Name: Prince in His Dark Days
Mangaka: Yamanaka Hiko
Volumes: 4 (Complete)
Licensed: Kodansha (4 Volumes: Digital/Print)
Genre: Drama/Slice of Life
Age Group: Teen
Atsuko is a young high-school girl who leads a troublesome life. Working a scandalous job for the sake of survival, her reputation is in tatters and she is scorned by her peers. But one day she is noticed by one of three rich boys, Itaru, which she resembles in an uncanny way. Immediately she finds herself whisked away from her everyday life and into a new world where she is forced to take on the role as Itaru’s double and replace him as the “Prince”.
Graphics Rating: 4/5
Plot Rating: 5/5
Opinion: I re-read this recently to give a review and I have to say I enjoyed it even more the second time around and was still able to be surprised.
The art is very unique especially for a shoujo. It’s very minimal and sharp. I’m still surprised it wasn’t a josei just based on art alone.
To start the heroine is very unlikable. I feel bad saying that because honestly she has been given a very tough go at life. That being said her growth during the series is impressive even if she only improves a little bit.
What makes this series a must-read is the genuine slice-of-life plotlines and character arcs that discuss what humans need to be happy. Each character in the series seems to have their own unhappiness. Shitty parents, absent parents, lack of money, too much money, inability to keep friends. These themes definitely were not all RELATABLE but it was still interesting to read and very heartfelt.
If you enjoy slice of life shoujo/josei or want to read something a bit different I highly recommend this series.
Final Rating: 4/5