Edgar: Let's hear it, then.
Raven: Shall I go in alphabetical order?
Edgar: On second thought, maybe not.
The story, set in Victorian England, follows Lydia Carlton, a 17-year-old girl who is a "Fairy Doctor"; human beings with an innate ability to not only see fairies but communicate with them, as well. As the world travels farther into the modern age, Fairy Doctors are becoming rare and people have all but stopped believing in such "fairy tales". Lydia vehemently protests against the denial of their existence, even if it might ostracize her.
Her life suddenly takes a 180-degree turn when she meets Edgar J.C Ashenbert, a man claiming to be a successor to becoming the "Legendary Blue Knight Count" and his crew on a sea voyage to London. Edgar hires her as an advisor during his quest to obtain a treasured sword, that was supposed to be handed down to him by his family, which is needed to solidify his recognition as the Blue Knight Earl by the Queen of England.
Originally an ongoing light novel series, Hakushaku to Yousei (Earl and Fairy in English) has been adapted into anime at a mere 12 episodes; the original run spanned from September 28 to December 23, 2008. There is also a four-volume manga and a PlayStation 2 visual novel game titled Hakushaku to Yōsei: Yume to Kizuna ni Omoi o Hasete.
This series provides examples of:
- Ambiguously Brown: Raven, who's explicitly Ermine's illegitimate half brother. His other half is eventually revealed to be demon.
- Anti-Hero: Edgar most definitely.
- Bishōnen: Edgar, Kelpie/Cain, and Raven.
- Bifauxnen: Ermine
- Changeling Tale: Lydia fears that she might be a case for this due to her red hair and ability to communicate with fairies. It's eventually revealed in the novels that Lydia is not a changeling, but her mother was and Lydia just inherited the resulting talent.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Ermine.
- I Am Not Pretty: Lydia has a serious complex over her green eyes and "rusty" red hair. The fact that Edgar complements both is a big deal to her, even if she doesn't believe him.
- Interspecies Romance: While largely one-sided in this desire, Kelpie/Cain (who is, well, a kelpie) is determined to make Lydia his wife.
- Jerkass with a Heart of Gold: Edgar is selfish and manipulative. He is still a good person at heart though.
- Ladykiller in Love: Edger honestly cares for Lydia, problem is she doesn't believe a single compliment that comes out of his mouth, due to both knowing about his playboy tendencies and his dark side.
- Manipulative Bastard: Edgar, the Prince and Kelpie/Cain on occasion. Edgar not only manipulates those around him for his uses, but he manipulates Lydia too.
- Truth in Television: Both averted and played straight. A lot of Gaelic, Irish, Scottish, etc., mythology and superstitions portrayed in this series are fairly accurate; especially considering folklore isn't consistent across generations or regions. However, there are a few mistakes (that are probably a mix of not knowing and not caring); a good example is that kelpie typically take on the form of beautiful young women, not beautiful young men — but they do avoid eating the livers of their victims. Another is that brownies by nature don't usually cause any trouble and are actually rather helpful around the household; only when they are misused do they become tricksters or even become downright mean. The brownies portrayed in this series are relatively harmless but seem to be somewhat of a nuisance. Given the entire nature of the series, however, this doesn't call for any sort of Willing Suspension of Disbelief. They're minor and insignificant details, at worst.
- Lydia's dislike of her red hair and green eyes. While generally considered quite beautiful now, back in Victorian England such colors were heavily discriminated against. Red hair was considered signs of being ethnically inferior due to the color being common in the Irish and Celtic, or in the minds of the more superstitious, a Fae lineage such as a changeling child, hence its association with the Red-Headed Stepchild trope.
- Some of this is also a product of it not being consistent across generations specifically—some older works on the folklore of the British Isles explicitly mention things like kelpies taking the form of beautiful young men (with seaweed in their hair) to prey upon women, for example, or that you should never neglect to give a brownie his preferred pay and exactly that.
- Tsundere: Lydia for Edgar.