Midnight Secretary, Vol 1

While I enjoy reading paranormal romances set in high school as much as anyone, I attended high school more years ago than I’m willing to admit. So I’m happy to see a romance title that swaps out a twenty-something office lady for the typical teenage manga protagonist. Kaya is an Executive Secretary who is reassigned to the Managing Director at Tohma Corp. Kaya dresses severely, with her hair pulled back and sports fake glasses in order to combat her naturally youthful appearance. Her new boss Kyohei Tohma is an absolute boor, asking that she be reassigned as soon as he sees her because her appearance offends him. Kyohei spends long hours at the office, but he seems to take frequent breaks during the day as a parade of women keep visiting him at his office only to leave looking disheveled and pale.

Kaya is very dedicated to Tohma Corp. and her job, so she does a bit of sleuthing as she is worried that her new boss is doing drugs. She ends up discovering that he is in fact a vampire. Kyohei decides that Kaya’s discovery is a good thing, because she can be his secretary for real if she knows about his condition. He threatens her mother’s employment with the company to ensure Kaya’s silence and assures her that she won’t become his next victim because he only drinks from the finest of women.

As a heroine, Kaya has a bit of a subversive streak. She decides to subtly test vampire theories through her job duties by giving one of Kyohei’s women a silver cross and trying to see if he has a reflection in a mirror. Kaya figures out that the senior director, Kyohei’s older brother, is aware of Kyohei’s vampirism yet isn’t a vampire himself. Kyohei seems amused by Kaya’s detective attempts, and she resolutely resists his arrogant suggestions for her to improve her appearance. When Kyohei gets weakened and needs blood Kaya decides that her secretarial duties extend to becoming food, announcing that “Even if you’re a spoiled, arrogant philanderer…even if you’re sarcastic…and even if you’re a vampire…I want to protect you!”

Kaya and her boss gradually become a bit closer as he begins to trust her with more details of Tohma’s business dealings. Her protective streak is very strong, resulting in some goofy antics at an office Christmas party. I enjoyed the packaging for this manga, as all the extra purple scroll-work makes Midnight Secretary look appropriately gothic. Ohmi’s art is attractive, with believable shifts in the characters’ appearance and mannerisms when Kaya loses her glasses or when Kyohei is in the grips of vampiric compulsion. We see the couple’s professional facades begin to crack more and more as the volume progresses. I enjoyed this first volume of Midnight Secretary very much, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

Review copy provided by the publisher

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  1. I love the amount of agency Kaya keeps (with one exception in volume 2 or 3 and it’s never repeated, so…) with her decisions – she changes far less than Kyohei will eventually do (Germany already has all of Midnight Secretary)

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