The Heiress and the Chauffeur is a fun little story following the life of Miss Yoshimaru Sayaka as she grows into her role as a proper and respectable young heiress. As she is exposed to more of societal standards she is forced to question her relationship with her Chauffeur Narutaki Shinobu.
Miss Sayaka attends a prestigious all girls finishing school at which she is seen as an idol. Adorned by the symbolic crimson red ribbon she is noted as a top student and the envy of her peers. Her character is shown to be very high class while slightly dense to the social hierarchy of the world. And enter Narutaki.
Narutaki Shinobu, Sayaka’s Chauffeur is seen to be generically handsome and very smooth. He would most definitely be classed as a ladies man if not for the fact that his world is without a doubt centered around Sayaka.
While their romantic feeling towards each other is never clearly stated, it is impossible to read this story without having the bond they both share being seared to you heart. To Sayaka, Narutaki is more than just a servant. Having lost her mother at her young age, her physical injury, absent father and reputation to uphold the young heiress was made familiar with the feeling of loneliness. That is, until Narutaki. Narutaki who seems to have always been there for her, never pushing but always encouraging her. Becoming her safe place.
Conversely, Narutaki was born into a lower class family and is intimately familiar with what life as a servant is meant to be but has never faced the expected adversity at the hands of Lady Sayaka. He had been motivated by her determination and will power to stand at her side and endeared by her compassion to remain there.
The read presents as a chronicle of lady Sayaka’s daily life. Each chapter grants a glimpse into either her life at school, at home or at societal gatherings with events which force Sayaka to see that her relationship with Narutaki goes against what is socially acceptable. What endears this to-be romance however is that, despite the adversity and scoldings they face for their unorthodox relationship, neither Sayaka nor Narutaki are willing to deny the value they hold for each other and that is truly the cornerstone of this forbidden romance. Even if the romance itself is played out as a great big tease
Keiko Ishihara, the creator, does a great job with this turn of the era drama. The art style is done as such that you never feel out of the time period. Many panels forgo detailed scenic backgrounds in favor of simple, patterns, shades and canvases which aid in drawing out the emotions associated with the moment.
Each chapter features a little note by the author giving a little insight on her thought process and motivation. The little justifications and tidbits go a long way to giving the story a personal feel.
The volume which is priced at $9.99USD comes with the bonus short story titled Luca and the Bandit for added value. As the stories have a similar feeling they mesh well together to make the volume feel a bit like a 2 in 1.
Right from the start the manga seems very common place for shojo of this style, but sometimes common is the way to go. The manga takes a formula that has worked throughout the ages and makes it it’s own.