Shinobi Life Volume 2

Shinobi Life Volume #2 by Shoko Conami

At the end of the first volume, Beni and her time-traveling ninja/potential boyfriend Kagetora have returned to the present. Now that Kagetora knows that Beni isn’t the princess from his time that he’s charged with protecting, will their romance be able to bloom? Of course not! This is manga, so there must be at least a few volumes detailing all the plot developments that will keep the hero and heroine apart.

Beni decides that Kagetora has to attend school as a student instead of sneaking in wearing ninja garb and crouching in the ceiling beams. Kagetora attempts to adjust to high school life, and he and Beni start to talk about their feelings for each other. But suddenly Beni’s father reminds Kagetora of his promise to act as a bodyguard – nothing more. He also reveals that Beni has a secret fiance, a cold and silent boy in her class named Rihito.

Kagetora stops being affectionate with Beni. She decides to confront Rihito, seeing that he just wants to use the marriage to take control over her powerful family. Rihito starts harassing Beni and Kagetora rescues her. When Rihito sees Kagetora, he’s reminded of someone he knows. It turns out that Kagetora’s bitter enemy Hitaki has traveled to the future, and has spent the past 5 years watching TV and eating snacks in Rihito’s house. It is time for a ninja confrontation!

While the plot elements in Shinobi Life are entirely predictable, Conami excels at drawing the anguished silences that pass between Beni and Kagetora when they are unable to express their true feelings for each other. Beni’s imperious heiress mannerisms and Kagetora’s traditional ninja servitude clash, and it will be interesting to see if Kagetora ever feels comfortable stepping outside his role as a protector. All the romantic interludes that are interrupted by random throwing knives just amuse me. I think I am just a sucker for blushing ninjas, so I’ll continue to read this series.