The Princess's Jewels
|Original review author:||Long Tom|
|Webcomic name:||The Princess's Jewels|
|Author:||Story: JYUN, Art: Hong Cha|
|Start Date:||July 14, 2021|
|End Date:||June 8, 2022. The author states that the series will continue, but don't hold your breath.|
|Defining Flaw:||A molasses-slow and repetitive story with insufferable characters.|
One person joined the forum to complain about this webcomic and recommended it be listed. We agreed, but several people just didn't care to read enough of this webcomic to write a review. So I took on the task.
This thing always sucked.
Story and Plot
The home page of the webcomic explains the storyline:
Doesn't sound bad, does it? A female deciding she wants power for herself instead of having to let a male have the privilege? But let's describe the plot:
Episode 1: Princess Ariana is at a ball, surrounded by men who want to dance with her. Then the story talks about one year ago, when Ariana meets her father, the emperor, who has come back from a successful battle where the empire has gained more territory. Bavilo, his son, says he wants to accompany the father into battle to also fight, but the emperor insists that the son stay home. The younger brothers, seeing this, note that Ariana is a woman and cannot take her father's place, and instead would become the wife of another prince. But Ariana desires to become empress of the realm, and to even have several husbands to achieve that goal.
Episode 2: The emperor describes the war in which an enemy nation attacked, only to be defeated by his forces instead. The dark-skinned Duke Phantom is the hero of the latest victory, and the emperor is about to present him with an award, but Ariana insists on doing so, and she does. But the emperor is later displeased when Ariana would later meet with Phantom in private. Of course, he is recruited to be one of the "jewels" to help her become empress of the realm.
Episode 3: It turns out that Ariana is a talented swordfighter as well. (Though arguably TOO talented for a princess, even if women of that world are expected to know how to fight and defend themselves.) But she still needs to collect another "jewel", namely Prince Efrit, who wears a birdlike mask which he refuses to remove to show his real face...but he might do so for Ariana.
Episode 4: Efrit Karzia removes his mask and volunteers to join forces with Ariana. But some women are not happy with this business... But already Ariana has in her sights a man named Huan Baek, a commoner favored by the royalty of yet another kingdom, as a future "jewel".
Episode 5: Unlike the others, Huan Baek is still very loyal to his king and queen and does not care to leave them to join with Ariana. They fight, and then Huan reconsiders.
Episode 6: Huan can wait, for Ariana now has to visit the kingdom of Galdeon, and meet with the son of their king. He is of course wowed by her magnificence.
Episode 7: The son tries to control Ariana, but of course she turns the tables.
Episode 8: It turns out that Duke Phantom has canine ears and tail emerging. The idea is that he is a werewolf. Wow, something new this time!
All the same, this thing has gotten so repetitive I decided to skip ahead to see if anything else would happen:
Episode 20: Finally, people complain to the Emperor about Princess Ariana's behavior. Namely that her having five lovers would set a bad example for the rest of high society, especially as she is already engaged to the Duke of Crytear. But another problem is that the emperor's older son wants to be next on the throne, and the emperor himself actually prefers the younger son, despite his being underage. Ariana has heard of the treasury being looted and offers to investigate who is doing this.
I've seen enough. Ariana may want to become empress of all the lands, but I found her an insolent bully who is the last person I would want as my sovereign. You would think her father would have the sense to see this, but seemingly he doesn't.
As said above, it is very good manga, with occasional Chibi pictures thrown in as occurs in other manga comics. Overall, the art style is baroque, and drawn with proper proportions and no big inaccuracies.
Unfortunately, I could not retrieve even a single frame, so this will have to do. But this picture, of the title princess and Duke Phantom, one of the men she intends to help her become empress, does illustrate what I mentioned about coloring problems. Not only is the princess too pale, but Duke Phantom has unnaturally dark skin and yellow eyes, making him literally look like he has hepatitis, which I assume wasn't the intended idea. (Okay, he is supposed to be a werewolf, but even werewolves are not normally so dark.)
I already mentioned how Princess Ariana is a Mary Sue who I came to dislike, but that is not the story's only major flaw. Each episode is a long strip of pictures you have to scroll downwards to read. And each episode moves very slowly, and basically they are all the same-Ariana has an objective, and she is so charming and impressive (to the other characters in the story, anyway) she always gets what she wants. Lather, rinse, repeat. The story would be far more interesting if Ariana actually had had to face real problems that required her to do more than simply turn on the charm and everything is magically solved.
No information on either one of them.
I get that the idea of this webcomic is fantasy-werewolves and all that. Also, people fighting with swords, even though the characters' clothing clearly would date in type and style from no earlier than the nineteenth century, when firearms long since replaced edged weapons in the military.
But the real problem with this whole shebang is that while we are supposed to find Princess Ariana ambitious and charming, instead she comes across as brazen and arrogant. She may be the daughter of the emperor of all the kingdoms, but she is simply a princess who has other siblings who would be more likely to eventually take the emperor's throne. And as mentioned above, I did not find her someone who I would want to rule over me. Unfortunately we are supposed to hope that she takes the throne and I found myself hoping that she would never be allowed near it.
On top of that, this whole webcomic is just plain boring and repetitive and could not hold my interest.