Queen of Ragtonia Volume 1 by Chika Shiomi
I think my expectations were too high for this middle-of-the road fantasy title from Chika Shiomi. I’ve previously enjoyed her series Night of the Beasts and Yurara, but the first volume of Queen of Ragtonia fails to deliver the satisfying reading experience that I’ve come to expect from Shiomi. Falna is a Princess aided by a male Liesan spirit. Her left eye and the use of her legs were taken from her by demons. Cardus is an incredibly tall man with impressive musculature. His right eye was stolen from him by demons. He has the special demon-fighting sword called the Igliese that Falna’s been searching for. Together, they fight the Necromancer who controls the demons terrorizing the humans.
Queen of Ragtonia is based on a doujinshi (fan work) by Shiomi and she reworked it for regular publication. The non-professional origins of Queen of Ragtonia show in the way the stock fantasy plot elements are randomly thrown at the reader with not much in the way of explanation. Liesans are demon fighters, but what are they exactly? Demons drain energy from withered human body parts and the humans afflicted are known as Ragtonia? Where did the mystical Igliese sword come from? It seems that Falna can use the power of the sword to give the demons peace instead of destroying them.
There were a few things I liked about Queen of Ragtonia. Shiomi’s art is attractive. I liked the bantering relationship between Falna and the hulking Cardus. It was cute they way the new partners headed off to battle together with Falna perched on Cardus’s shoulder. After the first couple chapters, the manga actually surprised me when it revealed Cardus’s motivation for seeking out the Igliese sword. I’m going to give the second volume of this series a chance if it comes out, just because I have really enjoyed Shiomi’s work in the past and I like the dynamic between the main characters. If it doesn’t get much better than the first volume, I’ll likely drop the series. This manga was a bit on the thin side too, with less than 150 pages included. I guess I’ll have to wait a little longer to find a new fantasy series to get excited about.