Random Manga Theatre 83: Rolan the Forgotten King

Hit the “Random” button and see what comes up! In this feature, we take a look at whatever manga the Random Number God decides to throw at us and find out if it’s worth your time.

This time: Boukyaku no Haou Roland, with art by Tubasa Haduki and scenario by Takumi Yoshino

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Fine, fine, I’ll write a post. Although, if I keep getting manga like this one, I might have to quit doing this feature. At least with horrifying trashy stuff, everyone can enjoy watching me suffer. But boring, run-of-the-mill manga? Nobody really enjoys those, least of all me. They’re painful to read, painful to write about, and the posts are painful to read. Nobody wins! Why are you still reading? Go away! Or even better, go read the other RMT posts instead. Most of those are probably better than this one.

Rolan the Forgotten King is a whirlwind of shoujo stereotypes, and poor worldbuilding besides. The eponymous Rolan is the captain of the guard and personal attendant to the princess, because he saved her life when she was a child (and when he was only a black-hearted mercenary, but her gaze allowed him to love again~). Now that she’s a teenager, she’s crushing hard on him (and despite him presumably being something like three times her age, he still looks to be that nebulous anime age between 14 and 20, which clearly makes it okay). Alas, she’s to be wed to the eeeeeevil (and also implausibly young) leader of the enemy nation – whose armies are bearing down on the empire – in order to negotiate a cease fire. But oh no! She doesn’t love him! She loves Rolan! She wants nothing more to be whisked away from this situation!

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And so of course Rolan makes his dashing entrance right before they kiss the bride, crashing the wedding and using his magitek sword (???) to defeat the groom’s pistol and electromagnetic shield (????????). I had thought up until then that it was some generic medieval fantasy world, considering the aesthetic and whatnot, but the manga proceeded to completely fuck up its pacing and worldbuilding from that point on. Apparently guns (sorry, “LT Weapons”) are ancient relics from an age gone by, but in that case, where do they get the bullets? And if guns (and the telegraph) are considered *woo incomprehensible ancient technology*, then why is nobody surprised when Rolan uses remote-detonated explosives? Or jacks an airship? On top of that, the writing itself is piss poor, with massive chunks of infodumping broken up by singular pages of “action”. Manga is supposed to imply movement, yes, but Rolan leaves far too much up to the imagination.

Verdict: Best Forgotten

This is a bad manga. Or at least, the beginning is bad. I admit I only read the first few chapters, and was given such a negative impression that I could not bear to read any more. As mentioned, something that’s just plain bad is harder to read than something that’s super bad, and this is just plain bad. Read something else.

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