Dec 16, 2018
LadyAxeFace (All reviews)
Kiss me at the Stroke of Midnight is yet another take on the shoujo trope of a girl ends up dating a celebrity. I think this one is a reasonably high quality one of this type. This is also one of those shoujo manga where the characters start dating early in, which is the fashion these days. This particular take is more of a realistic drama in tone.

Good points:

The art is mostly pretty decent and clean. There are some minor issues with human anatomy, and the dog is rather questionable.

The main pairing feel like unique individuals with discernible personalities rather than cardboard cutouts like in many shoujo. They are very likeable on an individual basis, and as a couple.

The main relationship is very healthy. They communicate to clear up misunderstandings and build trust, they don't kink shame, they talk about jealousy, they try to make each other happy. It's none of that relationship drama that frequently happens that often makes me question why these two characters even be together in the first place.

But that leads into the downside to having such a positive relationship is then the conflict must come from the outside, in the form of various characters that have various reasons for breaking them up, which I personally can find very aggravating depending on how it plays out. The protagonist to me comes off at that typical shoujo heroine of too nice and oblivious when the audience knows the other characters are being horrible or extremely self serving, and I find myself wishing she'd call them out on it, rather than let it continue until it becomes an drama avalanche.

Also as a result, I personally find many of the other characters to be rather unlikable, as they just continue to do awful things in order to intefere with the relationship, and not necessarily for any reason that makes any sense from the character's perspective, but simply to cause conflict. The worst example being a particular character who is a textbook example of the "nice guy," who hangs around saying he's doing things in her best interest when he clearly has completely selfish motives. It also makes it hard to take the idea of such a character as being a potentially better partner for her seriously when he's secretly acting is such an awful way.

In conclusion, I think this one is worth reading as I find the main couple very enjoyable to read, but wish the author would do a little better at the drama parts.