Manga Nibbles: The 31st Consort Chapters 1-3 Quick Look

Once and a while I like to scroll through BookWalker and see what new manga and light novels are out that I may not have heard of. They usually have some good sales too, or single chapters of manga that they release for free as a preview of the series. I was bored today, and decided to scroll through the free section, and came upon The 31st Consort. The first three chapters are up on BookWalker for free, so heck, why not? From the description it seemed kind of like a romantic drama but with a slightly lighter tone. A competition for love in a slightly fantasy-esque world of kings and queens. I could use some historical/fantasy romance right now, so let’s dive in and see how the first three chapters shake out?

The 31st Consort is a manga that follows King Macron in his search for a consort and future queen. According to tradition, the search begins with 31 women being chosen as potential consorts, the king meeting with each of them for one day out of every month. After 30 women were sent to the capitol, the 31st position was left vacant. Felia is a young noble-woman from a remote village specializing in medicinal herbs, a country-girl born and bred. After being chosen as the 31st consort and sent to the capital, she makes it her mission to stay true to her country roots and herself.

Tsubasa Nanaki did the art for this manga, working with Nanao Yamashita as character designer. I really enjoyed the art in these pages. The characters are very nicely designed and Nanaki is great at making them expressive throughout the chapters. In a way, the style reminds me a bit of Fruits Basket in the later books, especially in the design of Felia. I had no problem with the panel design, and I think Nanaki does a great job utilizing the pages to their full advantage. The panels can be unique, with the characters breaking out of the bounds. Nanaki also uses darker values to the story’s advantage in order to highlight or separate key moments. 

Story-wise, after reading the first three chapters, I think this manga has promise. However, I do think that maybe the relationship between Macron and Felia starts out a little too quickly. By the third chapter, we see that he is interested in her. However, I really do like the whole country girl versus prince story we have going on. I think it will make for a lot of interesting moments where Macron may need to adapt his way of thinking as Felia refuses to change or hide who she is. In a way, that is the real strength of any romance story: how the characters adapt to strengthen and progress their relationships.

The whole competition angle may get annoying, but so far I haven’t really seen a formidable rival for Felia just yet. The only other consort that we see a good deal of, Macron already doesn’t like, and I think she may be relegated to more of a petty rival status. The challenges may come from Felia trying to win over people and adapt to the more courtly way of living that is inherently different from her country upbringing. I think we’ll probably see a lot of chapters where Felia is forced to train or learn certain things like dancing and etiquette. Other than that though, with the establishment of Felia as a calming and nurturing presence for both the king and his men, this could turn out to be a very sweet and wholesome series.

The first three chapters are free on BookWalker right now if this series sounds like something you’d be interested in. I know I plan on reading more, and I’m excited to see where the story goes from here. If you’ve had a chance to read it, let me know what you thought in the comments below!

~~Thanks for Reading!~~

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