is a webcomic
(though the first two chapters have been printed in The Mammoth Book of Best New Manga
) by Min Kwon. The story starts when the terminally ill patient June Delias becomes a patient of the Elf Doctor Chi-Min Huang, and who then is drawn into the web of intrigue surrounding the doctor.
In the world of Haru-Sari
magic can only really be used by "elves", people born with a mutation, either naturally or more commonly artificially induced. Elves physically stay prepubescent children forever, at least until their thirties — when their magic has poisoned their bodies enough to kill them.
This webcomic provides examples of:
- Asexuality: Dr. Chi-min, probably. Actually, all elves, since they're permanently pre-pubescent. Although not necessarily aromantic...
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: June never wears shoes, probably because her feet are paws.
- Bishōnen: Alberich qualifies... and Chi-Min to a certain extent (as his mental image).
- Blessed with Suck: Elves have far greater aptitude for magic than the other races — but this also causes many of them to go insane, and causes them remain forever prepubescent and die when they are around 30 years old.
- Blood from the Mouth: June in page 627.
- Bookcase Passage: Alberich has one of these, seemingly to hide Phoenix, though since you can see the passageway to where she resides from the outside of the building... we'll get his reasoning eventually.
- Break the Cutie: Oh, Mana... and possibly June too, for that matter.
- Chekhov's Gun: Dr. Chi-Min's (unpublished) research might end up as this, or a MacGuffin.
- Chess Master: Alberich seems to be one of the more realistic of the type (or is he more of a Domino master?).
- Child Mage: Physically, elves stay prepubescent until their death.
- Cloning Blues: Might apply to Leon and Noel.
- Extra Eyes: All Thestalians have 4 eyes in their face. Of the main cast Alberich is a Thestalian.
- Fantastic Racism: Against elves.
- Foreshadowing: In the prologue there is a foreshadowing from June that something bad is going to happen 3 years down the line; the next chapter takes place 3 years after the prologue...
- Ill Girl: Phoenix seems to be an abnormal variation, complete with driving Alberich's Big Brother Instinct to Knight Templar levels. This also applies to June.
- Love Makes You Evil: Chi-Min could've healed June's Calphanika's all the time. He didn't, because he wanted her to need him. But at least he's honest about it.
- Meaningful Name:
- The webcomic is named after the a insect that only lives for one day.
- Also, someone on the forums noticed that:
- Cygnet was a bit of an "ugly duckling" but then became a "beautiful swan" by becoming the head of ECA; and that
- Francis Alberich means "free man" and "King of Elves".
- Metaphorically True: Alberich stated that the Cygnet Effect was named after an elf who exhibited this phenomenon quite often when he was alive. Unfortunately, said elf is dead. As it turns out, Alberich is Cygnet, but is no longer an elf. So Cygnet is dead, from a certain point of view.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Dr. Cortinon, and perhaps Dr. Chi-Min.
- Omake: There has been a few, unfortunately most of them are now offline.
- Older than They Look: Elves, since they never have puberty.
- Our Elves Are Better: Subverted. Elves are second-class citizens who have a tendency to go mad and kill the people around them with their magical power. Oh, and they only live for about 30 years, while being stuck in prepubescent bodies.
- Out of Focus: June has become the victim of this, since she is Locked Out of the Loop of all the scheming going on around her.
- Petting Zoo People: The world Haru-Sari is set in has a lot of them. June is of the cat variety (though only half), while Dr. Cortinon is of the dog.note
- Pointed Ears: The Elves have pointed ears. If Alberich was Cygnet, this would explain the unusual straight-sided, almost cut-off shape of his ear.
- Replacement Goldfish: Mana might be this for Dr. Cortinon's dead daughter.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: Dr. Cortinon.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Noel.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Chi-Min is short due to his elfishness and June is fairly tall for a human.
- Title Drop: Done in chapter 9, 18 and 26 (the chapter names, not the name of the comic itself).
- Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: June works at a lesbian nightclub.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Elves can perform magic - but many of them are also driven insane.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Chi-Min's hair is bright teal.
- Your Head A Splode: A rogue elf made this happen to Alberich's father.