Homeless Mistress: Sadistic Prince Ties Her Up to Keep Her
ホームレスお嬢様～ドＳ王子の宙吊り飼育～ (Homeless Ojou-sama ~Do-S Ouji no Chuuzuri Shiiku~)
Josei – Romance, smut
3 Chapters (complete)
Now all alone in the world, former rich girl Nana is living on the streets. After some strangers assault her, she wakes safe and sound… but in the home of her sworn enemy, Kairi! Nana refuses to accept help from anyone belonging to the Narumiya family, but Kairi has different ideas…
Warning: this review is of a series that is recommended for ages 18+ and is not safe for work!
Poor Nana. (Well, literally and figuratively. In this case, I mean “unfortunate”.) She has all the makings of an awesome heroine, but she’s trapped in a horrible manga.
Many authors mention how their characters come to life, that they control the story, not the author. In Homeless Mistress, I wish Nana could have commandeered her story. I’m serious. Nana starts off living in the streets digging for food from the trash. She spends her days trying to make 100 yen (that’s about $1 US) by shining shoes. Really, pretty much all she has to her name is a grubby oversized button-down shirt. It’s a horrible situation for anyone, but this is also a far cry from Nana’s formerly luxurious roots.
And you know what?
SHE DOESN’T COMPLAIN.
She plans on getting out of the situation one day, but she doesn’t act haughty to the other homeless people or spend her days in tears. I couldn’t blame her if she did, since it sounds like her parents died very recently. And, of course, the whole living on the streets thing, which no one should have to experience.
But because this is trashyland, Nana finds herself being sexually assaulted twice in the first chapter, and both times she is saved by the youngest son of her family’s rival. And because he’s mad that Nana still refuses his assistance, Kairi chains her up and decides to “educate” her… basically, do what the people he saved Nana from were doing.
Again, despite being still chained to the horrible plot of Homeless Mistress, Nana still finds some resolve; although her feelings for Kairi have changed, she doesn’t want to just be the damsel-in-distress. Instead, she goes back out in the streets and resolves to become independent first before going to his side.
Let me repeat: while she could flee living in squalor, Nana would rather try to make it on her own. Wow. She continues working various jobs throughout the manga.
The first problem, though, is the gaps in the story. Throughout the story, we learn that a) Nana’s family committed suicide after losing everything, b) Kairi’s family somehow “defeated” the old-fashioned Sanzenin family, and c) Nana says her family “had it coming”. Readers are left to the task of designing a backstory to tie these incidents together, but the manga would have been a much richer experience if the author had explained everything. Is Nana rightfully angry, or is she a lost young girl who needs a villain to survive? Plus, what did the Nana’s parents do that caused their own daughter to think they deserved to be bankrupt and/or killed?
We also learn later that despite being younger, Kairi is going to inherit the Narumiya Company. He says the situation involved their parents and not them, but I find it hard to believe that someone already in business meetings didn’t know about the plan to take over or steal their rival’s assets. If the Sanzenin really were old-fashioned or if Kairi was shrewd, wouldn’t an easier plan be to demand Nana marry him or face financial destruction? (It’s unclear to me how close Nana and Kairi were before her family went bankrupt, but, again, I find it hard to believe they didn’t attend the same social events.) There’s also a line from Kairi’s father that adds to the confusion.
Speaking of Kairi… he’s a wow, too, but in the opposite way. To try to coax Nana’s true feelings out of her (again, she’s in love by the second chapter — another large leap in the story), this man who is so possessive of her that he chains her up to punish her decides to watch as he commands his servants to fondle her. He later has Nana pleasure another young (homeless) man who likes her (and was trying to rescue her) while he himself has sex with Nana. Don’t you just feel the love? I mean, people have their own kinks, but Kairi has finally obtained the woman he’s desired and will allow other men to see her most intimate moments? Why bother to beat up the men in the first chapter when all Kairi seems to want is first dibs? (Well, we learn later that his habit of forcing his servants to do anything may be a family trait…)
The art actually has almost a shounen/seinen feel to it. It’s hard to tell on the cover, but Nana normally looks like a sharp-eyed twintail girl. Eyes are drawn in a simpler, more straightforward style, and Nana’s often-angry expression adds to the fact this doesn’t appear to be a female-oriented work at first glance. (Nana is very expressive, almost to the point she looks like she’s being drawn by different authors; this contrasts with Kairi who has the same angry glare no matter what he’s doing.) On the other hand, the pages look very bright thanks to its ample whitespace and large panels. Not fantastic art, but acceptable. The last chapter is probably the best with a lot of crazed characters, and I like how the author shows the criminals as shadow figures to match the story.
Also, why does the manga keep saying Nana became “a homeless”? She’s a homeless PERSON because she IS homeless, but “a homeless” sounds dehumanizing.
Nana is too dang good for the story in Homeless Mistress.
Renta has Narusawa’s Suddenly Living Together -Morals In Disorder- available.