Title: Mayonaka no Ariadne
Author: SHIMOTSUKI Kayoko
KC Betsufure Comics, 2006
Aw yeah, here is a cool series! I was intrigued by the cover art (as usual) so I picked it up. Then, later, I realized that this is by the artist who drew the ‘C-Blossom’ manga which I also talk about on this site. Hey, cool! And like C-Blossom, this story tends to be more action and mystery oriented than the usual shoujo series. There is possible romance, but it is not the main focus here. The artwork is very pretty. It is somehow more ‘solid’ than typical shoujo art. The author uses more black/white contrasts for shadows and things instead of a ton of screen tones. Another thing I like about this manga is how, even though the main story is rather dark and serious, there are many absolutely ridiculous moments. The characters all have a sense of humor about the serious stuff going on around them. So this manga can be funny too 🙂
It is the first day of school, and WATAYA Chiyoko is noticed right away in her class. Well, actually, she is noticed because she can’t be seen! She is a very small and short girl, which makes everyone around her think she is very cute. Chiyoko IS very cute, but she can be shy and sometimes has problems being heard. However she is working hard on getting taller by drinking lots of milk! Chiyoko also has a huge appetite and can eat insane amounts in one sitting. Where does it all go?!
That first day of class also brings the introduction of another classmate, KYUUGA Chiharu-kun. He shows up in class late, and Chiyoko is shocked to see him in her class. She used to know him when she was a child! She hasn’t seen him in years, but she recognizes him right away. And, just as in the past, he has a mean look about him. Chiyoko has memories of tagging along with him and his older sister, and him being mean to her. The sister was much nicer. Chiyoko wonders if Chiharu-kun remembers her, but he gives no indication.
Curious about him now, Chiyoko follows him home from school one day and is surpsied to see him not head home, but to a scary part of town. Chiyoko gets lost following him, and ends up in a very scary alley and then in a very dark and mysterious building. It appears to be an expensive club of some sort! But it’s very sinister! Chiyoko wants to leave, but before she can, she stumbles upon a strange hidden room where a handsome guy is waiting. He mistakes her for a new employee of the club (and talks about clients with lolicon fetishes now) and is very forceful with her, saying she can’t get away. Chiyoko is terrified of this guy. Who is he? What is this place? Just when she is almost paralyzed with fear, she is rescued by a beautiful woman who drags her away from the stranger and out of the room. Chiyoko is shocked when she realizes that the beautiful woman is Chiharu-kun! In drag! (hey, how did he get that d-cup chest?!) What is he doing there! Why is he so angry?
Chiharu forces Chiyoko to leave the club, and it is obvious he remembers who she is from their childhood. Chiyoko is so confused and curious about Chiharu’s secret life. Why is he dressing as a woman? Yet he still goes to school… He is still so cold and distant to her, Chiyoko feels like she will never get an answer to this mystery. But then one day she sees the scary guy from the club waiting for her by the school gate…