Story/Art: Naduki Koujima
Translation/Adaptation: Sachiko Sato
What They Say
Shy Akira grew up in the country knowing little about the drama and fast-pace of city life. But when family circumstances force him to move to an incredible guarded mansion, he soon loses himself in the secrets that lurk down every corridor. Mysterious Rei is Akira’s age, and from the moment of their very first meeting in the palace garden, the two boys begin a journey to discover their new live4s, their quest for the roll of potential leader of a vast corporate empire . . . and maybe even their shared emotions. Love and legacy mix and mingle as Rei and Akira are set up to become heirs to a vast kingdom beyond their wildest dreams . . . will they rule together, or is there only room for one true leader?
Digital Manga Publishing prints their manga in a large format and provides a color dust jacket. The dust jacket cover has a picture of a smirking Rei holding a hovering crown in one hand and his other arm wrapped around a blushing Akira. The picture captures the personalities of both characters fairly well. The books title consists of blue, green and orange letters and has a somewhat jumbled appearance. The back cover has a story synopsis and a small picture of another character named Raoul. Under the dust jacket the book cover itself is in shades of purple.
The only extras are Akira’s observational diary that describes the men in his life and a letter by the author.
The art is fairly clean and the characters are well proportioned aside from the extra long fingers. The shading was pretty unimpressive and the backgrounds are mostly nonexistent, but there is a surprisingly large amount of detail in the characters hair. I know it sounds strange when they all have short hair, but the artist really makes a point to draw the hair thin and detailed.
The translation reads well and there were not any glaring grammatical errors. The Japanese honorifics have been removed with characters referring to each other as Mr. and Sir. But then at certain points characters will say something like ‘don’t call me san’. Which is understandable when Rei and his bodyguard are from America, but why would Japanese characters, especially in such a prestigious house, not use honorifics with each other? The whole thing was rather bothersome throughout the entire length of the story.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Akira is a fifteen year old boy who has recently become an orphan after the death of his grandmother. But luckily for him, his grandmother from his father’s side is the head of the Takatou family and she has summoned him to the city to live with her. When he reaches the extravagantly large house of the Takatou family, he quickly discovers they are a large and very wealthy family. Eventually he learns he was summoned to live in his grandmother’s house so he could enter training to determine whether or not he can become the next head of the Takatou family.
It turns out Akira is not the only young man being groomed for the position as president of the Takatou family. His half-American cousin Rei Basil is also living in the house and under going similar training. The two cousins get off to a bit of a rocky start as Rei starts physically showing his affection for Akira. The whole situation sends Akira into a whirlwind of confused emotions as he tries to decipher whether or not Rei is being serious or if his attitude is just part of his American heritage. For that matter, Akira is not even sure how he feels about Rei, although he does think Rei is cute.
With Akira’s feelings undecided, he is sent to attend a family party with Rei, who becomes very angry when he discovers there are Basil family members also in attendance. The situation becomes heated when Raoul Basil makes an entrance and begins to belittle Akira. An argument ensues and eventually leads to some bondage and fist-a-cuffs. As a full-blooded American, Raoul has no chance of becoming head of the Takatou family, so that just leaves Akira and Rei. Neither appear to really want the position so will either succeed in the end? Will the relationship between the two of them become stronger? Who knows? Only the Ring Finger Knows. Oh sorry wrong series.
Our Kingdom has more incestuous BL than you can shake a stick at. Akira and Rei are cousins who are both living in the same house and attracted to each other, and Rei is more than happy to show it. Apparently there are no televisions or reading materials in the house so the two of them have plenty of time to get to know each other, even though confusion mostly comes of it. Then Rei has a nephew named Raoul who just happens to be his age and in love with him. So much so that Raoul tries to take advantage of Akira to get Rei’s attention.
The love triangle itself sits on top of a competition to see whether or not Akira can out perform Rei to take on the leadership roll of the wealthy Takatou family. But Rei only seems to want to find his way into Akira’s bed and otherwise behaves like he has no interest in being the next family president while Akira doesn’t really know what he wants. So in the end we are left with two young men uncertain of their future and feelings towards each other. I guess my only big complaint was the confusion I felt with the way honorifics were treated. But this probably wouldn’t bother others too much.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B-
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B-
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
Release Date: December 29th, 2005