"Hopelessly devoted" doesn't even begin to cover Megumi's feelings for Suzuka.
Writer/Artist: Matsuri Hino
Translation: Andria Cheng
Adaptation: Andria Cheng
What They Say
Fate plays an unusual trick on a privileged boy in this adorable shojo!
Being carried around everywhere and having handsome Megumi act like a slave may seem ideal, but Suzuka just wishes he would stop. Can anything be done about Megumi's captive state? Or is Megumi doomed to see Suzuka as his master...forever?
Carefree Megumi Kuroishi was living a life of luxury until the day a girl named Suzuka Kogami walked into his life. All of a sudden, Megumi finds himself kneeling at Suzuka's feet and prostrating himself like a servant! What Megumi doesn't know (until that very moment anyway) is that his family is cursed to follow the orders of the Kogami family.
The cover here is fairly busy, with a shot of Megumi and Suzuka in formal dress, joined by a chain. The extra flowers and ribbons and other embellishments seem somewhat unnecessary. The connection to Vampire Knight is mentioned on the front cover, although in a smaller and more discreet manner than I would have expected. The print quality is fairly average, with sharp lines and dark blacks, but there are quite a few pages where the screentone reproduction looks off.
Matsuri Hino's art is gorgeously elaborate shoujo art at it's finest, but readers familiar with Vampire Knight might be in for a bit of surprise here. This is an earlier work, and it shows - the art is much less polished, proportions are occasionally off, and her complex panel layouts end up being a little too busy in some cases. Really, though, those are minor complaints and only in comparison - this is a gorgeous book.
All sound effects are replaced by an English translation in a font that closely matches the original. For the most part this is very well done, to the point where it's difficult to tell that the translation wasn't the original effect. The translation flows very smoothly, and I didn't note any rough points that detracted from the story.
Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Megumi was raised to be a servant to the Kogami family, but his fate took an unusual turn when the entire family went missing fourteen years earlier. He and his father inherited their entire estate, and Megumi was quite enjoying his life as a rich, idle student when word came that the Kogami family might not be dead after all. He's furious about the change in his situation, until he actually meets the sole survivor of the Koagmi family, Suzuka.
On meeting her eyes for the first time, he's overwhelmed with the desire to serve her in every way. As it turns out, Megumi's family is cursed to serve the Kogami family and Megumi, having had no chance to built up any kind of resistance to the curse over the past fourteen years, finds himself going above and beyond in his frantic desire to serve his mistress.
Suzuka, however, isn't the spoiled rich girl that he had been imagining, and upon learning about the curse, she decided to go back to her adopted mother in China. Free from the curse and able to live the rich and idle life he so enjoyed before, Megumi still isn't happy, and winds up bringing Suzuka back to live with them again.
The two are left in an odd situation. Suzuka wants to spend time with the Megumi she remembers from her childhood, a boy she thinks of as family. Megumi wants to get to know the unusual girl he saw before the curse hit him for the first time, a girl he might be falling for. But the curse keeps getting in their way, causing Megumi to act in dramatically out of character ways and interfering with Suzuka's ability to go to school, ride a train, or otherwise live a normal life. As they say, hijinks ensue.
Romantic comedies are somewhat hit or miss, but the unusual premise of this one had me curious to check it out. Hino does an excellent job of creating two layered characters right off the bat, even though it would have been so easy to resort to simple caricatures in this situation. The relationship between Suzuka and Megumi, and the way they deal with the doubts they both have, is utterly charming, and makes it clear right off the bat that there's more to this story than simple comedy. Not that it isn't fluffy - it certainly is - but it's fluffy and also manages to deal with believable emotions and complex situations. Megumi's father is a fantastic character in his own right as well, the devoted servant with a twisted way of looking at the world and a unique sense of humor. I liked this one more than I was expecting to going into it, and can easily recommend it to someone looking for something a little different in their romance.