Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Midnight Secretary; Tomu Ohmi

I first found Midnight Secretary via Smart Bitches. The author's name may also be found spelled Oumi and Oomi.Click title above for link to wiki page talking about this series. This is a josei manga (aimed at women)- click here for wiki page detailing what josei manga is and who it’s marketed towards. Originally published in Petit Comic magazine in Japan starting in 2006 and finishing in May of 2009, with 34 chapters and a few extras. It was serialized. I’m very grateful I found it near the end of its serialization. It would’ve been torture to wait weeks and months between chapters. This is the first manga I read and as a ‘newbie’ genre reader I had to get my daughter to explain some of the background and symbolism the genre comes with. If you are a new reader there are lots of resources out there on the internet to help you along.

Kaya Satozuka is what I think we here in the U.S. would call an executive secretary. She’s in her mid twenties and works for the Touma company. In the opening section Kaya has just been assigned to CEO Kyouhei Touma’s office as his only secretary. Not a prospect to be relished, since he goes through secretaries as others might use tissues. However, Kaya is no ordinary secretary either. Preternaturally organized and efficient, Kaya soon makes herself indispensible.

Kaya is a total workaholic, with little or no personal time. The only sticking point is that she’s frumpy. Dresses conservatively, wears glasses despite not needing them. Why this would be a problem given her competence otherwise I didn’t understand. Kyouhei complains about her unattractiveness at first although eventually he shuts up about it. Kyouhei is openly a womanizer, going so far as to instruct Kaya in scheduling and gifts to be given. Chasing Kaya off once in a while. He’s very open about it all- Kaya’s only his secretary after all. & really? Who cares what she thinks?

Everyone has a flaw though, and Kaya’s is curiosity. Eventually Kaya tires of juggling all these women for him. She wants to know just what the hell is going on with Kyouhei and his harem and all of the rules attached to their relationships. So what does she do? She sets him up for a fall by hiding during one of Kyouhei’s trysts. Is she prepared for what she’ll find out? What will the fallout be for her and for Kyouhei? Is everything really as it seems? Can Kaya balance work and her growing involvement with Kyouhei?

This was an eye opening introduction into the world of romantic, paranormal josei manga. The world created has unique features and Kaya has a viewpoint towards work and loyalty that I’ve never come across. Kyouhei is totally a type A dominant guy- will Kaya truly be able to tame him? Even just a little? Available to read here and here.

Image is copyrighted & is Tomu Ohmi's, from the series. This manga is currently scanlated onto these sites and is likely done illegally so far as I can tell. Yes, it's piracy and theft of copyrighted material and deprives the author of income. Yes, it's wrong. So far as I can tell it's not available in english anywhere at this time. If you have very strong feelings about supporting author's rights, fighting piracy etc. I recommend you find something else to read.


Kailana said...

So... How's our buddy read coming? I haven't heard anything from you in a while!

Bookwormom said...

Kailana~I sent you an email.

Bunny B said...

Sounds interesting. I've never read manga before. Will def look into this :) Thanks!

Bookwormom said...

BunnyB~ There was a lot more character development over the course of the series than I anticipated. I really enjoyed it. Hope you do too!