Direction: Right to Left
by: Leigh Michaels, Ritsuka Amane
Publisher: Harlequin K.K.
Type: One Shot
Genre: Romance, Josei
Millionaires Kathryn is preparing for what is being called the wedding of the century. It is not a marriage of love, but her father believes they are a good match. Everything is turned upside down, however, when she finds out her husband-to-be is only after her fortune! Her father is still none the wiser. Throwing off her wedding dress, Kathryn decides to run away from her wedding, with the help of Jonah, a man she meets in the garden. She offers Jonah a deal – "Marry me" – and their strange but thrilling elopement begins!
Only two characters in this volume, Katie and Jonah, but then in such a short title that’s to be expected.
Kathryn Mae Campbell, aka Katie, is a pretty well developed character. Her personality is well developed and shines throughout the volume. I liked that while being rich she doesn’t fit into the usual stereotype character. She isn’t a bitch, nor is she weedy soft touch. She does have soft sides to her, but at the same time she’s a gung-ho character one I really liked.
Jonah is a pretty typical “hero” style character, though I do like his personality and the way he acts. While he certainly isn’t anything special, character wise, he has a good solid feel to him. I liked the way his character is portrayed in the volume, he fitted well with the scenario and especially with Katie.
Sadly like all of the Harlequin I’ve read this one is ridiculously short. While I will admit that the conversion is a pretty decent one, it’s nothing more than ‘okay’. Novels can carry a lot more information than manga can, so short novels can still carry a wealth of information that help develop characters and relationships.
The manga version could have explored this more, and built up the relationship between Katie and Jonah.
Yet, despite it being fast paced there’s no sense of the relationship being forced along, just to get it done. Over the course of the volume the relationship is allowed to blossom naturally, and the feelings and emotions we see have a genuine and natural feel to them.
The ending, while as clichéd and generic as they come, has a nice feel to it. It takes the ‘fairy tale’ ending to a new level. Also, while the revelations at the end of the volume aren’t unexpected, and frankly were predicable, I liked the way it was played out. It has a nice feel to it, and when I was finished reading it, I wanted to read it again. That re-readability is what makes manga great.
I liked the art of this volume, it was clean and crisp, and the characters were alive and vibrant. This was especially true of the support characters towards the end of the volume. The characters in the town such as the mayor, and the hotel owners Sam and Jenny. Usually support characters tend to be a bit inflexible, but I found the ones in this volume to be really well done.
The font’s used in this volume are still a bit off, resulting in a release that still looks like a bad scanlation. This further exasperated with the way they handle the SFX’s. Rather than either fully editing them, or putting simple and small translations close by, they decided to put larger translation right by the japanese ones. At times this means the panel looks bad due to the clutter.
Hopefully in time as they listen to feed back from readers they’ll adapt, though any publisher looking to get into the manga field should at least look at how the current publishers do things. The best way to learn something is to look at someone else, and ten mimic them.
All said and done though, I do like this story. But it’s not a hard sell for me, since I’m a love story fan and I actually read the Mills and Boon novels these volumes are based off of.
This volume was read on DMP’s eManga website, at the current time that’s the only place to read it.