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House of 1000 Manga - Midnight Secretary

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Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1436
Location: Sunny California
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:08 pm Reply with quote
The other is that Kyohei—and the sex scenes—are very hot, and in this type of comic hotness can excuse any number of shenanigans.

LOL. An honest reviewer.

I've been on the fence about getting this title for a long time. Although I really enjoy supernatural titles, like Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service*, I find a lot of vampire stories to be watered down puddles of bleh... I keep reading over and over again that Midnight Secretary is an addictive, "guilty pleasure". There must be something to the hype.

* PS: You can pre-order volume 14 of Kurosagi now. If you're a fan, it would be awesome if you could please show your support of the series. ^_~
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Joined: 01 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:26 pm Reply with quote
For me, personally, the biggest turn-off in the series is Kyohei and his alpha-male posturing, for all that Ohmi tries to excuse it as “vampire pride.” Kyohei was raised in the human world, you see, and like a lot of people who feel displaced from their ethnicity he tries a little too hard with the vampire fronting.

This. Omg, thank you finally someone on this website agrees with me! Kaya, being the amazing character that she is, was the ONLY thing that kept me going at one point because this guy? Such. A. Jerk! (and really not even an interesting jerk considering his sob back-story was so typical and one-dimensional later on)

The other is that Kyohei—and the sex scenes—are very hot

Is it weird that I didn't find them all that sexy? Razz I mean, I found Kyouhei hot in the beginning too, but all that jerk-assery of his made it go right out the window till I found myself begging at the screen to Kaya to please please go for one of the nice dudes, because this one is basically treating you like spoiler[a whore (considering his behavior towards her later and that she's basically shut-in with him then 24/7)].

And the blood-sucking. While they're at it. *shudder* just, no. Too creepy for me.

Anyway, I don't mean to be a debbie downer, people can like what they like. Great review, I had fun reading it!
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Joined: 20 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:44 pm Reply with quote
I tried to like this series but the relationship dynamic made me too uncomfortable to continue reading after three volumes.
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Joined: 25 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:47 pm Reply with quote
I accidented on this series at one point. I found a perfect place to stop and haven't looked back.

spoiler[Basically, there was a point where Kara says "goodbye" before things get way to heavy, and Vamps doesn't chase her because of his pride. Then he gets sick because he's not eating. So in my mind he's dead. He literally just got sick and died. And that would have been a cool ending. Sort of like the "Devil wears Prada" (very...VERY...sort of)

I have no idea where the story went from there. Let me guess.

"No, I cannot love her. She's just a human."
"i'm a professional. He just sees me as something to use."
"Why can't I get her out of my mind!"
"I wish I was more than tool."
"Huh? Her blood? It's lost its flavor!"
"He must not need me anymore!"
And then ZOMG babies.
That's how it ends, right? There's a baby. Or does it stop at marriage?

I don't care. *farts*.

It might be interesting if the story was about her getting out of an abusive relationship with a crazed vampire.

I guess I'm not into Harlequin romances...]
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Joined: 27 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:29 pm Reply with quote
"So for this week I offer Midnight Secretary, a shojo manga about…"


"This is a josei (women's) manga, not shojo..."

So, you got it right in the last paragraph, but wrong in the first? So strange. Could have used a little extra editing...
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Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 157
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:51 pm Reply with quote
I'm stalled on this manga at volume 5, I think it is. I seem to switch back and forth between more playful HS rom-coms and more serious josei relationships. I gobbled up Black Bird at the same time as I was reading Midnight Secretary and also Happy Marriage?! and I think one other similar title... but then I stumbled on an older manga (Hana-Kimi) I somehow never read and now I'm back to the more "younger" stories like Voice Over!, Strobe Edge, etc.

I just picked up Spell of Desire and Honey Blood (haven't read them yet) though so perhaps I'll give Midnight Secretary another round in a couple weeks.
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Joined: 12 Mar 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:30 pm Reply with quote
After all that hype about one of the first josei manga being brought by VizMedia I tried reading the first 3 volumes. And though the male protagonist is definitely extremely hot that's about all that attracted me to this manga. His relationship with other women and with his secretary wasn't at all impressive for me. While reading I just felt that the author somehow wanted to fit the characters do it and quiet frequently in an office setting. I always wonder why this doesn't come out naturally in a single romance manga? Why do the protagonists have to have forced physical relationships in the start? And if its not forced then they need to do it in order to feel connected to each other -pfft.

I found the story weak. The illustrations are good with reasonable backgrounds could have been a bit more elaborate but its okay.

Well I'm also surprised that VizMedia suddenly has lined up a series of smut manga for their shojo beat section. guess that's just a temporary trend to see if these sort of manga sell. I'd parsonally absolutely love to see series like Akatsuki no Yona, Akagami no Shirayuki-hime get English releases.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:14 pm Reply with quote
This is a josei (women's) manga, not shojo, so the sex is frank and plentiful. Which is how I like my romance fiction, so no complaints on the T+ rating from me.

It's M (Mature) from the start. Though I can't remember if the volumes were all shrinkwrapped? Some of Shojo Beat's M rated books aren't.

Anyway I read a little of this. Vampires just aren't all that sexy to me and Ohmi's art was a bit off since the series is a little older. But, I did like Kaya. Probably since I related to her character with the "baby face." I look younger than I am so that has caused issues in professional settings as well as near everywhere else for me. Plus, I used to work in a very male-dominated industry. So I would have to ridiculously prove my competency in that job at times. Even though the character has a pink-collar career Kaya's toughness and spirit made me feel like rooting for her. To a point at least. Vampires just aren't my thing.

Oh, and Secretary is one of my favorite movies.
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Joined: 05 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:32 pm Reply with quote
I first encountered Midnight Secretary through scans and I liked it at first. But I dropped it halfway through because it ended up being too dull for my taste. I feel kinda bad about it because I was one of those who asked for it to be picked up for translation.

Oh, about Anne Rice and powerful vampire clans, I don't remember any of those in her books. You must be thinking of another author. They were some powerful vampires but I don't think they "secretly controlled human society".
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Joined: 17 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:37 pm Reply with quote
I like Ohmi's more mature series, even if I don't care about the steamier parts. And about how Kyouhei is, most girls like bad guys because they think they can change them.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:19 pm Reply with quote
Oh man! To me,"Midnight Secretary" is the "Twilight" novels mixed in with the film "9 to 5." It's hard to know what to think about a manga like this. This Kyouhei guy seems like a real slug. I don't know why there are women who like this sort of guy. The secretary could have done a lot better than this creep.
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Joined: 06 Feb 2007
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Location: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:59 pm Reply with quote
I just wanna say that that line about the pirate had me in stitches for a good ten minutes. Kudos on the ten-year marriage, incidentally. You're quite blessed. Okay, I got that off of my chest.

So, with Midnight Secretary, it's best strength is that it knows its a vampire romance, and doesn't really stray from the formula? I can respect a work for that. It's a shame that the gender politics are so messed up. Is there something wrong with making your male love interest an all-around nice person who genuinely respects the female lead? I don't get it.
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Joined: 12 May 2009
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:59 pm Reply with quote
Shaenon, thank you for highlighting Midnight Secretary. This was both one of the first josei and first smut manga I read when I first started reading manga as an adult about 6 years ago. I devoured Gothic novels when I was younger, so I suppose I have a high tolerance for jerk heros. (For those of you who are too young to know, Gothic novels were not nearly as rape-y as the bodice-rippers Shaenon alludes to, and typically there wasn't even any sex.) Midnight Secretary reminds me more of Jane Eyre than Pride and Prejudice, from the innocent yet spunky heroine who is no one's victim, to the second love interest who is a better match in every way, yet can't win out over the charismatic bad-boy hero. As you said,
this type of comic hotness can excuse any number of shenanigans.

When I was growing up, comics were for teens and under-thirty men, and it seems to me that that is still largely the case. When I first found manga, I was delighted that there was a whole demographic written for me. There's still not a lot of josei available in English, even in scanlation, so I welcome any that I can hold in my hands.

I'm reading this again in the print volumes as I prepare a presentation on josei for a local convention, and I still love it. I love her take on vampires, making them more the product of a genetic mutation than supernatural creatures. This allows her to jettison all those icky graveyard horror trappings and just get on with the romance. I love the art - OHMI Tomu draws some of the best-looking men outside of yaoi. Guilty pleasure? Pleasure, certainly, but I feel no guilt whatsoever.
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