Thursday, December 4, 2008

Captive Hearts vol. 1 by Matsuri Hino review

Captive Hearts vol. 1

Author/Artist: Matsuri Hino

Publisher: VIZ Media

Rating: T – ages 13 and up

Genre: Shojo, Comedy, Drama, Romance

Grade: B

*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at http://liheliso.org/. Check it out! ***

The Kuroishi family has been serving the Kogami family for generations, thanks to a curse placed on the Kuroishis by the Kogami family's guardian dragon. The current Kogami family left Japan and was living in China for a time, but they disappeared. No one knew what happened and the worst was accepted (you know, they were dead). The will was unsealed and the fortune was left to the family butler and his son, Megumi.

Megumi has been living in the lap of luxury when disaster strikes (well, disaster in a way). The only daughter, Suzuka Kogami, has been found and has been brought back to Japan. The last time Megumi saw Suzuka was when he was still a young lad and she was a baby. Because Megumi hasn't been around any Kogami family member so he hasn't built up a resistance to the curse. So who knows when he'll be hit by his urge to serve Suzuka. Megumi and Suzuka seem to have stronger feelings for one another but are Megumi's feelings because of the servant curse?

Captive Hearts is a shojo title from front to back. The art and panels are laid out in such a way that you can tell that this is a girly manga. You have flowers, lace, ribbons, bubbles, etc. adorning every page; it is a little busy. It's like an antique store exploded and left ribbons, lace doilies, and other knick-knacks all over the pages. But that seems to be typical in shojo manga. Despite the busy background I was captivated by the story (no pun intended). I laughed out loud at Megumi's antics. One minute he's a normal dude and the next he's a doting butler. Suzuka is a sweet hardworking character, not a rich girl by any means. I am looking forward for the next volumes. I recommend this title for those who like sweet stories and happy endings (I figure that the series will have a happy ending).

If you enjoy sweet funny romantic stories, you'll probably enjoy Captive Hearts. I liked it, you probably will too.

***Review Copy provided by VIZ Media***
***Reposted with permission from The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society***

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