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February 24, 2014

Bento Bako Weekly: Midnight Secretary vol. 2

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Written by: Kristin
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midnightsecretary2Title: Midnight Secretary
Author: Tomu Ohmi
Publisher: Viz Media (Shojo Beat)
Volume: Volume 2 (of 7), $9.99
Vintage: 2007 by Shogakukan, November 2013 by Viz Media
Genre: Supernatural romance

[Volume 1 review.]

And we’re back for more with brilliant executive secretary Kaya Satozuka and her vampire boss Kyohei Tohma. Kaya takes her job as the director’s secretary very seriously, especially now that she knows his secret. A secret that makes things both easier and far more difficult for them both. With knowledge of his condition, Kaya can work Kyohei’s schedule around it, taking care to keep him out of sunlight whenever possible, and leaving time for his regular meals. Let us not forget, however, that she’s also offered up her own blood when Kyohei fell weak, and now he’s addicted. Even after he’s just fed, he still wants a taste of Kaya, and the woman who once understood her duty as an emergency meal starts to think there might be something special about her. That maybe Kyohei needs her, and she’s not “just a meal.” Until she overhears him calling her just that in a conversation to his brother. She still wants to be useful to him, however, and his talk of her blood being the only blood that truly quenches his thirst makes her happy. Realizing she might be struggling, and worried for her well being, Kyohei’s brother Masaki offers to transfer Kaya to another department. She turns him down at first, until an encounter at Kyohei’s condo sends her into a tailspin and she begs to be transferred immediately. Masaki arranges for Kaya to assist another company in setting up a secretarial division, and assigns Kyohei’s needs to the staff pool while she’s gone. This doesn’t sit well with Kyohei, however, despite his insistence that Kaya is just another human to be used. Yet he still leaves Kaya believing that she isn’t really needed. So off Kaya goes to help Erde Company and company president Takasu, whom she quickly impresses and convinces that having secretaries will improve the efficiency of his company. Meanwhile, with Kaya gone, Kyohei’s become more irritable, overworks himself, and isn’t feeding properly. And despite flat out saying he doesn’t need her, he finds it offensive to see her working for someone else, and he even saves her from being hit by a car. His driver approaches her soon after with new glasses to replace the ones broken in the accident, and a plea to help Kyohei. Kaya realizes that despite his arrogance and pride, Kyohei always seemed to understand her feelings about presenting herself as a proper secretary, and saw her true self. Realizing that it’s just as painful not to be able to help him, and that her feelings are too strong to run away from, she goes back to Kyohei. Rather that wait for Kyohei to stop being stubborn, Kaya takes drastic action, then forms her own explanation for his behavior. She then makes him an offer he apparently can’t refuse.

Ohmi details a few new pieces to her vampire lore in this volume, including the ability of vampires to breed with humans (which explains Kyohei), and their need to drink blood from members of the opposite sex. She also reveals why Kyohei despises humans so much, a trait stemming from his mother’s departure from her vampire clan in order to be with her human husband whom she’d fallen in love with. This hatred, along with his pride, get in the way of his growing feelings for Kaya. He’s extremely insistent that she’s his tool, a possession, a mere human, and that he can get on perfectly fine without her. Yet he becomes jealous when he sees her happily excelling working for someone else. His possessiveness is not exactly a positive trait, but it doesn’t come off too harshly in Ohmi’s hands. He can be an ass, definitely, but when Kaya finally confronts him, he does appear to silently accept her explanation for his bizarre behavior. The next volume will likely be fairly telling, since this one ends before we can really see if her words will have any actual effect on him. For fans of the sexy smutty nature of this series, you’ll be pleased with this volume, as it opens and ends, and with another scene in the middle, with some hot and heavy behavior from the pair. Mostly though, this volumes chronicles Kaya’s realizations about her feelings for Kyohei. From denial, to running away and trying to forget them, to finally accepting them. It also introduces a new character in Erde’s president, Takasu, who’s been set up to be a rival for Kaya’s affections. Probably a pointless one, since Kaya already recognizes she loves Kyohei, but it’ll introduce some tension all the same, and likely give Kyohei the kick in the ass he needs to stop being a stubborn prat. So that’s something to look forward to (or groan over) as the volumes progress.




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