Manga Review: Midnight Secretary Volume One

Midnight Secretary Volume One is a manga by Tomu Ohmi, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2013. The series is rated “M” for Mature; after reading the first volume, I would agree with that rating.

Midnight Secretary Volume 1
Written by: Tomu Ohmi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: September 3, 2013

Kaya Satozuka works as a secretary for Tohma Corp., and she reassigned to the office of the company’s director, Kyohei Tohma. She thinks he’s jerk, but remains the consummate professional while working for him. One day, she stumbles upon a secret: Kyohei is really a vampire. After she discovers his secret, Kyphei decides to keep her on as his secretary, because her knowing his secret makes things a bit easier. And in order to make Kaya stay, Kyohei essentially blackmails her because Kaya’s mother has a job at a Tohma retail store.

One night, Kaya has to accompany Kyohei to a dinner meeting, which turns out to be in a church that was converted into a restaurant by a couple of devout Christians. Kaya discovers that it’s spiritual faith that weakens Kyohei. His energy has been sapped, so Kaya offers her blood to help him.

At the end of the volume, Kyohei requires Kaya yo accompany him to a Christmas party at a hotel, and even going so far as to buy her a dress to wear. Unfortunately, a church choir is part of the festivities, so Kaya tries to get Kyohei away. She ends up having to beg for a hotel room. When he awakens, he asks for her blood, and she agrees. However, it ends up going a little further than just taking her blood…

After reading through this volume, I can see why it was given an “M” rating. This rating is due primarily to a few scenes in here where there is some female nudity included. If not for the nudity, this volume might have been able to get away with a “T+” rating. But for all I know, there could be worse content in later volumes, which would really necessitate the “M” rating.

Kaya is a very competent woman, who has a childish-looking face. Because of this, she pulls her hair back and wears glasses in order to hide the childish-looking features in order to be taken seriously as a secretary. For a lot of the volume, Kyohei gives her a hard time about how she looks; however, after getting a chance to see her without her glasses on and her hair down, he understands why and tries to do things to try to make her look more appealing while maintaining her professional look.

Prior to working for Kyohei, Kaya did work for Kyohei’s brother; unfortunately, Kyohei doesn’t like his brother. Kaya appears to be smitten with Kyohei’s brother, but after Kyohei takes her blood, she seems to be starting to develop feelings for him. And at the end of the volume, Kyohei suddenly demands to have her blood because he now desires it. In fact, right at the end, he insists on having her change her hours so she can serve as his course of blood.

In a lot of ways, there’s basically a typical shojo setup going on here, except the characters are a little older, there’s some content here that you wouldn’t see in a shojo manga aimed at teens, and there’s also the vampire element.

I have rather mixed feelings about this series after reading Volume One. On the one hand, the concept and story is kind of interesting. On the other, some of the execution, especially the way Kyohei keeps blackmailing Kaya, is a little on the disturbing side to me. At this point, I’m not sure about whether or not I’m willing to continue the series.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Midnight Secretary Volume One that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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