Hisako is saved by a beautiful wolf that turns into an even more beautiful man...but can a relationship like this work!? The continuation of the story of Hisako and Yato seen in Kindan no Koi wo Shiyou and Zoku Kindan no Koi wo Shiyou!
To be upfront, let me say that I've essentially read this author's work in reverse (starting with Midnight Secretary and 'ending' on Kindan), so it's a bit difficult to review this work without comparing it to her later pieces. Although it's also been interesting to see how similar her male characters are between different works - I just hope she doesn't repeat her two main "looks" too many more times!
What I love about Ohmi Tomu's work is the characterisation, and in her later works, overarching plot. There's smut, but aside from this manga it's never just there for the point of being there, and her
female characters are always more than brainless hormone-driven females (esp in her later works). Best are the little side jokes you see every few chapters - there's always some genuine slapstick/cheeky humour which is refreshing, considering how cliche a lot of romance manga are. Underneath it all, you always think "wow, this author is actually... intelligent? And thinking about her characters?"
What I don't love so much about this manga is the actual storytelling itself (although evidently this has improved over time). I didn't really feel any kind of true plot arc until about 2/3 into the story (chapter 25 or so? Possibly because she hadn't figured out how to go about implementing longer plot cycles), and even then it was still very short and not transitioned as well as it could have into later parts. The ultimate conflict of the story also seemed a bit "oops I'm near the end, better create unforseen conflict!" and the resolution was the same.
Ultimately, I'm giving this manga a 7. There are some really good points (characterisation, intelligent cheeky jokes, realistic but non-cliche plots - things that really set this author apart from other authors of this genre) but I was disappointed in how it didn't reach the potential I felt it could have. If you want to see great potential *reach* potential, then I highly recommend her latest work - Midnight Secretary.
Note: Be sure to read the other works in the series first - in order, Kindan no Koi wo Shiyou and Zoku - Kindan no Koi wo Shiyou. They are crucial parts of the story, not just prologue or extras.
You know how at the end of shoujo manga, there's usually a cute, inconsequential epilogue that's a snapshot of their domestic life, just to give you a nice little feeling of closure at the end? This manga is like if there were 40 chapters of that.
In a way, it was doomed from the start, since it started out as a threeshot, but at the same time,
doomed isn’t the right word, because it’s not bad at all. Still, the thing about them all reading like epilogue chapters is that there’s not really a sense of urgency. While you read it, you won’t be consciously trying to put it down, but if you do put it down, it’d be easy for you to forget about it.
Still, it’s not a boring series by any means, just slice-of-life, which doesn't have to be a problem. But there's no overarching plot, and while that's true for a lot of shoujo, it really stands out here because they're not in high school and they're together throughout the entire series. The arcs, which are usually relatively short, tend to be disconnected (although side characters often make reappearances), but it's in a Mob Psycho-esque way - though the situations become irrelevant, the effect they have on the characters and their relationships stay. It's a subtle kind of good.
Of course it's still a guilty pleasure - I mean, immortal werewolf boyfriend, hello - but it is a pleasure. Something really noteworthy about Ohmi Tomu's work is that her main characters never really frustrate you the way other shoujo/josei characters tend to do. No irrational anger, no stupid overreactions, no insensitivity. Her characters are emotional and romantic to the point that this is hard to read in public, but it's not even a bad thing. Moreover, Ohmi Tomu is amazing at characterization; her complete development of their personalities and their individual histories is amazing.
On the supernatural aspect, it's not stereotypical supernatural by any means. I think this might've been what annoyed the other reviewer and why they like Midnight Secretary so much more. Instead of building a supernatural world to drive the story, this manga quietly explores the consequences of him being an immortal werewolf on him, Hisako, and their relationship. It's almost a realistic take on this kind of thing, and the immortal aspect in particular is explored in a good, thorough way that I've never quite seen before.
I'll concede that the final arc is pretty random - definitely not the series at its best - but it drives in the point of this series in well - that she loves him, man or wolf - and I've definitely read way more overblown and random (see: Mars and Orange Marmalade). But anyway, that's not the point. The final arc isn't good, but the ending and where it leaves the two of them is amazing. It ties up that loose end that's been worrying you the entire series, and it does it a pleasant, poetic way. It's honestly one of the best endings I've ever read to a story like this, so if you do start reading this, please see it through.
tl;dr This is slice-of-life through and through, but not spending time developing an overarching plot allows the manga to do wonders in character development. It also explores its supernatural aspects in a good, realistic way, focusing on its effects on individual characters rather than huge worldbuilding. Add on a fantastic conclusion, and you've got a great romance manga.
But note that the score is actually 7.5, not 8. Minus half a point because she doesn't fuck him as a wolf, which really seemed it was about to happen sometimes.