CAPTIVE HEARTS VOL. 3 (ADVANCE REVIEW)

Posted On March - 2 - 2009
  RELEASED BY:   VIZ MEDIA
  AUTHOR / ART:  

MATSURI HINO

  FORMAT:   JAPANESE / B&W
  PAGES:   200
  RATING:   T
  RELEASE DATE:   03/03/2009
  REVIEW DATE:   03/02/2009
  REVIEWED BY:   HOLLY ELLINGWOOD



The third volume opens up on a chapter filled with romance as Megumi attempts to win a second kiss from his beloved Suzuka. But she’s terribly shy about that kind of thing and there’s also the problem that whenever their eyes meet, Megumi goes into super servant mode and gushes over her with adoration due to the family curse. She desperately wants to break that curse so that she can feel that their bond of love is free from chains of command. But trying to break it won’t be easy. As soon as he leaves with his mother to go to China, he falls ill. It seems he cannot even be too far away from her without suffering ill effects due to the ancient curse tying their two families together. But the answer has to be somewhere and Suzuka is determined to find it.

The manga in this volume gives an extended story arc that reveals the origins of the curse. A noble lady unwilling to enter into an arranged marriage and a thief cross paths to forever change their destinies and their hearts. It is a very to romantic story and beautifully drawn. It raises some interesting questions about the curse.

Questions are also on the mind of Megumi’s parents. A flashback shows Megumi’s father as a young man and how Suzuka’s father wanted also to free his servant and friend from the curse. They went to China to do so and their lives were lost. Is their death connected to the cruse somehow? It certainly seems to be more intriguing with every little bit unveiled.

Suzuka and Megumi have other obstacles on their road to love. The maid-in-training Rui does not care for the new mistress or her hold on Megumi’s affections. She makes her antagonism clear and it sets Suzuka back. Megumi steps in yet Suzuka is troubled by the strength and need of her love for Megumi. She is so decent that the thought of being so possessive and selfish (at least by her own standards) makes her feel dirty, as though her heart and soul are tainted. It is Megumi who reaches through to her to make her realize that what she feels is understandable. And there are some comedic moments in the rivalry between Rui and Suzuka that were welcome entertainment. It is an arc that has a very romantic finale.

The latest volume also offers a bonus Christmas story. It is a romantic tale about two childhood friends that are now high school students who have different feelings about Christmas. But do they have different feelings about each other? One hates the holiday while the other is hoping it will be the perfect time to confess her love. It is a sweet romantic tale.


IN SUMMARY:
The latest volume of Captive Hearts is filled with romance, intrigue, and a new rival!

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