Monday, March 09, 2009

Manga Monday: Captive Hearts

Captive Hearts (Volume 1)
Matsuri Hino
Captive Hearts is a shojo manga title from the creator of Vampire Knight. The story follows Megumi Kuroishi, the son of a man who has faithfully served the Kogami family for years. When the family disappeared during a trip fifteen years ago, they were left the legacy according to a will. Since then, Megumi has been spoiled, living a life of luxury in the Kogami mansion, lounging about all day. But suddenly there comes news of Suzuka Kogami, the daughter taken on the Kogami vacation who has turned up alive. Megumi's father is overjoyed at the news, having truly loved the Kogami family, but Megumi himself has reservations, hardly wanting to part with his easy lifestyle. On top of all of this, Megumi is informed by his father that there is a curse on the Kuroishi family to serve the Kogamis for one hundred generations. Whatever the Kogamis ask for, the Kuroishis will indulge. When Suzuka comes home to Kogami mansion, Megumi falls madly in love with her of course, but he also feels the pull of the curse when he looks at her directly.
There was some very nice art in this book, and I liked some of the cool things that Hino did with the premise. For one thing, Suzuka loves to clean and do chores herself, so she essentially does the Kuroishi's job for them, despite many protests. But the big thing that I thought was really neat was when Megumi confesses his feelings for Suzuka, she isn't sure if it's him talking or his curse's need to please her. She battles with the line between friend and servant, and recalls a time when her father told her never to ask a member of the Kuroishi family to do anything for her, a chilling moment that makes one wonder how far they would go to serve the curse. So Suzuka vows to find a cure for the curse while Megumi tries to show her that his love for her is genuine. Despite these few great ideas, this is a pretty typical shojo manga. Hino really plays up the comedy in this title and characters are constantly dancing around and embarrassing themselves over one thing or another. It's a little silly, but it's nice to see things not taken so seriously all the time. I prefer more dramatic storytelling, which may be why I didn't connect with this book overall, but I certainly wouldn't steer anyone away from it. In the end however, there are better shojo manga out there, there are better comedy manga out there. This falls along the lines of "not bad" or "good enough."

1 comment:

Nikita said...

I also think this manga is ok, nothing special. It was a bit disappointing after reading Vampire Knight and MeruPuri, also written by Matsuri Hino.