Kaya Satozuka is a hard-working woman. A member of the clerical services, she is a fast typist and ensures that all her work is done neatly and quickly. When she is called in to work for Director Kyouhei Touma of the Touma Company, she assumes it will be a job like any other. However, she finds the man's habits to be irksome. Not only is he a terrible womanizer who lavishes his ladies with gifts, he is also arrogant and spoiled. It comes to a head when she discovers that Director Touma is actually a vampire! When a dire situation arises, she offers her own blood to him to keep him from fainting... and soon is pulled in to a world she had never known existed. Can she survive the hunger, and the lust, of the vampire, and still get her work done?
This week we walk on the dark-side, readers. Let’s look at Midnight Secretary.
Midnight Secretary is a josei manga (manga marketed to adult women) written and illustrated by Ohmi Tomu. It was released in Petit Comic from 2006 to May 2009. In America, Viz Media owns the rights and has been releasing the series since September, 2013.
Let’s look at the cover: We see the clear depiction of a stylish, if slightly tight-bound bespectacled woman, with a man’s face inside of a stylized cross. Behind the woman is a twightlight dusted city silhouette. Gothic letters and style hint at the nature of this series.
We begin with Kaya Satozuka. She is a trained clerical worker who is particularly gifted as a secretary. She is clean and tidy with her appearance and her work, gets her duties down in a timely and orderly manner, and doesn’t have any social life outside of the work-place. And while she is respectful to her co-workers and her employers, she can come across as introverted. Which she really is. One day her skills are noticed and she’s promoted to be the private secretary of the Touma Company’s Director, Kyouhei Touma. He is young, and while good at his job, Kaya is appalled at his horrendous womanizing. He has multiple women that he discards like tissues, after giving them multiple gifts. He even sneaks them in to his office for late-night trysts. One night, Kaya accidentally walks in on her boss and one of his ladies to see that he’s… drinking her blood.
Yes. Director Touma is a vampire. Kaya’s afraid at first, but after being told that his kind don’t kill humans and that their bites won’t change a human in to a vampire, he convinces her to stay (because finding a secretary as good as Kaya would be annoying and take a lot of time). So, Kaya agrees to keep quiet, and remains loyal. One evening, he needs her to accompany him as a PA, only to end in a situation where he desperately needs blood to keep him from growing sick. Kaya offers her own, and they discover that, unlike other women, Kaya’s blood can quench his thirst with just a very small amount. Eventually, Touma stops inviting women to his office (and bed) and seeks only Kaya’s blood for nourishment. Kaya, in turn, begins to develop feelings for her boss, but knows it would be inappropriate to date him. However, she learns that he is equally attracted and desirous of her, and the two begin an intense sexual relationship.
Yep, it’s really erotica at the core. Your typical steamy romance with a vampire flavor- and this lot came before Twilight and its horrendous clones hit the bookshelves. Kaya’s a lot more endearing of a character than Bella Swan, however, but only just. And the character progression of Kyouhei Touma from spoiled rotten play-boy to a caring, protective, and loving man is a saving grace. But the only draw for me in this series were the designs of the FASHION.
Tomu is clearly a giant fashion hound and whenever she can put her women in beautiful dresses, style their hair, and make them look alluring, she does it with relish. She also is absolutely wonderful at making her men look like they walked off the runway. Some women would like this story for the sex, but I’m completely in love with the fashion porn.
I give this series a 2.5. If you like romance novels, different takes on vampires, and extravagant fashion, then give this title a read-through. If you’re looking for more substance with your ‘evening meals’, then throw this one out and reach for something with more bite.