Monday, September 25, 2017

Kiss Me at the stroke of Midnight Vol. 1 Review

Hinana Hanazawa a seemingly straight-laced High school honors student harbors a secret desire to be swept off her feet by her very own prince charming into her life enters Kaede Ayase the former pop idol now working at becoming an actor. Kaede ends up shooting his latest movie at Hinana's school and Hinana finds out that the seemingly princely Idol is also a bit of a pervert with a fixation on girl's panties and butts. Yet Hinana still finds herself smitten by Kaede for his serious interest in acting and his often little moments of charm. While also agonizing over her own feelings of inadequacy next to the bright young celebrity. In what is now Hinana's own Cinderella story. Capturing the dichotomous nature of one's public persona compared to the private life and feelings one has. Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight Rin Mikimoto writes wish fulfillment in a way that does not insult its audience's intelligence nor sink into the more uncomfortable elements of a series like Sensual Phrase. Hinana is a sweet girl with insecurities and who desperately wants love in the abstract but doesn't really know what to do when her fantasy when Kaede turns that into a reality. Especially when Hinana's prince turns out to be a major pervert thankfully this never crosses over into uncomfortable borderline rape and for the most part it's mostly Kaede being a little too blunt but never pushy or making the admittedly sheltered Hinana feel overly uncomfortable. While Kaede is also shown to be serious about his wanting to be an actor and also a little more withdrawn than the beautiful Idol seen in advertisements and TV Interviews would appear at first sight. Also despite his proclivities towards certain parts of the female anatomy, It's a couple burgeoning on a new love and the sometimes difficult places that those feelings go. Such as Hinana wondering if Kaede is simply being flippant or keeping another woman this thankfully gets resolved end of the volume. Overall this is a fun series that makes for a wonderful mental oasis of those sometimes bittersweet feelings of first love with a heroine that has layers and a love interest for her in Kaede that is often blunt and forward but thankfully never scarily aggressive or forward. While Rin Mikomoto is to be commended not only for writing a semi-realistic romantic fantasy but also in having good backgrounds in the art this may seem like a strange compliment but the amount of Shojo Manga I have read that have blank backgrounds or screentone put in the background making it look rushed or unfinished. Not so here building interiors, floors, all are displayed giving the series a grounded feel. While what use of screen tone is used for emotional effect instead of what feels like a corner-cutting measure. A sweet and sometimes ribald love story that knows how to make you feel the inner life and emotions of the characters while also painting a wonderfully escapist fantasy for the audience.

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