Kaya thought she had found the perfect job when she became the private secretary of Kyouhei Touma - the director of a tableware company of the same name. Kyouhei is a capable director, but his arrogance and sluttish behavior are almost legendary. Kaya is doing her best to prove that she is capable in her work, but one night, by accident, she discovers his secret... of him being a vampire!
Midnight secretary...actually this manga was the first Josei I read. But my opinion is based on my experience reading shoujo, seinen and mature titles, not on the shounen/action/martial arts titles I know what I must look for and what I should not expect.
He is charming, arrogant, lustful, irritating and well, a vampire. She is charming, uke (muahaha), strict, loyal and well, a secretary. The first impression is very important and you will get it very easy when they argue, even in the first chapter what a secretary should be - attractive jewel or productive employee. And since she discovers the secret of him being a
vampire, she, as his secretary, decides that she manage his other needs (no midday appointments, gorgeous girls for meals, etc.) as well as his work needs. It is hard to say something more without spoiling T.T.
Great at times, but the details can be a little more, while keeping typical shoujo methods like the incredible "bubbles", or shining. Well, since this is josei they fit right, but I though that a little better backgrounds will contribute to the manga more than the fangirls fanservice. But the overall quality is very high, especially the moments of transformation, when Satozuka stops being a secretary and becomes woman.
Great characters, great development. They pass trough all stages of love like denial, fury, acceptance and mutual affection. In work they know what they are there for and at night they know it too. Humans have human troubles, but the vampires doesn't share them. They have other affairs, usually even more serious. And their behavior is pretty realistic.
If you want a funny gag manga you have to look elsewhere. There is some comedy relief, but most of the manga is serious, without the usual tear-jerking or laugh-inducing moments. If you don't like serious manga, have never had a job (you liked) before or never fell in love I doubt that you will understand it or enjoy it.
This manga is precisely the sum of it's parts. Probably one of the best I have read at all. Serious, no unrealistic characters, developments or anything like it. So not everybody will like it. I recommend it to more mature or experienced (in mature/seinen/shoujo) readers. But the overall feeling is very good and it is easy to read.
Midnight Secretary takes me back to the good old days when I was a giggling teenager without a care in the world, clicking through bad (and occasionally good) stories on Fictionpress and devouring them like candy instead of the books I really wanted to read – because it was addicting and easy and it got me a quick fix of what I wanted: romance with a hint of drama. It's been a good few years since I've read anything on Fictionpress, but Midnight Secretary takes me straight back to those days...because it's just like one of those stories, except in manga form.
What do we have
here? A vampire story? How interesting. Kaya is one of the best secretaries around, and she becomes assigned to Kyouhei, a rather shrewd and arrogant man who quickly dismisses Kaya as plain right off the bat, stating that she isn't his type. She is quick to prove him wrong in more than one sense of the word, as she shows how efficient and outstanding she is at her job, and Kyouhei decides to let her keep her position. Kaya soon learns that her boss is a vampire after witnessing him partake in the blood of one of his conquests, and it becomes Kaya's mission to make sure her boss gets all the blood he needs, and make sure that no one else finds out he is a vampire.
I've heard a couple people citing that the way Ohmi Tomu, the author, treats the subject of vampires in this manga is original. If the concept that sex is what makes blood taste better is all that is needed to be original, then yeah, I guess it is. Overall, the vampires of Midnight Secretary are pretty standard: they have minor hypnosis abilities, can't stay in sunlight for long, don't sleep much, don't eat much human food, can't be around religious items. Most vampires are, of course, rich, and they have a pretty rigid hierarchy. If a vampire abandons their clan, it's not very likely that they will be able to get very far, seeing as vampires control quite a few major positions in society. Humans are regarded as nothing more than a food source and occasionally a method of reproduction. There isn't anything very jaw-dropping or mind-blowing here.
While I have yet to read any of Ohmi's other works, if her art is consistently anything like in this manga, it's pretty good. Nice and fluid, she really knows how to make Kaya, the main female lead, both adorable and professional. Kyouhei is also pretty good looking for a vampire. However, the immersion really falls flat when the manga artist draws guys as broad as mountains. Seriously, a man does not need to be as big as a house to be cute, all right? There are also some parts where the anatomy seems a bit off, but then again, it could just be due to scaling problems. The backgrounds are pretty typical and not often detailed, but they do the job.
Since this is a “smut” manga, there is some sex. Most of it is near the beginning half of the manga, and it really eases off the sexuality by the end. That doesn't mean there isn't quite a lot of innuendoes, though, and even before the smut starts, there are quite a few so-called “hot” moments. The sex scenes, where they exist, are never very explicit. By the end, it's mostly just kiss scenes that are emphasized. Again, there are times when the anatomy just looks really weird, and there was more than one moment where I spent trying to figure out how exactly something was supposed to work.
As far as characters go, Kaya and Kyouhei are pretty likeable overall. Kaya is a no-nonsense, perfect secretary, but she's not without her flaws. She is a workaholic to the extreme and is most happy when she's doing her job. Unfortunately, mixing her romantic life with her occupation isn't really the best thing for her, and she goes on for at least half the manga rationalizing her actions and her feelings with “it is my duty as a secretary”. That line got really tiring after the umpteenth time, particularly since what Kaya did could be seen as little more than degrading to herself. Letting a guy tug her around just because she apparently has “delicious blood”? Really? She even says herself that she is pretty sure that Kyouhei only sees her as a food source, and she still allows it because she is “his secretary”.
While she is partially at fault, Kyouhei also has some flaws to own up to, himself – he's certainly not in the clear. As a male romance lead, he's your pretty typical “tall, dark, and handsome”, complete with the stubborn jerk personality. He gets off the wrong foot with Kaya at first, and pretty clearly doesn't want her around. Thankfully, he warms up to her quickly, and changes his tune from a rude superior to a pompous ass. Which sounds better? Well, let's read on to find out. He doesn't call Kaya names and he quite clearly takes her opinions and being into regard; he looks out for her and, all in all, he is attentive to her needs and desires. He is also a possessive, selfish brat, but Kaya's a-okay with that, so that's less of a flaw and more of a minor annoyance. It can occasionally be amusing, though.
But Kyouhei's biggest problem is his inability to actually tell Kaya about his feelings. Sure, the first drama llama was understandable; yes, we get how he doesn't want to have feelings for silly humans, yes, we understand that. But then he admits to himself that he loves Kaya, and he doesn't even tell her that, not even when she's obviously in pain about it, and not even when she self-deprecates herself in front of him, stating that she's simply his secretary. He just goes along with it as arrogantly as possible. Despite the fact that he admits his own feelings to himself, he still has trouble dealing with them – which I would actually be okay with if he bothered to clear up Kaya's misconceptions and at least make attempts to alleviate her distress, but he doesn't. It's a cycle of acceptance, then rejection, and acceptance again. It's only when Kaya says she loves him that Kyouhei finally responds in kind – and it's back to the misunderstandings again.
There are other characters apart from Kaya and Kyouhei, and for the most part, they are handled tastefully. Most don't get much past a superficial label, such as “the kind-hearted manager”, so there definitely isn't much depth to any of them. They serve their purpose of existing and assisting in pushing the plot forward, however, and they play their parts well enough. Some characters that might have been included more or expanded on are left alone once their usefulness has passed. Usually, this is to make either Kyouhei or Kaya look good. Once that's over, they rarely appear again with a few exceptions.
That brings me to Midnight Secretary's most blatant and debilitating flaw – the pacing. Or rather, the manga's length. To be quite frank, Midnight Secretary could probably do with five or ten chapters less in its overall count, seeing as most of it is a repetitious running in circles by a woman who is overly conscientious and a man who is overly stubborn. It's exhausting and annoying, especially since the majority of it doesn't even need to exist. It's there just for the sake of drama, just to make the manga longer, to the point that it feels artificial. It isn't helped by Kyouhei's and Kaya's brooding. To the manga's credit, there are some events that I feared would bring about new drama and heartache for the characters – and were promptly and neatly wrapped up in one or two chapters, so that's something.
One particular issue I have with the structure of Midnight Secretary is that it recaps or summarizes part of the manga at the beginning of nearly every chapter. Why is this annoying? Because when I'm reading a manga, I don't want to have two or three pages reiterating what I already know, especially since I might actually have to read bits and pieces of what is on those pages thanks to an ongoing conversation or something of the like. I highly doubt you go about your day every morning thinking, “You see, I was hired by my boss not too long ago, and then I discovered that he was a vampire, and so I have to do this and this. It's really hard, but I do it anyway.” If you do, I'm sorry, that's just plain odd. To some extent, I can understand why the manga is structured in this manner; since it is a monthly serialization, sometimes readers can forget what occurred, and it's an okay ploy for pulling in readers even if they hadn't read previous chapters or volumes. Still, it did occasionally get on my nerves. It may have just been my impatience, though.
Now on to some minor gripes I have with the manga. Well, there's really only one that immediately comes to mind: the fact that Kaya still calls Kyouhei “Director” or “President”...even after they get into a relationship. Kyouhei calls her out on this a few times, but it doesn't really come up for more than one or two chapters and then it's forgotten. Kyouhei, for his part, rarely calls Kaya by her first name, but overall he has a much easier time of doing it than Kaya herself does.
As a romance manga, Midnight Secretary gets some things right, such as an actually mutually reciprocated relationship and making it evident that the leads actually care for each other, which is especially important with such a stuck-up man like Kyouhei. It gets some things wrong, too, but that doesn't make it inherently bad. It definitely keeps it from being great, though. Shorter is sometimes sweeter, and in this case, it definitely would have benefited.
This was my second vampire manga. That being said, if you expect to pick it up because you want to read about "strong" vampires and their battles, this is not it. It's a romance like the category says.
A short summary, Kaya, loves her job, she is possibly the best secretary there is (no joke). She gets transfered to Kyouhei, Touma's department and even his egocentric self notices that she is the best. In between all the women that he sees and his weird (slutty) behavior, it's no spoiler that she finds out he is a vampire (that's the basis of the manga). He is used
to getting his own way and extorts her into staying with him regardless of her wanting to leave. Where does Kaya draw the line between responsibility and love?
The characters, it mainly centers around Kyouhei and Kaya, once in a while you will get characters that stays for more than one chapter but they soon pass.
Kyouhei s is a jerk, I'm not kidding he has the I'm better then you mentality. But you could see how he struggles to understand himself and change and that made me change my opinion of him....a little.
Kaya is a workaholic and I loved her for it. She loved her job and wanted to do it to the best of her abilities and sometimes her jobs suck her dry (no pun intended). And I really wish she'd stop calling him 'President'.
The art was ok. Some parts of it they made Kyouhei look huge next to Kaya and I'll be honest I was a little afraid for her. Other than that, It was fine. I did love how they change Kyouhei's hair to be when he worked and when he was playing.
I recommend it, it's cute and serious, don't expect to be laughing at every page and it does have ecchi scenes, it is a josei manga after all. And even though it's a romance it is not a bubbly sort of romance, it's a grown up romance.
I think this a very overrated manga and not even the vampire theme, which I almost always love, could make this interesting. The female character is more flat than Netherlands and the male character would do much better as the ultimate seme in an yaoi manga. I also hate(!!) it when the first few pages of every chapter is repetition of previous events. Most of the people read the story in chronological order so there is no need to brief the reader in the beginning of every chapter.
I have no idea how I managed to finish this because I could have spent my time much