Daydream Sanctuary Features

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Noel la neige

Noel la neige
by Sichol=bell

It was Christmas day at the end of the 19th century in France when a boy's house was suddenly visited by two unexpected characters . . . that came down from the chimney!

Santa Claus and his reindeer had never been . . . THIS AWESOME!

I've been keeping an eye on this manga ever since . . . I saw the chapter cover! Haha! I instantly fell in love with it and I loved it even more when I finally learned what it was about!

A young boy named Dean suddenly hears someone . . . in pain . . . inside his house:

Haha! His visitor seemed to have had an uncomfortable landing when he fell down from the chimney, and he's complaining about it. His partner agreed to him that it had been really inconvenient because their clothes got dirty, but that wasn't exactly what the first dude was complaining about. Hehe~ The boy interrupts them and asks what the heck they were doing there.

The dude with the monocle wanted the boy to figure it out himself so he gave a hint (Him saying . . "you know" amuses me~ He's so tempted to spit it out already but he still wants to play guessing game with the boy. Haha!)

Unfortunately for him, Dean didn't get it and suspected them as burglars. So the guy went straight to the point that he is. . . The Santa Claus!

They do the self-introductions:

The name "Noel" in the title made sense now! It's another name/term for "Christmas" and Santa Claus is also being called that way.
And so cool that the reindeer is in human form~ It would have been extremely amusing if they kept his nose red. Bwahahaha!

But Dean doesn't believe them. From what he knows, Santa Claus is supposed to be some fat old man. So Noel explains:

Aside from what Noel had said, it looks like Santa Clauses aren't exactly human.

After explaining, Noel got pissed:

I believe he's the type who complains but does it anyway~ So amusing~ Wahahaha!
Noel had also mentioned that he really hates kids. Especially this one since Dean had reminded him of his old self (he didn't say it out loud of course).

But Dean can't believe that he's in Santa's list because he thinks he hasn't been a very good boy that year. But Noel shows him the proof that he's really there.

I guess from that scene it already clearly implies that Dean is actually a good boy but just doesn't think he had been because he's blaming himself for something.

Dean says he doesn't want anything. Noel was fine with it, then leaves. But he didn't leave the house. Rudolph asked why he's still standing outside even though he's still pissed off with the kid, but Noel didn't get/hear the question. Haha.
Anyway, when they spotted Dean leaving the house, the duo stalked the boy~

Why do I imagine Gilbo of Hetalia when I see laughing stalkers??!!! Bwahahaha! Noel wonders why Dean goes to God but doesn't accept presents from Santa. But that's what Christmas is supposed to be, Noel~ But oh well, this manga isn't exactly based on the religion aspect of Christmas anyway~

Later, something frightening appears behind Dean:

Halloween creature as a villain in a Christmas-based manga???!!! Awesome~

But of course our hero comes to the rescue~

And of course Noel just had to add that he's pretty annoyed while saving the kid. Haha!

Rudolph takes over now:

Fighting reindeer FTW!

Dean of course asks Noel what the monster was and why it went after him. Noel explains:

So in this manga, kids in despair have their souls eaten. Poor children. . . already suffering and something evil is gonna take advantage of that.

They almost got attacked again but good thing Rudolph came right on time to defend them:

He had been very concerned about the two's safety . . . even though he's in a worse condition. So cute~ Noel even scolded him for it (panicking and pissed at the same time. Haha! So cute~). That's how Noel shows his concern~

Rudolph reminds him that Noel shouldn't worry:

The reindeer is the Santa's bodyguard! So awesome~

Dean doesn't get why the duo tries so hard to protect him because . . .

he thinks he deserves to die for "killing his sister".

I almost believed that the boy was an actual murderer (that would've made this manga PG15 or higher). But the story is, Dean and his younger sister (from the raw I thought she was his mom or older sister. She really looks older than him~) are orphans. Kanon, his sister, is also very sickly that she always needs to rest. She can only read books for leisure time. Dean does the work for them to live, and occasionally he brings her a new book to read.

One day he needed to go to a job that will take him a while before he could go home but he'll be able to earn pretty big. But when he did come home, Kanon had an extremely high fever that she died the next day.

Dean had been really emo about it, and Noel had enough:

Thank you, Noel, for saying "NO" to too much angst. Wahahaha!
Noel tells him that if he should live for his sister instead.

There was a surprise attack however:

It really looked like Dean had died . . .

Even Rudolph!!!!

And Noel is next~

Luckily, Dean is finally over with his emo mode . . .

He wants to live, this time. And with the despair gone, the enemy is now vulnerable (I think it's immortal when around a child filled with sadness).

So Noel can attack now:



EPIC WIN!!!!!!

The day was saved thanks to, Mr. Santa Claus~ Dean wakes up, wounds completely healed by Noel's magic, and sees:

THE DUO BUILT A SNOWMAN FOR THE LULZ!!!!!! Wahahahha~ This manga is so crack and cute, I love that~

I think Noel wanted to wait for Dean to gain consciousness (to be 100% sure that the kid had been okay) but since Rudolph and him had nothing to do, they built a snowman~ Haha! Since Dean's awake now, he goes off to his next job. But Dean tells him to wait:

Hahaha . . . pissed Santa Claus~

Dean remembered the Christmas present thing:

So he wondered if he could still ask for it since . . . it's still Christmas day after all . . . and he had finally thought of what he wants~

Dean asked for a present that wasn't exactly for himself. Rudolph wondered it if was okay, since he thinks presents are supposed to be for your own selves.

But Noel thinks that it's okay . . .

Presents are supposed to be what you want the most . . .

Yeah, they were presents for his dead sister. How sweet~

That's the end of the oneshot! Seriously, this had been so awesome and enjoyable that it should have its own series!!! I'm already a huge fan of this!!!

This isn't the first manga that's based on Christmas beliefs/ideologies/traditions/stuff, but it's my first one (heck, the mangaka's other work, Holy Glory, is also Christmas related. And I am so checking it out soon because of this.). I find it creative that even though it had kept the main Santa Claus concept (like going down the chimney, giving presents to good children on Christmas day, etc.), they had made interesting changes/alterations to it (like having more than one Santa, reindeer turns human, presents weren't just given but you have to say what you want when you get to meet, etc.). I really love the shounen supernatural twist on this! Come on, sorcerer Santa and fighter reindeer are awesome, yes or YES? I find it cool that their opponents is based on an opposite tradition (I mean, Christmas is all about good and love; while Halloween's more on evil and terror. So polar opposites, right?). It really fits. So in other words, I am very impressed on the story's idea and style.

Pacing, narration, presentation, etc. have been good too. Though I have to admit I didn't appreciate the tragedy much in this. The drama seemed forced . . . and the boy has been too angsty in my opinion. It got me pretty annoyed.

Anyway, the things that bothered me had been totally ignorable because overall chapter had been so much fun~ The main duo is very likable! They had been cool and cute in their own way! And it looks like the two are in a good relationship, even with Noel's tsundere attitude (he's not like that to Rudolph). The two seem really close~ . . . . I think they are BL material to yaoi fangurls out there *sweatdrop* If you think shipping countries in Hetalia is crazy, what more on Rudolph x Santa? Bwahahaha!!!

Noel is the greatest entertainment in this manga. He's actually the one who had caught my attention in the chapter cover (aside from the art being soooo pretty . . . and yes, it had been realy pretty from beginning to end~). And he's got the top hat and the monocle . . . totally reminded me of Detective Conan's Kaitou KID, one of my favorite bishounens of all times~

By the way, as I have mentioned, art in this series had been really good. I didn't notice any distortions or other extremely noticeable art defects. Significant scenes had been illustrated really beautifully.

Though it has fight scenes, don't expect too much kickass action, because it's more of an err . . . magical action rather than a badass action manga. In other words, don't expect extremely awesome fighting moves and action poses, because this manga isn't exactly of that type. But the characters are indeed capable of combat, but more of sorcery.

Since I'm a huge sucker for supernatural/fantasy manga, much more if they have references on some popular literature (like fairy tales, mythology, etc.) or traditions/beliefs (like religion, celebrations, etc.), it's no surprise that I've fallen in love with this series! I highly recommend it to everyone, especially fantasy/supernatural lovers like me and those biased to pretty/nicely-drawn artworks or goodlooking bishies~ Hehe!). I find the stoy really good and imaginative, even if it had several cliches! Totally worth reading~

~ raw from Heiji-sama
~ translations by shirokuro
~ semi-scanlations by Sapphire Pyro


Mito said...

Where can i read this manga???

Anonymous said...

It's on mangafox :D
Also, probably on the sites of the groups that scanlated it.
I enjoyed this oneshot heaps!

Sapphire Pyro said...

@ Mito
Sorry for late reply, but an addition to what Anonymous said: From what I remember, only Scarlet Carnival has scanlated it. So do check out their site~

Nayami said...

@Sapphire Pyro
Kokoro no Oasis also scanlated it, I think... I've seen other versions in Spanish as well. (^^)

Sapphire Pyro said...

@ Nayami
Oh yeah! I forgot! Thanks for mentioning xD

xtremly said...

Which issue of the magazine is it from and where can I get the raws?

Sapphire Pyro said...

@ xtremly
I forgot the magazine . . . but I saw the raws from mangahelpers. Hope that helped ;)

xtremly said...

I checked it but it doesn't seem to be there anymore. Only the name seemed to stay but nothing to download or view. ):

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