Noriko has many friends, and while she is out with them one day, a news story plays about a terrorist who planted bombs all around the city. The police had not located all of the bombs, so they were warning people to be careful. Noriko and her friends knew nothing about this however, and Noriko ends up encountering one of the bombs. Noriko grabs the bomb because it looks like a normal ball. There is something odd about this ball though. Every time Noriko tries to reach for it, it bounces forward on its own. At one point, it even hits a rock and bounces in a different direction. Noriko's friends can not see the rock though, only Noriko can, so everything about this moment is odd and screams of magic or something otherworldly. This is confirmed when the bomb bounces backwards and lands right into Noriko's palm on its own. When this happens, the bomb goes off and Noriko is transported to another world.
While floating in this new space, Noriko sees her friends and the police. She hears them talking about her, though they can not see her. Noriko seems to disappear into thin air. The police do not find her body, and nothing is known about what happened to her.
Noriko soon stops seeing the images of her world, and then everything becomes warm and full of light; everything feels peaceful and soft, so Noriko thinks that she is dreaming. At the same time, the people in this new world see odd changes in their world that signifies the fulfillment of some prophecy; the water has turned blood red, which means that the awakening has come. The awakening is a person who will awaken the sky demon.
Noriko opens her eyes as she continues to float, and then she sees images of the people in this new world. The people want to find the awakening. Countries are competing to get to the awakening first because of the power that it possesses; power that will allow them to rule the world.
Noriko is now falling from the sky. A man watches her fall, and Noriko closes her eyes as she gently lands softly on the ground in a forest.
Noriko wakes up soon after landing, and she immediately starts to try to figure out what happened to her. Before she can figure out what to do though, a monstrously large parasitic tapeworm-looking creature appears and attacks her. Unbeknownst to her, the same man who watched her fall from the sky got curious about her and watched her in the cave in secret. When this monster attacks her, this man saves her and kills it. Noriko is so frightened after seeing the monster that she screams and runs to the man, holding onto him for dear life.
Once Noriko lets go of the man, he grabs her things and gets them out of the cave quickly because others hunting for the awakening saw her fall in the forest. Furthermore, more of those dangerous insects will come for them soon. Unfortunately, Noriko and this man are not fast enough, so the man has to kill more insects. Then he carries Noriko and runs and flies through the forest. Too many monsters come after them, so they fall down beneath the forest to an underground cavern.
This man protects Noriko the whole time so that she is not harmed. The man suddenly walks away though, and Noriko has a mental breakdown thinking that he will leave her there alone. She is so frightened that she becomes frozen with fear, unable to move. Noriko finally lets out all of her fear, confusion, and frustration by crying, and then all of the exhaustion caused by what happened causes her to fall asleep. After a while, Noriko wakes up. She sees the insect still next to her and panics. She runs into the man again, and then she calms down.
This man has stayed with Noriko the whole time, and although it is clear that this man wanted to leave Noriko behind since he feels that she is a burden, he is too kindhearted to do so. This man even builds a raft by himself until he becomes exhausted. Noriko realizes how much this man has done for her and is very grateful, so she decides to loyally stay by his side.
The way that these two met is so unusual, that Noriko feels that they are destined, fated. This makes her trust him even more.
While floating on the raft, Noriko introduces herself to his man. She finds out that his name is Izark. Izark knows that Noriko is the awakening, which is suppose to bring destruction to the world, but Noriko seems innocent and oblivious to her role, so Izark continues to help her.
After being on the raft for a while, Izark suddenly grabs Noriko and jumps off of the raft. He gives Noriko some of his clothes, and throws away her school uniform because everyone will know that she is the awakening if she continues to wear such foreign clothing. Izark tries to explain this to Noriko, but she does not understand anything he says because of the language barrier, so Noriko does not understand why he threw away her clothes. Then Izark tries to throw away her school bag, but Noriko gets too upset, so Izark lets her keep it. Noriko trusts Izark though, and knows that he threw her stuff away for a reason, so she ends up giving him her school bag to throw out.
Noriko and Izark continue through the underground cave, and then Izark pushes a hole through the cave and gets them outside of it back into the world above where normal people live. The two of them will still have to climb down from the mountain though, which causes Noriko to freak out. Noriko becomes frozen with fear, and then the wind blows strongly and she falls off of the climb. Izark grabs her as she is about to fall, and ends up falling with her. Izark uses his abilities/powers to fly and make them land more softly on the ground.
We discover here that Izark was also looking for the awakening all this time with the intention of killing it, but he keeps doing the opposite; he keeps protecting Noriko and looking after her with kindness and patience.
Now both of them are once again in a forest. They landed near another man who is unconscious and seriously injured, so Izark leaves to get medicinal herbs for him. Noriko stays with the injured man. Suddenly though, a man comes out of nowhere and attacks the injured man, as well as Noriko. When this happens, Noriko screams for Izark and he comes and protects them both from this new man.
Izark wins the fight with this new man, and the man runs away. Izark then gives the injured man medicine, and he fixes his cart and gets his horse back up so that they can travel in the wagon. During all this, Noriko starts learning little bits and pieces of their language, and she decides to work hard to speak it so that she can be more useful and helpful to Izark.
We soon find out that this injured man is a clothes trader. He is curious about Noriko and asks her many questions, so to stop him from inquiring about her, Izark lies to the trader about who Noriko is, as well as about her origins; this is best to protect Noriko from people who wish to capture her. The trader does not believe Izark's story at all though, but he still offers to help them by giving them new clothes for Noriko. Izark is given a discount for the clothes and trades his sword for them as well. Izark has started thinking about Noriko as his charge so he is planning how to provide for her.
After Noriko changes into girl's clothing, Izark drives the wagon and takes Noriko and the trader into town. During this time, the trader starts teaching Noriko their language. Once they arrive in town, Izark takes the trader to the doctors. The clinic is full with injured soldiers since a war is going on between the different countries. As a result, it is common for soldiers to come into town and wreak havoc. Soldiers come into the clinic and do just that while Noriko and Izark are there. These soldiers want to search Noriko and Izark's things, but Izark makes the lights go out and grabs their things while the soldiers are distracted in order to prevent their things from being searched. Then Izark takes Noriko to an inn to rest. Izark is exhausted and crashes immediately. Noriko on the other hand, decides to create a diary recording her experiences in case something happens to her. This diary would tell people about her and what happened to her in this new world.
Though Noriko and Izark are safe for now, many people have come together to make a plan to capture Noriko, so at any moment, their lives could be in danger. For now though, Noriko feels at peace in the inn with Izark nearby, so she sleeps well.
The following morning when Izark wakes up, he experiences great pain and falls to the floor. Noriko freaks out seeing him collapse and tries to help him. Izark does not want her near him though, so poor Noriko is at a loss about what to do. It is here that this first chapter of the manga ends, and we are left in suspense waiting for the next chapter.
Review: Is This Manga Worth Reading?
This is an amazing manga! It is one of the first mangas that I ever came across that I fell in love with. The plot and storyline has so many wonderful elements to it that will appeal to a large audience. People who love magic, the supernatural, war and political themes, romance, fantasy, monsters, and ancient historical settings will like this manga. I consider this manga a classic must-read for anime and manga lovers.
This manga has one of my favorite romantic manga couples of all time in it: Noriko and Izark. Noriko is pure, innocent trusting, and sweet by nature. Izark is patient, protective, providing, chivalrous, and gentlemanly. Izark is new to love so he allows himself to feel it and experience it fully without being influenced by pride, social expectations, or the desire to dominate, lead, or restrict Noriko in any way; this leads to some beautiful chemistry between the two of them.
Noriko and Izark are one the most beautiful couples I have seen in manga; it is hard not to love them. Some people may feel that Noriko is just a damsel in distress, but there is far more to her than that. Noriko strives for independence and does things on her own to help others, as well as to take care of herself and to be helpful and supportive of Izark. Noriko is someone who will fight for herself and others, and she is good and kind; she has amazing character.
This manga is unique in terms of how it has so many different themes incorporated into it, but it is also unique because of its length. This manga has two to three times more content to read in one chapter than most mangas made today. This manga also has only 14 chapters in total, when most mangas today have over 50 chapters, or even more than 100 chapters. This manga may be shorter, but it is perfectly made.
If you love a good detailed complex manga story with a juicy love story to make you swoon, then I highly recommend this manga. To this day, I go back and reread this manga. I have read it again and again many times, and I never get bored of it, so it is one of my favorite mangas of all time! I highly recommend it!