Can’t a girl test out her poisons in peace? Not at the Imperial Court, where countless rumors and mysteries abound!
The Apothecary Diaries is an ongoing light novel series written by Natsu Hyūga and illustrated by Touko Shino, originally published on the user-generated novel publishing website, Shōsetsuka ni Narō. The series has also been adapted into a manga and anime, with the anime premiering on October 22nd, 2023.
In the red-light district of a fictional country based on ancient China lives Maomao, a young girl who works as an apothecary. One day, she gets kidnapped and sold to the Imperial Court, where she is forced to work as a servant. Despite her circumstances, she plans on working there until her years of servitude are over without drawing anyone’s attention—until she gets wind of the fact that the Emperor’s children are gravely ill.
Though disinterested in other human beings, Maomao is deeply passionate about poison and medicine, and she decides to investigate the cause of their illness on a whim. Soon enough, her knowledge, wit, and talent are recognized by the eunuch Jinshi, who appoints her lady-in-waiting to the Emperor’s favorite consort to taste the lady’s food for poison. With her extensive experience as an apothecary, Maomao gradually makes a name for herself by solving various mysteries in the court.
In this feature, we’ll be showcasing fan art of the main characters, the quick-witted Maomao, and the shrewd and beautiful Jinshi. Enjoy these illustrations that perfectly encapsulate their relationship dynamics!