Requiem of the Rose King Volume 6 by Aya Kanno
My only minor quibble with this series is that as it progresses, I sometimes have difficulty telling all the blonde Englishmen apart. However, once I’m further into each volume I start remembering the more subtle aspects of Kanno’s character designs and then I can tell who is who.
One of the themes of this series is the brutality of war and the psychological cost associated with making kings, both with those who seek power through manipulation and the kings themselves who end up as pawns in a bigger game of statesmanship. Richard and Henry have found a peace with each other that is utterly separate from their hidden identities as opposing Tudor and Yorks. While Richard as the central character of this manga is undoubtedly fascinating, I enjoyed the way this volume focused on the kingmakers Buckingham and Warwick, their varying relationships with Richard and the hazards of trying to seize power through putting someone forward for the throne.
Kanno’s artistic and surreal portrayal of Richard’s psychological torment and the horrors of war is a highlight in this series. The battle that Richard fights is made even more confusing by a fog that envelops the troops, causing the soldiers to be uncertain if they are fighting their own side or the enemy. As Richard heads towards the vengeance he desires for the death of his beloved father, he’s going to be even more overset when he finds out just who his Henry really is. It always feels like there’s quite a long wait between volumes, but this is one series that I’m going to be rereading from start to finish as soon as the final volume comes out, just to be able to get swept up in this fascinating story again.