Shin's spirits were soaring after winning the lottery and landing a contract with a famous firm in the same day—not bad for a normally luckless office worker. He quickly plummets back down to earth, however, upon discovering that he's been saddled with an immense amount of debt. There is, however, one way he can keep his creditors at bay: become "friends" with an enigmatic and alluring girl named Kanoko. The task sounds simple enough at first, but leaves him eating his own words as Kanoko's selfish demands start to take their toll on him both mentally and physically. Will Shin ever be able to pay his debt off, or will the lust, luxury, and mystery simply overwhelm him??
Velvet Kiss is arguably Harumi Chihiro's best work. By far, the marriage between plot and ecchi/hentai always is a good one to read and observe. Especially if done well. Between the constant sex scenes and themes rampant throughout this work, there is a tender love growing between the two main characters that can be observed as the chapters fly pass. This love, while not clear at first, begins to slowly reveal itself and is very satisfying to see, if not being one of the main reasons to read this.
Harumi Chihiro's art is aesthetically pleasing to the eye in more ways than one, and in
Velvet Kiss this is no exception. Although the amount of sex she drew in Velvet Kiss was somewhat excessive, it is understandable at the same time as it is somewhat true to say that the sex drives the plot.
In and of itself, the sex that Kanoko experiences at the beginning of this work reveals how shallowly she lives her life at first, until she meets the male MC, a somewhat lucky salaryman named Nitta. As the work goes on, she begins to have feelings for only one man, Nitta, and only with him can she have pleasure. If one reads between the lines, one can see where the direction of the rest of the book is going.
Needless to say the character development is also pretty exceptional on Kanoko's part. She changes from a girl without a care for life to a girl with conviction and power, and yet still retaining a somewhat tender side for the man she loves. The transition is so well rendered and made and is well worth the read.
On the other hand Nitta doesn't change very much--he remains your atypical male tsundere. Strangely enough he doesn't chase after his feelings aggressively, like some male MC's do, instead he acts through his gained wisdom from work and life in general and the way he applies his wisdom and skill is nothing short of satisfying.
Most people don't care for H manga. Undoubtedly, I'd say once most people read this they will change their mind. Some H manga, such as many of Harumi Chihiro's works, are well written and carry a bold and fulfilling plot while boasting beautiful art to boot.
Again, definitely worth the read, especially in one sitting.
5 out of 5 stars for Harumi Chihiro's Velvet Kiss.
Work is a pain in the ass, isn't it?
Japan is a very workaholic society; I don't think I'd be exaggerating if I said they have one of the worst cases of overworked laborers in the world. Little vacation time, underpaid workers, and long hours, work in Japan literally "takes over ones life", more-so than any other nation in the world. Velvet Kiss shows this realistically. We see the characters juggle their love lives with work, which ultimately, is impossible in such a job-oriented society. I read in awe as Harumi Chihiro effortlessly told a story that flawlessly depicts this--a middle-class, average guy, through luck, encounters
a crazy-ass rich beauty. Sex-friends at first, their hearts and emotions slowly grow closer together as the chapters fly by... they slowly become more than friends, and into something more....
Let me start by telling you that this manga obviously is catering to the male demographic, and it'd be very easy to write it off as some h-manga with a story, and if you tend to judge a story off of it's most basic content without looking further, than you probably will, but if you can gather your maturity and analyze the story as more than "OMG SEX!!!!", then you'll actually find this a really great story. I was hesistant to read it at first, I asked myself "is this just another h-manga" as soon as I saw the cover. Then I saw that it
had 32 chapters which was unusual, and that it was on an ipad app for regular non h-manga, so I thought i'd give it a shot and ended up reading the whole thing in 1 go.
The story involves a lot of sex but unlike an h-manga the sex actually added to the plot instead of making you ashamed that they think this is what it takes to get you to read it. Even in regular anime and manga you'll see dumb scenes of girls randomly chasing guys or all going after him and it's just downright embarrasing because the series would've been fine without it but some genius thought it'd make it better, you won't find that here. Yes she has sex with him in the first chapter, but as you find out it's not just for some random reason. Kanoko, a girl our main character is forced to befriend to pay off a debt, is a rich girl that has been through really rough times. She doesn't feel connected to her real family so she hangs out with her rich friends that engulf themselves in a world of lust and soon that's become the only way she knows how to build a relationship. Shin is our main character, he's an average salaryman that must be friends with Kanoko because he's fallen into debt, we later learn this is to give Kanoko a way to feel close to someone since she's so detached from her family. Shin gets Kanoko to slowly adapt to a real relationship even though it starts out as quote "fucked up". That's only half of the story, they face many challenges as Kanoko's old world tries to drag her back in while a scheming aunt goes power hungry.
The characters were great, they had a lot more depth to them than most of the characters in anime/manga with overused personalities that do illogical things for no reason. Shin isn't some pervert that is super happy he gets to hang out with a cute girl. He's very pissed off about it and feels trapped because he has to work off his debt by being a slave to some girl. Then we see he may have his feelings but his decisions are also influenced by his personality, he protects Kanoko when she gets herself into bad situations and isn't afraid to tell her off. Eventually he starts seeing being with Kanoko as something he wants to do instead of something he's forced to do, but it's not some quick decision, he constantly wants to be free of his duty so he can have a life and fights it, but eventually being with her becomes his life. Kanoko as I explained only knows 1 way to have relationships with people, I think in society we judge people way too quickly and would label her off as a spoiled slut after seeing the first chapter, but this manga won't let you do that because it goes into depth about what's happend to her and you can understand why she's turned out that way. She doesn't have a good understanding about the world but slowly comes to love it as they go out. There are other characters like a reporter that'll do anything to get a scoop in hopes of resolving her personal vendeta with the Kikuchiya's and a two faced character that i won't reveal but will inform you influences half of the entire plot.
I really enjoyed this manga, like I said I finished it in 1 go and without a doubt will read it again. It did something that I feel we've written off as something that would never happen, it takes the mature content of an h-manga but instead of giving it a loose plot with sex thrown in, it uses sex as a contributer to the story, it's not just random smut but a mature story. Therefore I wouldn't call this an h-manga but instead a hybrid that takes parts from multiple genres and combines them to make a beautiful story with a proper ending. I'm very happy that I read this and it makes me proud that someone took the time to write a story for guys that actually deals with everything in a mature manner and felt we would enjoy it because we aren't just a mindless group of perverts only looking for boobs with no concern for the story. If you can analyze the whole story and deal with the mature themes than you should definitely read this.
I gave this manga a 10 because I believe it does what most anime and manga should be doing, no not adding sex scenes, but actually thinking of their audience as more than a bunch of mindless people that will love a series because they put 1 thing they stereotype them to like in and making the rest of the story half-assed.
Velvet Kiss has undoubtedly kept my attention for the past two days I have read it. To me, I found myself wanting to read more and more as the story progressed, asking myself, "just what will happen to Nitta and Kanoko?".
So what what made this such a compelling manga to read from volume to volume? I will care to explain.
Story - 10/10
Okay. Yes this is a H-manga, and it's full of sex scenes. But setting that aside, The story has caught my interests because of it's storytelling. As Nitta may have looked like a sex toy for Kano, the reality is both were pawns to
a dark cynical plan. History has taught us that there has been countless times power was overthrown by another party by unethical means, and Velvet Kiss demonstrates it through extortion. Harumi, Chihiro threw this situation at her audience, and I tugged in. I kept asking myself questions, puzzled as to why Nitta had to end up in the situation to being with. The story itself was suspenseful and a bit of a thriller, but what made the story so capturing were the characters.
Characters - 10/10
This is the really selling point as to why I started getting involved with Velvet Kiss. I found myself enjoying both Nitta and Kano.
Nitta, a pretty normal yet sincere single man, gets thrown into a nasty situation. What seemed an easy-enough debt repayment plan (with casual sex on the side) turns his whole life in a complete disaster. His daily life is suffered by having to attend Kano's needs.
Kano, a daughter of a wealthy family, seems like your stereotype rich, stuck-up brat with too much time on her hands, but once I learned Kano's background, that was when I started to understand and relate to her. To not spoil the story, I will mention how lonely Kano truly is. I understand her situation because I have experienced her loss as well... it's heartbreaking. Kano may be rich but there is the lingering sense of sadness and anger she has bottled up inside her, and her coping mechanism is sex. I feel so sorry for her because she reminds me of someone I use to know
Velvet Kiss shows the boundaries between the middle-working class and wealthy class with both Nitta and Kano. Numerous times Nitta get feed up with Kano's shit and is baffled by their difference in standards. I always cheered Nitta on because I wanted his situation to get better, and I wished Kano to better herself.
Velvet Kiss really caught my interest. I thoroughly enjoyed myself reading it because of suspense the story left me and characters I could relate to. Listen, sex should not always be about nudity and/or pervertedness, but it could very well be the struggle and coping mechanism for people. It is a real situation in life, and Harumi, Chihiro demonstrates this.
Hands down, this is probably the best and most favorite H-manga I have ever read.