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Angelique Retour Secret Side (アンジェリーク ルトゥール Secret Side) is a prologue webcomic to Angelique Retour which had been distributed at the same time as the eponymous printed comic. Secret Side features rebooted origin stories for the Sacred Guardians of the Sacred Bird Cosmos. Ruby Party oversaw the narrative while Miko Mitsuki created and illustrated the comic.

It is serialized in Sho-Comi Zoukan and being published by Sho-Comi Books under its Flower Comics label. It concluded in six stories and is compiled into two volumes. Readers could read episodes for free online for limited intervals.

SummaryEdit

Angelique-retour-ssvol1cover

Volume 1 front cover

Oscar's First Love

Seventeen-year old Oscar is enrolled in the Imperial Military School, an educational institution dedicated to raising knights who will protect the Queen's order. Oscar can bed any woman he wants and beat any challenger without having to train. He is beginning to bore of his life until he witnesses a new instructor punishing a female student for bullying. She is a knight named Anastasia. Fascinated by her strong will and beauty, Oscar attempts to woo her with the nickname "Anya". Anastasia thwarts him by criticizing his lackadaisical behavior and superficial swordplay. She denotes him as a "Boy", remarking that his talents alone would never make him knighted.

Angered, Oscar stops his playboy ways and picks up a personal training regime. Many days later, Anastasia calls Oscar for a private spar after the class's daily exercises. Thanks to his efforts, he corners his instructor. She praises him and faints due to exhaustion. Oscar carries her to her quarters and realizes that she is overworking herself by individually evaluating the student body based on their records and adjusting training protocols accordingly. He sees a note written over his file stating that he is a recommended candidate for knighthood. Oscar realizes Anastasia is the first person to ever care for him and challenge him, and he loves her for it. He wants to mature into a man he thinks would be worthy of her company. He scribbles over the note with a pledge to succeed on his own merits.

Oscar accompanies Anastasia for a leisurely ride to see the natural sights. Her mission as an instructor is nearly over and she is going to return to the Mother Star the next day. Oscar gifts her with a new set of earrings with the pledge someday reunite with her. Anastasia initially rejects them since they don't suit her aesthetic preferences. Oscar's flustered expression amuses her enough to take one earring for herself. She ends their outing by stating her pride for serving the Queen. She looks forward to the day when she can protect the cosmos beside him.

In due time, Oscar is knighted and proudly wears the other earring. He is excited at the chance to serve under Anastasia. Another knight informs him that Anastasia and her party died in a military cargo accident moments before his arrival. When he is brought to her body, he is crushed to see her wearing the earring he gave her and embraces her during his mourning. Oscar never had the chance to confess his feelings to Anastasia, thinking of her as his first love.

The Sacred Guardian of Fire wakes up to see Angelique calling to him. He is awakes from his dream and remembers he is hiding from two girls who wanted to go on a date with him. While he helps Angelique to her feet, Oscar reminisces that he was chosen as a Sacred Guardian soon afterwards and prides his greater duty to the Queen. He vows to live in a way that he won't regret in the hopes of finding another person he can love again. When he inquires for Angelique's purpose for seeing him, she presents him the Anastasia flower that she wanted to bring to his room. She notices his brief pause before Oscar praises it as a beautiful flower.

Julious's Young Memories

Five-year old Julious is the perfect child. He is clever, composed and dutiful, possessing maturity far beyond his age. For as long as he can remember, he has been raised into luxury with the knowledge that he shall someday serve as a Sacred Guardian. Hoping to live up to the glorious honor, Julious strives to become perfection personified. His tutor and house-servants worship his feats and congratulate his family's fortune. After Julious celebrates his birthday without his busy parents, he memorizes how to play chess (one of his birthday gifts). Yet his parents are distant and he rarely plays with children his age. Julious convinces himself not to dwell on his isolation and to accept himself as a special existence.

The first time Julious sees his parents smile is when they are seeing him depart for Holy Land. Wishing to make his family proud, Julious continues his rigorous studies. The Sacred Guardian of Darkness chides the boy's formality with him and invites him to act more his age. He takes away his books and takes him on a walk outdoors. His senior admits his surprise with his junior's capabilities and gladly anticipates the new Sacred Guardian of Light's leadership. Yet the boy's youth worries him; he warmly offers for the boy to rely on the older guardians until he grows up. Although he is miffed to be treated like a child, Julious appreciates his cordial attachment.

When Julious rushes to the Sacred Guardian of Darkness's room to play a game of chess with him, he is shocked to see another boy within it. One of the other guardians informs him that the boy is Clavis, the current Sacred Guardian of Darkness. His predecessor has already left Holy Land. Upset at the sudden separation, Julious refuses to associate himself with Clavis. He pouts when the other guardians request for him to befriend Clavis due to their shared ages and opposite elements. Julious calms himself when Clavis returns his dropped chessboard to him. He realizes he has acted poorly and, remembering his father and the previous Sacred Guardian of Darkness, reasserts his Sacred Guardian responsibilities to himself.

Clavis disappears from the palace so Julious rides on horseback in his search, finding the boy cuddling a rabbit in the forest. Clavis comments that the animal's warmth reminds him of his mother's warmth; Julious testifies the importance of their divine duty to deter him from homesickness. Clavis responds that he feels sorry for Julious since he claims to have never known loneliness. Vexed by the burning sensation he feels, Julious storms away from his comrade to pout and curls into a fetal position to brew on his thoughts. He comes to the conclusion that he by himself will never be perfect, something which takes time for his prideful mind to admit.

Thinking that the boy is crying, Clavis sits by his side to comfort him. Julious stands up in embarrassed defiance. Although he can't comprehend Clavis's thoughts completely, Julious vows to teach him everything he knows so they can someday be the Queen's trusted wings: the perfect guardians of light and darkness. Twenty years later, Julious is still chiding Clavis on their way to the Queen. Julious swears to never tarry and to be the one who will lead everyone to an age of light.

Olivie's Loving Dream

Sixteen-year old Olivie says goodbye to his rural home. His younger sister blames him for being so pretty and different from the rest of his family. To cheer her, Olivie makes her a pretty dress. Encouraged by her cheerful reaction, he tells his father of his dream to become the world's greatest fashion designer. His father tells him its pointless on their backwater planet and urges him to give it up. Refusing to give in, Olivie leaves to pursue his dream in the capital on the Mother Star.

For two years, Olivie scrapes a living as a model and designs outfits during his leisure. After finishing one of his shootings, a rival model named Irene accuses him of using underhanded means to obtain his modeling gigs. Olivie is amused by her fiery spirit and defiance, eyeballing her measurements to be perfect for the modeling world. When her manager hassles her, Olivie encourages her to have faith in her potential.

Although he receives his third design rejection e-mail, Olivie swears to never give up. He believes beauty has the chance to open people's hearts and wants to be the instigator of joy. He looks up from his café laptop to see Irene across from him crying. She notices him and confesses that her latest audition went badly. She lost her temper at the director because he wanted to coerce her into a forced relationship; she is crying because she believes she has squashed her modeling future. Olivie prompts her to be honest to her tears and lets her vent beside him. Irene recovers and boldly declares her dream to become the world's greatest model to cheer herself. She confesses to have left her country home for that sole purpose.

Delighted by her gusto, Olivie thanks her for cheering him up and reminding him to enjoy living life to the fullest. He decides to give up his popular modeling career and pursue his designer goals in earnest. He and Irene spend many days gleefully consoling one another on their job woes. When Olivie finally gets a design approved, Irene throws him a party to celebrate. She is skittish reporting about her end and devastated when Olivie insists that they are friends who share anything with one another. Olivie is too swept in by his first success to notice her withdrawal.

Olivie's career comes to a screeching halt when envoys from the Holy Land inform him that he has been selected as the Sacred Guardian of Dreams. Olivie tells them to make themselves scarce, refusing to accept their claims so easily. He thinks himself to be a normal person incapable of any power and doesn't want to give up his dream. He can't even resume his daily life because his coworkers are pressuring him to go to Holy Land. While he sleeps, his predecessor pleads for him to replace him before his Sacrea disappears completely. Without dreams, there will be no hope for the cosmos. Olivie rants his frustrations to the divine visitor; The Sacred Guardian of Dreams nudges him to keep yearning for his dream so he can someday live it again.

Searching for someone to take his side, Olivie calls for Irene to meet him at a café. Before he can bring up the Sacred Guardian issue, he notices a new ring on her finger. Irene is going to be married soon. She reveals that her modeling career was going badly and chose to make a new dream for herself: to marry the person she loves. Irene implies she has intimate feelings for Olivie but thinks he only thought her to be a friend. The man who proposed to her is fine being second in her heart so Irene is happy to live her new dream with him. Feeling consoled by her words again, Olivie promises to cheer for her. She thanks him and tearfully states her love for him.

Taking courage in the Sacred Guardian of Dreams's words, Olivie decides to enjoy living his new duty and to always remember the joy of dreaming. He sends Irene a one piece dress for her happy future before surprising the office with his self-made Sacred Guardian attire. Olivie resolves to never forget his dream or to let others forget about it.

Angelique-retour-ssvol2cover

Volume 2 front cover

Clavis's Last Love

Six-year old Clavis spent his life wandering the harsh frontier with his mother who worked as a fortune teller. Though life was not easy for them, they were happy with one another until envoys from the Holy Land came to fetch Clavis as the new Sacred Guardian of Darkness. Though the boy's mother knew that their time together was over, she gave him her crystal ball and promised they would reunite someday. However, that day never came to pass as Clavis learned the truth about his position from Julious. Because time flows differently in the Holy Land, it's most likely Clavis's mother had already passed away during his adolescence, leaving him isolated and discontent.

One day, the Queen Aide introduces the Sacred Guardians to their newest candidates: Dia and Angelique. As each Guardian greets the two young women with respect, only Clavis gives them a cold reception which earns him a fierce scolding from Julious. His continued rudeness spurs Angelique to rebuke him for intimidating her and Dia. Her response comes as a surprise for the Sacred Guardian of Darkness who immediately corrects his behavior to save face. Unexpectedly enough, Clavis's antisocial behavior does not deter Angelique from befriending him, with each encounter making him warm up to her.

After enduring another one of Julious's lectures, Clavis puts his meditation on hold after being invited by Angelique to see the blooming pearl orchids glow in the moonlight. Amazed by this wondrous sight, the Guardian finds himself at a loss when the maiden compares the flowers' natural beauty to him and admits her desire to see other facets of his personality. Although he appreciates Angelique's knack for making people happy, a part of him hopes that no one might consider it a reason for her to be Queen.

As Clavis's feelings for Angelique grow stronger, he and Julious sense the end of the current universe, forcing them to hasten the vote between the two candidates. Dia starts to crack from the pressure while Angelique tries to wrestle her growing attraction towards the Sacred Guardian of Darkness now that the situation has grown dire. Lost in his own thoughts, Clavis is distracted by Julious who is censuring the two girls for sneaking out. He defends Angelique without hesitating and encourages her to be true to herself. Upon comforting the maiden in her darkest hour, he immediately realizes his love for her.

Even though Angelique shares his newfound feelings, her sense of responsibility stops her from giving in to passion. She asks Clavis to give her until tomorrow night to respond. Unfortunately, the current Queen has chosen Angelique to be her new successor, an offer the maiden cannot deny much to Clavis's heartbreak. Left to brood inside his room, he is greeted by the newly-inducted Queen Aide Dia who gives him a message from Angelique, asking him to support the universe together for her. Having accepted that he can never keep his beloved's light all to himself, the Sacred Guardian vows to continue aiding his new Queen while wondering what new encounters the future might have in store for him.

Lumiale's Melancholy Day

Seventeen-year old Lumiale ponders the difference between kindness and cowardice as he dreams about his childhood days. An obedient child, he would dote on his little sister and tend to his ailing mother at all times. Content to remain by their side, his time with them came to an end when he was chosen by the Holy Land as the Sacred Guardian of Water. Bereft with disbelief and denial, he is abruptly awakened by Oscar who mistakes him for a beautiful servant girl.

Irked by the Sacred Guardian of Fire's teasing, Lumiale tries to keep himself composed in time to meet the other Guardians. Watching Julious reprimand Clavis for dozing off, he can't help but feel stifled by the environment around him. He snubs Oscar's offer of friendship in favor of staying in his room playing the harp, lamenting not being able to see his mother who urged him to find his calling in the Holy Land. Depreciating himself for his weakness and longing, his thoughts are interrupted by Clavis who had heard him play the night before. Fearing the older Guardian's criticism, he is instead given praise for helping the latter sleep well with his music.

Though unexpectedly happy by his senior's remarks, his doubts still remain. While out by the lake sketching, Oscar walks in and complements him for his artistic talents. Unable to tolerate his colleague's intrusion any longer, he throws the sketch and demands to be left alone, mentally breaking down for not meeting everyone's standards. Oscar, on the other hand, tells him not to run away from himself before jumping into the lake to retrieve the thrown artwork. This triggers a memory of Lumiale's father and older brothers leaving him to achieve their dreams. Having been raised to obey without question, he always regretted never expressing his feelings to the people who mattered to him.

Fearing the worst for Oscar, he is shocked yet relieved to find the other man alive while holding the sketch. Upon being told not to throw such an important memory out of frustration, Lumiale's relief gives way to outrage as he exclaims how Oscar could act so recklessly for someone he barely even knows. Surprised by his own anger, he gradually realizes that his kind demeanor might have been nothing more than a coping mechanism to keep his own negative emotions from leaking out. However, Oscar's attempt to embolden him enables the conflicted Lumiale to accept his own self-worth.

With the two of them seeing eye to eye at last, the Sacred Guardian of Water performs his duties well enough to meet Julious's lofty expectations. When asked by Clavis to play another song for him, he gladly accepts the request, vowing not to lose sight of himself anymore. If he cannot always put his feelings into words, he can still express them through music or art.

Luva's Everyday

Present day Luva wakes up to a beautiful morning, looking forward to his daily routine. While discussing intellectual matters with Julious, he reminisces a bit about himself before being a Guardian. Despite his affinity for academics, he was rather socially inept as a child which frustrated his childhood crush to no end. Nonetheless, Luva eventually received her support and is currently satisfied with using his vast knowledge to help others out.

During a visit by Angelique Limoges, he is asked if it's alright for a man to pursue any woman regardless of their individuality. The scholar is taken aback by her innocuous question and wonders how he can give the maiden a sincere answer to an unfamiliar subject. Before pondering the topic any further, one of Zephel's flying contraptions knocks his stack of books down, burying him in a comical fashion. As Rosalia and the younger Guardians help him up, he learns that Angelique has been rather depressed for some time due to Oscar's insensitive flirting. He also realizes that Zephel was trying to cheer her up by using the drone to drop petals wherever the young girl went.

Struck by a flash of inspiration, Luva devises a plan for Angelique and Oscar to reconcile. To do this, Marcel is sent to gather flowers, Randy to fetch Oscar, and Rosalia to bring in Angelique while he himself goes to Zephel for assistance. With the maiden brought to the designated area, she is put to sleep by Lumiale and awakens at the sight of Oscar greeting her with a shower of petals courtesy of Zephel's invention.

As she enjoys the spectacle, the others are pleased to see their companion happy once more. Lumiale complements Luva for coming up with this clever idea, though the scholar was only motivated to do so for the maiden's sake. He considers it a good day upon receiving another visit from a more cheerful Angelique.

Volume ExtrasEdit

Each compiled volume has the following additions for readers:

  1. Brief character introductions for the main cast.
  2. Monochrome illustrations between chapters.
  3. Creator commentary from Mitsuki.
  4. Voice actor commentary. Vol. 1 has Show Hayami.

Attendees who simultaneously purchased the first volumes of Retour and Secret Side at Neoromance ♥ Festa Angelique Memoire 2015 can receive a bonus Mitsuki illustration as a gift. Purchase these same volumes at Neoromance ♥ Halloween Party 2015 to receive a Miko autographed Halloween illustration.

Purchase either comic volume at Animate to receive another set of bonus Mitsuki illustrations.

GalleryEdit

External LinksEdit

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