imagesKaya is an exceptional secretary. She definitely looks the part, with her hair pulled back in a tight bun and fake glasses to hide her “baby face,” and she’ll do whatever it takes to support her boss. When she is assigned to work for Kyohei Tohma, the pompous, womanizing managing director of his family’s company, Kaya quickly realizes that her professionalism and secretarial skills will be tested when she finds out that her boss is actually a vampire. Instead of organizing business meetings, Kaya arranges Kyohei’s schedule with female visitors on whom he feeds; she is also responsible for purchasing unique gifts for his consorts. Kaya takes everything in stride, working hard to prove that she is fit for her job, even though Kyohei keeps calling her unattractive and trying to change her appearance.

The story’s vampire lore fits its erotic tone, and it’s also thoughtful and believable. Kyohei only needs a little bit of blood to sustain himself and he never kills his victims. In fact, the women have such a good time that most do not even realize that they are being fed upon; there is also no mark when he is finished. Kyohei explains to Kaya that when a woman is in a state of ecstasy, her blood is the most satisfying to him. For once, it’s a win-win situation for the vampire and his victims. While garlic, crosses, wooden stakes, holy ground, and sunlight do not affect Kyohei, Kaya uncovers that it is strong religious feelings—from a person or a place—that can weaken him.

The artwork has a very classic feel and, at first glance, it almost looks like the series was published in the 1990s. Tomu Ohmi’s artistic style is reminiscent of CLAMP’s Wish and X/1999. Like most of the men, Kyohei is drawn tall with broad shoulders. Kaya is naturally cute, but she downplays her childlike appearance by wearing formal clothing, low high-heeled shoes, oval glasses, and pulled-back hairstyles.

As the first volume progresses, Kaya and Kyohei spend more time with one another and it becomes clear that the two will end up together. In the middle of the story, Kaya lets Kyohei feed on her in an emergency situation, but she tells herself that she is only doing her professional duty—he would never look at her that way and she isn’t even sure if she wants that kind of attention from him. Yet by the end of the volume, Kyohei tells Kaya that he can only be satisfied by her blood as they fall into each other’s arms. Midnight Secretary could easily become a guilty pleasure for readers in the 18-25 age range, especially for those who like Fifty Shades of Grey and office romance novels.

Midnight Secretary, vol. 1
by Tomu Ohmi
ISBN: 9781421559445
Viz, 2013
Publisher Age Rating: M

  • Marissa Lieberman

    Past Reviewer

    Marissa graduated with her MLS from Queens College, NY in 2011 and is a children’s librarian at the East Orange Public Library, NJ where she gets to share her passion of anime and manga by running the tween anime club, ordering manga and graphic novels, and planning Tosho-con. She organized Tosho-con, the first library anime convention in Nassau County, NY back in 2010 and continues to run this successful convention at her current library. Marissa has written articles and presented about graphic novels, manga and library conventions for School Library Journal, New York Comic Con, and library conferences. She also reviews for School Library Journal and Voices of Youth Advocates.

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