender expression, and ash-mauve eyes are quite possibly the most beatific combination in any bishounen, reminiscent of angel… Except that the pilot episode introduces him while torturing a man with a sadistic glint in his eye. Later on Lydia discovers that he had escaped from America where he was charged as a serial killer. How’s that for a leading man?


LOL pick-up line?

Throughout the series, the audience would be as torn as Lydia about this hero-cum-villain. On one hand, he spews the most flowery words that could probably woo the sun into rising from the West. On the other hand, he’s a deceitful, conniving bastard who manipulates everyone around him to achieve his own ends. His charming smile and lilting words (check out that pick-up line in the screenshot) are always lies in truth, truth in lies. Lydia is torn between falling in love and running away screaming. Poor girl.


Mmm, homicidal butlers.

As if the Earl’s penchant for deceit were not enough worry, Edgar also employs what could possibly be the most awesome butler ever (no shit, Kuroshitsuji fans). The stoic young man known only as “Raven” serves Edgar as both attendant and bodyguard. His left eye is “possessed” by a spirit that automatically turns him into a walking weapon once it senses that Edgar is in danger, his dagger weaving through bodies faster than I can follow. Bloodbaths, f*** yeah!


”You look good enough to eat.” *licks lips* “…Literally.”

What reverse harem is incomplete without a love triangle? And what better competitor for Lydia’s love than a horse?! “Cain” (not his real name) is a kelpie, an aquatic horse fae that has apparently been courting Lydia for years, not that she has been remotely encouraging (can’t blame a girl for not wanting to marry a man-eating water spirit).


Episode 2 Screenshots
Spoiler!


Plot-wise, it’s adequate. Lydia and Edgar embark on a journey to retrieve the sword as well as his title as noble, and afterwards use Edgar’s newfound status in society (*cough*conman*cough*) to pursue vengeance against a mysterious man called the “Prince” and his organization. They come up against both human and fairy villains sent by the Prince to destroy Edgar. There’s a whole can of worms in the back story (Edgar’s shady past, his motivations for vengeance, the identity of the “Prince”, etc) that never really gets tackled in the series yet. The “Prince” does not even make an appearance, and the series ends with too many questions – Who is this “Prince”? Who the hell is Edward really? Will Lydia ever agree to marry this conniving bastard of an Earl? – which will probably remain unanswered unless they make a season 2. The light novels are still ongoing, after all.



The Verdict: It’s not amazing, but still enjoyable. The characters are well-drawn (I love watching Raven in manslaughter-mode), and the art is relatively consistent. There’s plot, but don’t expect the series to be plot-driven, as the first season seems to be more intended for character and relationship development rather than storyline progression (albeit the latter catches on as the series progresses).

Generally there’s enough going on to keep one interested, and if that isn’t enough, the series treats the girls to nice fanservice (and really, who doesn’t like half-nude bishounen in the ending credits?) and massive lip service from Edgar, the god of pick-up lines himself. It was worth my time, but don’t count on me watching the series again or groveling at whatever-gods-may-be for a season 2.


Nothing like naked men on white sheets to end an episode.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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Posted in Anime , Shoujo
Views 3184 Comments 5 Email Blog Entry
Total Comments 5

Comments

  1. k0n's Avatar
    Those eyes. It reminds me ZERO.
    permalink
    Posted 01-07-2009 at 08:04 PM by k0n k0n is offline
  2. Catharsis's Avatar
    OMG you're right, it's like Geass! Except that it activates berserk mode! :U
    permalink
    Posted 01-07-2009 at 09:08 PM by Catharsis Catharsis is offline
  3. khyle's Avatar
    already finished downloading the batch torrent of this but only saw episode 1 today
    will watch it marathon style this weekend ;D
    permalink
    Posted 01-08-2009 at 04:44 AM by khyle khyle is offline
  4. Catharsis's Avatar
    If anyone's looking for direct DLs to this series, contact me via PM. ^o^
    permalink
    Posted 01-08-2009 at 07:35 PM by Catharsis Catharsis is offline
  5. RandomCrazyBuns's Avatar
    :O Cath beat me to it
    I was gonna do a detail preview+review of the last few eps, but didn't have the time to._.
    Hawt bishies <3
    permalink
    Posted 01-09-2009 at 09:18 PM by RandomCrazyBuns RandomCrazyBuns is offline
 
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