Midnight Stranger Volume 1 by Naono Bohra

Sadly, this title fell very flat for me. Indeed, about half way through, I became really bored and just started skimming to see if the story would go anywhere. The supernatural elements were kind of infantile and silly and most of the story was an excuse for sex (there really wasn’t much in the way of story). I found both protagonists to be caricatures rather than characters and wasn’t interested in them or their romance in any way.

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Story: A humanitarian spirit Roi Tschaggara [a Swiss legend] is saved by a powerful and not so humble fire god Xiuhtecuhtli [Aztec fire god]. Xiu transforms the ugly little goat spirit into a human and Rio serves his master faithfully. But the humble Roi doesn’t feel he is worthy of the great Xiu’s attentions – and pines away in secret for his master. Also includes a second story which also has a supernatural element.

I never liked either mopey dull Roi or over-the-top self-absorbed Xoi. To create ‘conflict’ we have an assortment of cliche plot elements, none of which are going to elevate the story. The sex is extremely graphic, even for this genre. And there’s lots of it, so I guess the story gets in the way. The choice of random European and South American supernatural figures did nothing to help bring a bit of gravitas to the silliness. It felt like the mangaka was on autopilot when she wrote this, churning together bits and pieces of too many other familiar stories with help from wikipedia entries on various world deities.

The artwork is serviceable but surprisingly dated feeling – really, nothing special. Oddly, this seems much more like a doujinshi than an original story – and it is not surprising that mangaka Bohra has strong roots in the dj genre. In the end, there’s not much to recommend here. Reviewed from an arc provided by the publisher.

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