Manga / Aruosumente

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Aruosumente (The Sage's Dream) is a Josei manga created by Aki, which started serialization in January of 2010.

It tells the story of Legna, nicknamed Angel, one of the last members of a clan of dream seers, so-called Oracles, in the service of the royal family and responsible for His Majesty's safety.

One night, Legna dreams of an overpowering killing intent presumably aimed at the young Emperor Artian, but finds himself unable to sense its source. Determined to fulfill his duty as Oracle, Legna decides to enact the rumored Aruosumente (Sage's Dream) ritual, but finds that he has to pass a trial in order to obtain the desired answer.

However, to do so, he has to first disentangle court intrigues reaching back to his own father's death ten years ago.

Aruosumente provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Anger Born of Worry: Legna is known for getting angry whenever he catches His Majesty outside his duties, e.g. while trying out a new invention, which leads to elaborate plans to hide any such activity from Legna. However, that's because he's responsible for His Majesty's safety, and they're childhood friends besides.
  • Bad Liar: Legna, due to lacking imagination and being stubborn, is really bad at telling lies, and usually doesn't bother, so the one time he does he is immediately called out on it.
  • Blood Knight: Justified. As a child, Dante was made to fight the invading army from Finfield by Oracle Kian, just to get rid of Dante, and could never shake the memories. Just the smell of blood alone turns him into a Blood Knight and makes him go on a rampage, attacking people at random and enjoying it. For this reason, he is forbidden from participating in tournaments.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: With only two named female characters, the cast is overwhelmingly male and everyone below the age of fifty and with a name is pretty.
  • Childhood Friends: Legna and Emperor Artian. Since Legna's father served Artian's father as an Oracle and Legna was meant to be raised as secluded as possible, Artian was the only other child he had any contact with and they became friends. By the time of the prsent story, however, the two have grown apart due to Artian's carefree nature and Legna's tendency towards Anger Born of Worry.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Emperor Artian was very young when his father died and he inherited the throne, and during the present time of the story he still is little more than a teenager.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Almost every member of the main cast has one, and the further the story progresses, the more is revealed in bits and pieces, all weaving together to form the events of ten years ago:
    • Lante and Dante were refugees taking in by Oracle Kian and the former Emperor just to prevent an enemy kingdom from getting their hands on Dante's fighting abilities, then sent out to certain deaths when Kian decided Dante was uncontrallable.
    • Moeran saw his beloved teacher killed in connection to Oracle Kian, then got threatened with lifelong imprisonment unless he never tells anyone a word of what happened.
    • Legna himself was supposed to be raised in seclusion but then given to his father to be raised by him, only to lose his father and have to take over his position, without ever being told what actually happened.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: The Sage comments on how Legna has great abilities as an Oracle but lacks the knowledge and refinement to use them fully.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The entire point of having an Oracle around is that they are capable of having prophetic dreams. The plot is kicked off by Legna dreaming of someone shouting "Die!" but being unable to determine the killing intent's source.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Jasmin Fiorella really hates his name, especially his first name, blowing up on Lante every time the latter calles him that — naturally, Lante is not fazed.
  • Embarrassing Last Name: Jasmin Fiorella really hates his name, although his first name is more of a berserk button, considering how he blows up every time Lante calls him Jasmin.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Invoked. Jasmin Fiorella would love to be called Strategist to make everyone forget his embarassing first and last names, but Lante enjoys pulling Jasmin's strings way too much to let that happen.
  • Feather Motif: Oracles wear cloaks with angel wings on the backs, representing their ability to hear God's voice in their dreams.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Inverted. It's flamboyant and chatty Lante who takes responsibility when the seemingly serious, quiet Dante reacts on an impulse and goes off the hook, sometimes even attacking people at random.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: Moeran hates Oracles because Oracle Kian, Legna's father, was somehow involved in the death of Moeran's precious teacher, and while Legna was sheltered from any consequences, Moeran was instead threatened with permanent imprisonment. Eventually, Moeran realizes that Legna has no idea what happened and seems ready to forgive him, though he's by far not ready to forget. Forgiving and forgetting Legna's ignorance is another matter.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Jasmin Fiorella. Lante claims that came about because Jasmin's mother wanted a girl, but he could be lying just to see Jasmin lose his cool, as Jasmin hates the name.
  • Girly Bruiser: Rita Rina, one of Lante's White Knights, wears rather form-fitting armour which obviously includes a skirt, wears her hair long and is in love with Lante. At the same time, she has no problems defeating several opponents during the tournament without breaking a sweat.
  • Hime Cut: Legna himself is a rare male example, although it's not immediately obvious because most of his hair is hidden beneath his cloak; he has long black hair with bangs and side tails cut off at chin level. He is also, as the Oracle, of a high social status, traditionally minded to a fault, and outwardly calm and dignified.
  • His Story Repeats Itself: An intergenerational example. Oracle Kian had to die because he got too involved with matters of the military, after which a rule was established that the Oracle may not have any connections to the military. Legna's quest to find the source of the killing intent, however, forces him to investigate more than the Senate would ever approve, and he becomes friends with Lante — the commander of the White Knights — , threatening him to unwittingly repeat history.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Lante and Dante have adopted light and dark clothing colours respectively to allow others to tell them apart more easily. Lante also wears flowers in his hair in contrast to Dante's spikier hair ornaments.
  • Inner Monologue: Many of Legna's lines of thought and conclusions are presented as inner monologues.
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • Angel for Legna; it also doubles as a Meaningful Name, and is based on the angel wings Oracles wear on the backs of their cloaks of office. Legna's not particularly happy about the nickname, but doesn't protest too much either.
    • Dante is nicknamed "Black Chariot" because of his deeds — killing 300 enemy soldiers in one battle — ten years ago.
  • Intrinsic Vow: Dante's determination to protect Lante is so great that even during his Blood Knight bouts of rampage, he will stop in his tracks as soon as he hears Lante's voice.
  • Keeping the Enemy Close: Oracle Kian's original thought behind taking in Lante and Dante, with the latter being a loose cannon waiting to happen. He reasons it's better to keep them close than to have them fall into enemy hands and be used as weapons. It is also the reason Lante and Dante have been made commanders of the White and Black Knights respectively.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Moeran stands out even among a Cast Full of Pretty Boys thanks to his Rapunzel Hair and loose robes.
  • Meaningful Name: Legna's own name, which is backwards for Angel, his In-Series Nickname. As a sign of his office, he wears a cloak with angel wings on its back, as did his father Kian.
  • The Medic: Moeran, one of the council members, turns out to have studied medicine at the Shengtalisi, the most prestigious university of his home country. His private rooms still look like those of a doctor, even though he's not actively practising medicine openly.
  • Mook Horror Show: Dante single-handedly killing 300 enemy soldiers when he was a child does not make for a pretty scene.
  • Mysterious Waif: Doubly subverted. When Legna finally turns his attention to Moeran, Moeran seems quiet, fey and mysterious, and a foreigner, too. Legna even assumes Moeran is writing something mysterious because he cannot read the writing. Turns out Moeran's handwriting is simply terrible, he just prefers to be quiet and never talks to Legna because he hates Oracles. Except he actually is an important clue to what happened ten years ago, as he witnessed Oracle Kian's death, saw his own teacher die and was only let free on the promise of never telling anyone what he saw. Thanks to his Rapunzel Hair and loose robes, he also has a case of Long-Haired Pretty Boy.
  • No Social Skills: Legna has had a sheltered upbringing, with the Senate taking great measures to make sure he has as little contact with people as possible to keep the past events from him. This means that while he is quite competent at his job and organizational affairs, he has no clue about how to deal with people. He also lacks imagination, so his demeanor comes off as blunt and straightforward, however, as soon as those around him realise that he's honest and determined, they tend to warm up to him somewhat.
  • Not So Omniscient After All: Legna imagines the Sage to be omniscient but has to find out that no, he isn't, either because he is bound by something to only reveal something when the dreamer already knows this subconsciously, or simply because he actually is nowhere near omniscient.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Senate, who — with the exception of Deebert outside the council meetings — all wear face-concealing masks, and have the last say in most matters concerning the country. They are mightily displeased with any hint of Legna finding out about the events of the past, or him even being on friendly terms with any military personnel.
  • Open Secret:
    • The more the story progresses, the more it looks like everyone knows what happened ten years ago — except Legna, whom everyone does their utmost best to keep in the dark. Some assume he also knows already, but the Senate especially are hell bent on keeping the truth from him.
    • The fact that His Majesty often comes to the laboratory to enjoy himself while inventing or just talking to Jasmin or Lante seems to be an open secret everyone keeps from Legna as Legna has a reputation as a joy killer.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: The Sage is a mirror image of Legna, but with his calm demeanor and constant questioning of Legna's motives and reasoning, while giving away no clues or answers, he annoys Legna a lot. Legna claims that if the Sage has nothing constructive to say, he might as well not say anything at all.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Lante and Dante. Lante is cheerful, outgoing, chatty, frilly and can't fight to safe his life. Dante, on the other hand, barely talks at all, keeps to himself, cares only about Lante and is the best fighter in the kingdom, to the point of being called a beast. Interestingly, it's Lante who may be a schemer and capable liar, while Dante is very straighforward.
  • Posthumous Character:
    • Oracle Kian. His personality and story are developed through extensive flash backs and rumours and are central to the present events off the story.
    • The former Emperor also plays a significant part in the backstory, being the instigator for some events, e.g. Legna getting raised by his father.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: When as a child Legna first uses his powers for something serious — to find out who has squirreled away weapons and hid them at the water mill — he has repeated blackouts from the strain.
  • Rage Quit: At one point during the Sage's Trial Legna becomes so frustrated with the Sage's noncommital and vague answers — which come about because Legna himself has no idea what he's doing or has not read up on the rules — that he rage quits the dream. Fortunately for him, that does not equal an end to the trial.
  • Rapunzel Hair:
    • Moeran has long, flowing hair. It accentuates nicely his Mysterious Waif qualities.
    • Legna looks like he has a bob cut, but it's actually a Hime Cut crossed with Rapunzel Hair which is hidden beneath his cloak unless he's sleeping. He is the Oracle and in a quite priviledged social position, as is pointed out in-story.
    • Oracle Kian also had really long hair hidden beneath his cloak. Again, as an Oracle, he was in a priviledged social position.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Legna is Angel spelled backwards, the latter being Legna's nickname for utterly different reasons.
  • Seer:
    • The Oracles are people who can hear God's voice in their dreams and predict future events, which Legna as one of the last remaining Oracles.
    • The Sage who oversees the Aruosumente trial and supposedly gives the answer to the seeker's question when the trial has been successfully completed. His outer appearance depends on the dreamer's expectations.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is it Legna or Reguna? Artian or Aleutian? Lante or Rante? Deberto or Deebert? Rucetta or Richter? The only ones not plagued by this problem seem to be Dante and Jasmin.
  • The Squadette:
    • Lamia, a Tomboy with a Girly Streak, is Rucetta's second-in-command and the only woman seen serving in his outfit during the backstory.
    • Girly Bruiser Rita Rina, Lante's second-in-command, is also the only female knight shown, kicking ass with the best of them during the tournament.
  • Standard Royal Court: The story's setting, with the exception of some parts of the backstory, although the number of actually named and important courtiers is limited the His Majesty, his immediate advisors — among them the Oracle — and members of the Senate.
  • Tarot Troubles: The Sage's Trial consists of arranging the first ten cards of the Major Arcana according to the given situation and allocating the right cards to the right people involved. Legna trying to determine who corresponds to each card takes up most of the story.
  • That Liar Lies: Jasmin flat-out says that Lante is a good liar, giving the first hint that Lante may not be what he seems.
  • Theme Twin Naming: The twins Lante and Dante, with only one differing letter in their names.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Lamia looks like a tomboy grown up, including the tomboyish twin braids, and is Rucetta's second-in-command, but when charged with taking care of Lante and Dante, she shows a motherly streak.
  • The Tourney: There's a tournament held during an important public holiday where the White Knights and the Black Knights compete against each other, although it is more of a background event and an excuse for Lante to drag Legna with him.
  • Twin Telepathy: It's downplayed, but Dante seems to always know when Lante is crying (when they were children) or even just can't sleep.
  • The Uriah Gambit: When threatened by an approaching enemy army, Oracle Kian decided to send out Dante — who he had decided was uncontrollable — to face the army alone, putting Dante's non-combatant brother in front of the gates as well for added motivation. It backfired badly, with Dante killing 300 enemy soldiers, Rucetta's second-in-command getting killed because she tried to save the children, and possibly resulting in Kian's own death down the line.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Lamia, the more tomboyish of the female characters, dies when she tries to safe Lante and Dante from the attacking Finfield army.
  • You're Cute When You're Angry: The reason Lante won't stop calling Jasmin by his real name, and even when Jasmin resorts to punching Lante and threatening mayhem, Lante just comments how Jasmin isn't even scary when he's angry.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Manga/Aruosumente