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Literature / ½ Prince

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Prince and Meatbun

"I firmly believe that who you are now is the true you, just as the person I am right now is the true me. Everything else is of no importance — be it gender, appearance, or even the facades we assume in real life...none of those are important."

Half Prince (½王子) is a series of novels written by Taiwanese author Yu Wo. The popularity of the novels lead to a manhua drawn by Choi Hong Chong in a very manga art-style.

The story is set primarily about 100 years in the future, in a super-realistic full-immersion fantasy role-playing-game. The protagonist is a girl named Feng Lan who makes a bet with her brother Feng Yang Ming to make it all the way through the game without a single use of her feminine assets. How, you ask, will she accomplish this? Why, with help from the fine tradition of playing video-games as an awesomely attractive member of the opposite sex, of course!

Feng Lan plays as the bloodthirsty elfin warrior "Prince", who just happens to be one of the most Bishōnen beings ever witnessed. He soon acquires a large Unwanted Harem of both male and female admirers, a strange pet shaped like a meat bun, and a group of True Companions. A surprising number of characters love him/her in a gender-confused way, and those who don't are pulled towards his honest and admirable personality (or to his unique and bloody skills on the battlefield).

The novels are:

  • The Beginning of a Legend
  • Reality and Fantasy
  • Records of the Vagabond Prince
  • The Buskers of Infinite City
  • A Prince No More
  • The Great NPC Revolt
  • Life, Fading Away
  • Eternal Legend

Translations for the novel can be found HERE. They have the Yu Wo's blessing. Scanlations for the manhua can be found HERE. They have the blessing of the artist.

Compare with Yureka. Also see Eclipse Hunter and The Legend of Sun Knight, two other novel series by the same author.

These novels provides examples of

  • A-Cup Angst: Feng Lang really doesn't like people with C-cups.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: An interesting twist. The boss NPCs have developed self-awareness, and recent chapters have it that they're planning to overthrow the humans.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Yang Ming, Lan's twin brother.
  • Anti-Villain: Believe it or not, The Dictator of Life appears to be one of these. Although whether or not he's attempting to destroy Second Life is of his own will or not is still up in the air. In the manga, at least.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: One of the perks of the 99% realistic game, knowing the weak points of mobs results in quick and easy wins. Examples include the eyes of the Wolf King and the heads of lesser demons.
  • Berserk Button: You got something against clams, huh?
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Doll is rather cute and adorable, and is treated like everyone's little sister. But when someone attacks Prince, she sets Bonds of Endless Torment on her, and in response to the protest of "Don't kill her, we need to question her," Doll deadpans, "Don't worry. She'll just suffer, she won't die. But her player herself will be in so much pain she'll wish she was dead."
    • She gets pretty pissed too when Wolf and Yulian are killed.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Though Lan no longer remembers asking Zhou to marry her.
  • Cranial Eruption
  • Crossdresser: In the sequel, for their wedding, Feng Lan wears a tuxedo while Gui wears a wedding dress.
  • CrossPlayer: The main characteristic of the protagonist.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: At the beginning of the game, Prince would be this.
    • Wacko and Dandan act like ditzy Sickeningly Sweethearts - and then you learn that they are the 9th best warrior and 5th best summoner in the whole game. Wacko's also the overlord of the western continent.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: A nice example is during the tournament arc - the Odd Squad do this to their opponent after eating some delicious roasted meat.
  • A Darker Me: "Blood Elf" Prince earns his title by being far more violent than Feng Lang is in Real Life, going over and above what you'd normally see in an MMO.
  • Death is Cheap: Justified because it is all in a RPG. Averted when the NPCs start rebelling.
  • Disease Bleach: Happens to the Big Bad as a result of his chronic illness.
  • The Dividual: Feng Lan's mom and dad, Jing and Yun, and Wacko and Dandan.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Miwa's Berserk Button
  • Dynamic Entry: When Prince changes jobs and gets a shiny black sword, he isn't impressed. Cue Lolidragon 'announcing' her presence with a kick to the spine.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Prince is just that pretty.
  • Expy: "Demon Lord Kenshin" is an obvious reference to Rurouni Kenshin. Kenshin even has his trademark scar.
    • Let's not forget "I must return this hair ribbon".
  • Faceless Masses: The legions of crazed fangirls (and boys) are portrayed as dogs sometimes.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Lolidragon fails these a lot.
  • Fangirl: Wherever Prince goes, legions of fangirls follow. Then they get the bright idea to start the game's first band, starring all the Odd Squad's Bishōnen.
  • Foregone Conclusion: At least in the manhua, where it's easy to tell who Lan will end up with, considering that one of her main love interests doesn't show up for many chapters while the very first page is her thinking of the other.
  • Freudian Slip: The light novels include a line from Gui trying to give Prince advice for remaining calm on stage. He accidentally says 'students' instead of 'audience'.
  • Gender Bender
  • GMPC: Lolidragon is one, but she's limited to reporting bugs and complaints to the game company as well as creating tables out of nowhere. In the Odd Squad, she acts as Ms. Exposition. Oddly enough, her thieving activities are worse then those of the people she catches.
  • Happily Married: Feng Lan's parents, who constantly go on numerous honeymoons and are also Sickeningly Sweethearts.
    • The resolution of the Love Triangle going on reveals that Lan and Gui end up as this.
  • Heel–Face Turn: It just takes one request from Doll to get Caelus to switch sides...or not.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: When a meatbun is paired up with a phoenix, the squad wonders how it's going to turn out.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Gui's side story reveals that he feels this way about Prince.
  • Imagine the Audience Naked: Gui apparently gets through lectures by pretending that all of his students are rocks.
  • In the Name of the Moon: "I am the pretty wizard of love and justice! Doll will punish you in the name of the skull!" as in chapter 6.
  • King Incognito: Doll, the team necromancer turns out to be a princess in real life.
  • Lampshade Hanging: "Where'd that table come from?"
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Gui and Wicked, for starters.
  • Love Triangle: Prince is in one somewhere between a type 3 and type 7 with Gui and Wicked. He's initially irked by Gui's affection/under the impression that they're actually competing for Yang Ming, and later finds likable qualities in both and doesn't want to hurt either of them by picking the other.
    • She chooses Gui
  • Magical Girl: Doll seems to have taken her "in the name of the moon" directly from Sailor Moon.
  • Miser Advisor: Yu Lian
  • Mistaken for Gay: Gui pretends to act gay for Prince. Later, when Feng Lan overhears Gui and Zhuo talking out in real life, she thinks the two are in love with her brother. Further misunderstandings cause her to think her brother is in love with Zhuo.. Prince is also a victim of this, being surrounded by guys who love "him".
    • For bonus points, Gui, not knowing Prince is really a girl, initially flirts with her because he's amused to see a boy drooling over him.
    • Prince/Lan seems to have a tendency to mistake almost every guy she meets to be gay at first. When she sees Fahn and Nan Gong Zui at the Adventurer's Tournament Battle Royale, she wonders if there's a lover's spat going on between them at first.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Prince, of course, for starters...There's also Kenshin, Arctic Fox, Gui...we'll just go with the entire male cast.
  • Mister Seahorse: In the epilogue, Gui reveals just how okay he is with the genderbending aspects of his relationship with Feng Lan; because she can't stand the thought of the pain of giving birth, he's the one who gets pregnant, so he can give birth to them for her.
  • Not What It Looks Like: On one occasion when Prince is going to beat Gui up he bursts into the room to see Gui on top of Wicked. Both begin to frantically explain how they were only startled by the sound of him coming towards their room.
  • NPC: Prince picks up two very powerful NPC allies during an unplanned excursion to another continent/server. They are self-aware, hinting that something deeper may be going on in the depths of the game.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname
  • Parental Neglect: The protagonist's parents are almost constantly honeymooning, and they lack any particularly emotionally close bond with their children, only going as far as telling Feng Lan to get married to a bishie so there would be some son-in-law eye-candy around.
  • Pronoun Trouble: An epic case. Gui thinks Prince is male while Zhuo knows she's female. When they have a conversation in real life, they refer to Prince as "he" and "she" respectively without letting the secret out; while the third person pronouns in the written Chinese Language can properly distinguish genders, when spoken, they sound the same.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Prince's team in the beginning, aptly titled the "Odd Squad."
  • Red Baron
  • The Reveal: A variation of it as Wicked finds out about Prince's real identity.
  • Secretly Wealthy: Doll is a princess, and Lolidragon is the President's daughter.
    • Actually subverted with the latter. Lolidragon was cut off from her father before the story began and she had to take up several jobs to afford her expensive tastes.
  • Shipper on Deck: Feng Lan's mohter wants her to be with Wicked, but accepts Gui as a suitably attractive alternative. Her friends also force her to date the two to determine who would make a better boyfriend.
  • Summon Magic: Doll.
  • Super-Deformed: Gui, whenever he's acting especially stupid for Prince.
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: a :If It's You, It's Okay: variation; Gui doesn't realize Prince is female, but he falls in love with "him" anyway. Only later does he meet Feng Lan in real life and connect her personal movements and actions to Prince's and realize they're the same.
  • Tournament Arc
  • True Companions: Prince naturally attracts them.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: It's set in 2100, but there are no major changes to society other than flying cars and an overall raise in technology advancement and such. It's used to handwave the existence of a 99% realistic virtual reality game, as well as the later real life events that relate to said game. Plus Gui's pregnancy.
  • Unnamed Parent: Feng Lan's mom and dad.
  • Unwanted Harem: Both male and female for Prince.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?
  • With Lordship comes great responsibility: Something Prince has trouble with for a few chapters.

Alternative Title(s): Half Prince