Tamaki is an only child brought up by her mother alone. But then, her mother passed away due to an illness, and now she has no relatives. When she visited the Ootori family - a family that's totally strange to her - according to her mother's will, the one waiting for her was Shinga, a super rich and hot guy, but also extremely arrogant and horrible. Suddenly, he declares that starting today, she's his wife, and he stole her first kiss?!
Ok so this review is not gonna win a Pulitzer. Sorry to all of you folks at bed review haters club but i must. Why? Because it seems that this manga hasn't received the attention it deserves. Why? Probably you read the summery and think "Not another arranged marriage to a rich guy manga". And if you get that impression your right this is another one of those but at the same time it isn't. I'll put it this way if it is just another manga in a long line of cliched genre, it is one of the best. Now there is a lot that
is lacking from this manga. Some areas that could be further developed but on the whole this manga was very well done.
As far as the story goes I gave it an eight(very good) because it could have been deeper but at the same time it was deep enough to make you care for the characters and the happy ending, which in my mind is the mark of a good story. Sure they do the same old tricks. The guy is seemingly uncaring at times and takes her for granted but not to the point where you wonder if the guy just dosn't care at all. A lot of times that'ss what makes a manga unbelievable and some unbearable. Some authors force it onto the character to develop conflict in the story but than wants us to believe he's not a jerk and really in love in the next chapter. While this author does use some of that old schtick its not teeth clinching hokey.
Also the girl in this acts like your typically heroin, strong but naive, completely in love but scared to make that final step into woman hood. What really gets me about heroins in this type of manga is the guy could get shot, fight a bear off, and save her from drowning all at the same time but the next chapter she is still wondering how he feels about her. Now all this is an accepted part of shoujo manga but once again i believe most authors force it and over use it through the manga. I cant count the times i lost interested in a manga because of this. Thankfully this author either through genius or mistake seem to find the right balance so when she's wondering "how does he really feel" or "am i good enough" it feels believable rather than makes you want to scream "bakayaro what does he have to do get a tattoo of your face on his chest".
On the subject of side characters and rivals. This is an area where the manga could have used more development. There was a maid staff and they only had a handful of lines. How is that even possible in this day and age? But especially where the rivals are concerned, this maybe part of the reason the story felt more natural, conflict derived from out side interests in the main relationship aren't endlessly cropping up. Some times the level of problems these childhood friends, family approved fiances, and just splendidly wicked people can get some what tiresome like after the third or forth calamity. In this manga, and once again it maybe just a accidental result of poor development, the author cuts down the trouble considerably where the couple is as always strengthen by it but the reader wont get tired of the same old song and dance played out over and over again in the same manga. There is one scene in particular that was a piece of original that makes this manga the most original ive read in a while. If you are a huge shoujo fan I’m sure you'll catch it. It comes when the rival situation comes to a head. Kind of breath taking. I don't want to spoil so i won’t say anymore.
To kind of summarize my opinion of the story if you have read one too many shoujo manga and want to read one more then never another, read this one. If you've never read one before, this one will be a good start.
Now a few words on art. Nothing new or extravagant here. That's why i gave it a 7(good). The art is what it should be when it needs to be. Characters look cool or hot when they need to and comical when that is the mood. There are few breath taking renditions of the scenes we have seen over and over again in these mangas. (kind a like the embrace after a a perilous situation, the first kiss forced of course, and the near miss first sex) Not to spoil any one and I’m sorry if it does but when "it" finally happens. At the exact physical moment that "it" does the expressions are so real and romantic, unlike the usual fairy tale type coitus, unless its just me, that will raise this manga score on your list. Just to sweet.
So over all I’d say this manga should be on every bodies reading list. Maybe it will just be another arranged marriage to a rich guy manga to you or maybe you'll be as touched by the unique nuances as i was. Either way its worth giving a try.