With Shuriken and Pleats, Hino gives us a character reminiscent of post-transformation Yuuki: emotionless, tough, and very loyal. Those that liked Vampire Knight will appreciate that Shuriken and Pleats has a lot of the same elements that made the former series great. Although Volume 1 gets off to a slow start and doesn’t pick up the plot until the last chapter, the series looks to be quite good.
Story: When the Meiji Restoration destroyed the need for ninjas, many went overseas to find employment. In current time, Mikage is a ninja assigned to guard a wealthy humanitarian in Europe. She is extremely loyal to her master but also fights against feelings for the older man (who had a Japanese wife and child, both deceased), which interferes with her ability to perform her duty. He’s a target for the valuable collection of legacy seeds he protects – and protecting him is a full time responsibility for Mikage. When he offers to adopt her as his daughter so she can experience a real school girl life, everything will change for the young ninja girl.
Most of the first volume is Mikage mooning over her master and his good heart. But by the end of the volume Hino shakes up everything and introduces us to a completely new set of characters, one of which is definitely going to be a romantic interest. Because the plot moved slowly at the beginning, there are still many questions that will need to be answered by book 2 in order to see where the story will go.
There are several plot twists and surprises and clearly Hino is not going to stray from the elements that made Vampire Knight so riveting. I look forward to seeing where she takes the characters in volume 2. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.