Saturday, December 7, 2013

Captive Hearts (manga, vol. 1) by Matsuri Hino

Technically, this is composed of three stories – the beginning of Captive Hearts and a couple extra shorts.

This was one of my vacation reads, so I'm not listing any read-alikes.

Synopsis:

The actual Captive Hearts portion introduces readers to Megumi and Suzuka. Megumi is a carefree guy whose father served the Kogami family. Megumi has gotten used to living off the Kogami family's wealth since their apparent death, but then it's revealed that Suzuka, their daughter, is still alive. She comes back to take her rightful place as the Kogami family heir, and Megumi learns the horrible truth: a family curse makes him and his father utterly devoted to the Kogami family. Megumi's father is used to this and has even learned to love the Kogami family. Megumi is not so happy. Every time he makes eye contact with Suzuka, he loses control of himself and becomes her loyal servant. Megumi soon realizes, however, that Suzuka isn't so bad. Suzuka, for her part, hates the curse, because she's falling for Megumi and has no idea how to tell if he's nice to her because of the curse or because he's starting to like her back.

The first of the two shorts stars a girl dealing with a stalker, her own shyness, and her unrequited love for her teacher. It ends with indications that love may blossom between the teacher and the student at some point. The second stars a girl who's in love with her childhood friend. He's about to go off to college without her.

Review:

This was a light, funny read with over-the-top humor. I had heard of Captive Hearts before and, considering the premise and the author (she wrote/drew Vampire Knight), thought it would be a little darker than this. Even the part where Suzuka and Megumi learned why Suzuka must never give a member of the Kuroishi family an order was played relatively lightly.

The most disappointing thing about this volume was that only half of it was devoted to Captive Hearts. I hate it when I start a manga volume expecting an entire volume's worth of a single story, and then half of it (or more) is something else. The two short stories that made up the other half of this volume weren't bad, but still.

Both shorts were sweet, although fairly forgettable. The first looked like it was going to turn into forbidden student-teacher romance, so I was surprised when it focused mostly on showing the shy heroine's efforts to be strong.

All in all, this was an okay volume. I don't know that I'm interested enough in Captive Hearts to continue with it, though.

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