Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight by Rin Mikimoto is a silly shoujo manga series about two people whose true personalities completely mismatch their public personas.
In this romantic comedy our main character, Hinana, is an honor student. Her schoolmates think she is studious and stoic. They admire her maturity and have built her so far up on a pedestal that she could not possibly let them down now. Truthfully, she splits her time between reading fairy tale romances and fantasizing about having her own with a super hot prince.
Kaede is a hot young actor. His face is in all the adds, and rumors of his charming personality are spreading like wildfire. In reality he is a crude connoisseur of the female form, with a particular love of butts.
Fate happens on the day that Kaede is filming a movie at Hinana's school. The production team needs more extras for their shoot so the school requests the student council members to pitch in. Giving Hinana the most exciting moment of her life, but surrounded by people who can never know the truth about her. She worries she won't be able to keep it together.
Then, while on break, she catches a glimpse of "the true Kaede" staring at the butts of the girls on the tennis team while they practice. Hinana realizes that this prince, isn't actually all that charming.
As far as shoujo main characters go, I think Hinana is a solid one. She understands the implications of the situation she has created for herself by lying to her classmates. She even understands that her fantasy of finding a "hot prince" is shallow, but it is what she wants, and she is honest with herself.
Beyond that she is also very earnest to her friends, she does get good grades, and she is serious about the student council.
The plot is really ridiculous. It definitely makes you laugh, but every time Kaede does something cringy my gut reaction was to think, 'oh god, he's such a creep'. This is actually why plot is quite smart.
Kaede's objectification of female butts is not much different than Hinana's objectification of men who are "hot princes". Both characters have a shallow obsession which will not help them in their romantic pursuits.
In this first volume, a relationship between the two characters does occur, but it does not set a clear indication of where it will go next. I hope that the rest of this series will explore these two having a realistic relationship where neither of their expectations are met.
Hinana will have to realize that perfect fairy tale romances do not exist. And Kaede will have to realize how his fetish affects the people around him.
Pick this series up if you want to laugh. I think there is plenty of room for hilarious, yet sweet, absurdities to arise. The character designs are very pretty, and have a positive impact on the overall reading experience.
Volume 2 will be released in English on November 14, 2017.
Thanks for reading!
All photos in this post are my own