The Earl and The Fairy, di Tani Mizue | Anime e inchiostro

Welcome back to the appointment dedicated to anime and their comparison with manga: today we present The Earl and The Fairy by Tani Mizue

Fairies, witches and witches are part of the experience of a long Western tradition, which wants women to be at the forefront of the ranks of these creatures halfway between good and evil. Fairies, above all, have enjoyed excellent fame in recent years.

In the representations that have been given over time, in a literature mainly aimed at children, the positive aspects prevail over the negative ones. Young girls in sparkling dresses using their powers to eradicate evil; a magic, however, that takes a back seat. The sentimental aspect returns predominant, hiding from the eyes of those who little know the legends all the destructive power associated with these magical creatures.

In The Earl and The Fairy, Lydia Carlton is a “fairy doctor” who projects us into an enchanted world made up of unique creatures, which hardly anyone can see. Told from the point of view of those who do not possess these powers, but care for them, the story is kept in the tones of the fantastic / romantic; sacrificing, as usual, the crudest aspect of the legends linked to fairy creatures.

Taken as a whole, however, it brings back that pinch of mystery that makes viewing enjoyable, giving the viewer a mushy but full of magic story; an element that, abandoned for too long, finds a fair representation here.

The Earl and The Fairy is a series of thirty-three light novels written by Tani Mizue, illustrated by Asako Takaboshi, published in Japan by the Shūeisha publishing house, in Cobalt magazine. In September 2008, the publication of a manga adaptation drawn by Ayuko and serialized in Margaret magazine. Also, one anime version was broadcast simultaneously with the publication of the manga.

The Earl and The Fairy, di Tani Mizue | Anime e inchiostro

Trama | The Earl and The Fairy di Tani Mizue

The story is set in the Victorian age and follows the adventures of the 17-year-old Lydia Carlton, “Doctor of the fairies”. Lydia can see all forms of magical creatures and, since not many have this gift, she is considered a very particular girl.

While on a ship to visit her father in London with Nico, her inseparable talking cat, she finds a young boy in her room who asks her to help him. Accepted the proposal, he discovers that the boy is an earl by name Edgar JC Ashenbert, self-proclaimed Earl Blue Knight. He reveals to the young woman that he wants to find the noble sword of the Merrow and that he needs her help to decipher some clues, written in the language of the fairies.

Thus begins their adventure in search of magic sword.

The Earl and The Fairy, di Tani Mizue | Anime e inchiostro

Creature magiche | The Earl and The Fairy di Tani Mizue

Lydia Carlton is a “doctor of the fairies”, a profession now in disuse: the girl has in fact the ability to see and talk to fairies and its task is to mediate the relationship between them and human beings. To normal people, however, Lydia appears simply as an eccentric and very strange 17-year-old who speaks for herself.

Following the Count’s proposal, determined to find Merrow’s sword, Lydia is involved in a sort of treasure hunt, populated by fairies: Brownie, Pixie, Banshee, Sirens e goblins.

Presented with extreme lightness, surrounded by an aura of mystery, the fairy characters bring to the stage the long tradition of legends linked to them; accomplices, in the representation, also the typical settings: Edinburgh, where Lydia lives, after which she lands in Ireland, and then back to London.

The presence of magical creatures also characterizes the characters themselves, leading us to discover what lies behind their past and what led them, today, to make the journey. To make the narrative even more intriguing, allowing us to identify with the surrounding environment, is the era in which the story is set: theVictorian age.

To all effects a Japanese anime built on Celtic / Irish legends based on fairies and Victorian atmospheres.

The Earl and The Fairy, di Tani Mizue | Anime e inchiostro

A decidedly romantic story | The Earl and The Fairy by Tani Mizue

The story, for those who love shōjo manga, is rich in clichés related to the genre. The Count has a horrible past, everything has happened to him and when he approaches Lydia he does it only to exploit her; Lydia, although derided for her abilities by the people of her village, has never felt hatred, she is naive and pure, and this is irresistible to Edgar.

Edgar is an ambiguous character and hints of his past sow more questions than answers. Without forgetting that the nature of their relationship, at least in the anime, is poorly understood; in the end it also leaves more because than how many answers it gives.

However, there is no lack of moments of adolescent intimacy; again, testimony of how some stories have a specific target audience to target. In The Earl and The FairyBeyond all the magic sector, it is the relationship / non-relationship of the two to hold the reins of the story.

Secondary characters

Although this excel of the romantic side, the story characterizes the protagonists very well; secondary characters should also be taken into consideration. Unlike many other stories, these hold great importance, which is revealed, in part, as the story progresses. The talking cat Nico, that “He drinks a lot and has a bad temper!”, and Raven Edgar’s servant, impassive everything that happens around him.


There are many details of the original work that I have not been able to insert, many episodes that I have not been able to draw. Put the original novel, anime and drama together and immerse yourself in the world of The Earl and The Fairy!

So he intervenes Ayuko, the manga artist who took care of the comic transposition, during an interview. As stated initially, The Earl and The Fairy born as Light Novel to then become a manga and an anime of 12 episodes.

In the two transpositions, manga and anime, there are also very relevant differences for the purposes of the plot. In the anime we find episodes and characters that do not appear in the manga, and vice versa. The similarities mainly concern the first two volumes of the manga, which resume the first episodes of the anime with, however, a big difference, and that is the character of Ermine. This is Raven’s sister, Edgar’s inseparable companion, whose figure is not at all clear in the anime. In the following two volumes, however, the story changes completely.

Furthermore, if on the one hand the manga lacks characters, on the other hand the story of the Count Blue Knight, with a greater introspective insight into Edgar’s character.

The last important difference concerns the drawings. In the anime the colors are bright, the characters represented with rounded and sweet lines; the manga, on the other hand, is meticulous attention to detail e use shadows a lot more (which give the Victorian setting a more mysterious feel).