I forgot exactly how I found this one, I've been discovering a lot of new titles on tumblr lately (which I haven't gotten around to reading) so that's probably where but not really important right now. What is important to note is that this title is completely unlicensed in the US and as far as I can tell the translation project is dead after two volumes (the scanlators say that there are four volumes out in Japan, Japanese wiki doesn't have a page for either the series or the author and the page for the magazine it runs in doesn't list the number of volumes either). By now I don't like reviewing things in a situation like that but goddammit, this series is too adorable for me not to spend a few minutes squeeing over it.
Meiji Hiiro Kitan (A Scarlet Romance of the Meiji Era) by Rikachi
Young Suzu was sold to the red light district and never expected to leave it when she's unexpectedly, and for no reason given, bought by the heir to a dry goods store, Tsugaru, and now lives with him and helps him with the little mysteries he likes to solve all the while trying to unravel how she ended up in this situation.
Right, so I can say one sentence which alone will get some people to check this out; it reminded me a lot of a flipped Croisee in a Foreign Labyrinth in a very good way. Abiet flipped, here the characters are in Japan with western influences beginning to filter in and it's the older male character who is more innocent and cheerful and the younger female character who is more world-weary (and there is a relationship, which judging from the series title will eventually become a romance, in there which has a similar feel to what I always had in Croisee) and I really don't think either series ripped off of each other. The relationship between Suzu and Tsugaru might rub some people the wrong way (I'll admit that large age gaps make me uncomfortable and that was the case both here and in Croisee) but for the moment the relationship is so innocent that I don't think it'll be a problem. There isn't a real overarching plot so far to speak of, other than Suzu's quest to figure out just what happened to have her life turn out this way, and the beginning is a bit rocky but I would buy this in a heartbeat if it was ever licensed in the US (digitally or in print).
Dammit, now I really need to go buy Croisee, led myself into that one though.....