The story is set in 19th century England and centers on a “fairy doctor” named Lydia. Her life takes a 180-degrees turn when she meets a legendary blue knight count named Edgar and his crew. He hires her as an adviser during his quest to obtain a treasured sword that was supposed to be handed down to him by his family.
I’m no jaded otaku. I’m a starved one who loved the romance and adventure of Earl and Fairy.
Shamelessly, I lapped everything up, my eyes glued to the screen for 12 episodes straight; I wasn’t just watching a new anime series, I was rediscovering an old love, one I knew could hold so much intensity and raw emotion in a few simple lines and fantastic action and sweet passion in the deft strokes of an animator.
The old techniques—big eyes, sweat drops, the cool-looking hero, the courageous but insecure heroine, and adorable sidekick; they’re all there, but I defy the tired fan’s (oxymoron alert, hehe) taunts of formulaic, girly, and shallow to offer my own fresh view, lighter and straightforward.
Lydia Carlton takes her gift seriously; she intends to be a professional fairy doctor so that humans and fairies will once again live together as one society. Edward Ashenbert is flirtatious but deadly serious about getting what he wants—and that’s to regain honor and place among England’s nobility; he also plans to fight the machinations of the Prince who killed his family and enslaved him when he was a child.
When their respective ambitions collided at the beginning, when Edward abducts Lydia and forces her to help him find the legendary Blue Earl Sword, more than sparks and a few slaps flew. This volatile chemistry lasted throughout the series, as Lydia, though attracted to Edward, wishes to keep their relationship strictly professional, while Edward, falling madly in love with Lydia, could not completely hide the fact that he is very good at manipulating people.
The plot isn’t cut and dried also. Edward isn’t exactly the true heir to the legendary sword and title. But his quest to become worthy, by protecting the Blue knight’s legacy and people, made for a more interesting story… He doesn’t have magical powers—he can’t even see fairies and he relies on his wits and charisma to win his fights, yet he seems to attract that pure loyalty that only true kings and queens could command.
His friend and servant, Raven, a human with the soul of a ravening sprite, guards him zealously and will lay down his life for him. Raven used to be simply a killing machine of the Prince… until Edward saw beyond the blood and befriended the person. From that act of kindness, Raven knew he has met his true master.
As enjoyable as the adventures and romance in this series were, they seem merely a prelude for the big fight. Who is this evil Prince? We just keep hearing about him. Will Lydia ever accept Edward? Kelpie, a aggressive man-eating fairy pursuing Lydia, isn’t helping any to speed the romance along. Gentle enough to Lydia, he keeps trying to abduct her though into the fairy world so he could protect her—and mate with her too, of course.
Yes, Earl and Fairy is very shojo. But then that’s because I identify with Lydia. But what’s stopping guys from relating to any of the male characters, who have enough heroism and villainy to keep secret angst and secret wishes occupied.