Manga Review | Smoky Nectar by Akira Minazuki

Title: Smoky Nectar



Mitsuru has been friends with Annaka (nicknamed Anna) since they were in preschool, and though their lives have gone in entirely different directions, they remain close. Anna has become a successful real estate agent, while Mitsuru is often in the trenches as a field journalist, reporting on various local news. Mitsuru is currently on a story that leans toward the . Still, he's determined to find the truth, whether based on reality or something harkening back to human imagination. A local woman was recently found dead, her blood completely clotted, and with two suspicious bite marks on her neck. The killer is called “The Biter,” a rumored vampire.

Mitsuru is actively seeking the killer, and as usual, he reaches out to Anna, who has a multitude of connections, looking for some information. Anna doesn't have much and spends most of the time insisting that Mitsuru stop inserting himself into such a dangerous scenario. Mitsuru keeps to himself is that Anna is suspected of being “The Biter,” and while he is looking for additional information from Anna, he's also hoping that he'll be able to prove Anna's innocence. Anna is his closest friend, and Mitsuru wants nothing more than to protect him the only way he can. But if Anna is “The Biter,” what would that mean for their relationship?

More importantly, is Mitsuru safe?

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OEL Comic Review | Starfighter by HamletMachine

Title: Starfighter



A Navigator is given the name “Abel,” and he's paired with a Fighter who is given the name “Cain.” They are part of the Federated Alliance Fleet, a military force that protects Earth and her colonies, including Mars, where Cain is from. As Navigator, Abel's role is to pilot a ship through , while Cain, the Fighter, acts as the gunman. The two have to work together, especially in this time of war with the looming threat of the Colterons, an alien race that seeks to take over Earth and her colonies, even if it means decimating all human life. However, Abel isn't initially keen on pairing with Cain, as Cain starts their new partnership by biting Abel's lips, leaving them scarred.

A scar, Cain says, proves that Abel is his.

Abel is thrown off and not sure their partnership is going to work, but even when he knows he should be hesitant around the unknown Fighter, he can't help finding himself attracted by his dominance. Ultimately, after only knowing each other for a few hours, the two sleep together. begins as nothing more than a physical relationship quickly develops into an emotional one, one that Abel is determined to protect while out on the battlefield. What Abel doesn't know is that this relationship might not have started as randomly as he might have thought, and Cain doesn't realize just how important Abel will be to him.

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Manhwa Review | The Sweet Swindler by Pppallet

Title: The Sweet Swindler



Unyul, also known as Yul, is known as a standoffish asshole on campus. And this is not without purpose. Yul has experienced painful betrayal from his closest friends and confidants in the past, so much so that he was forced to drop out of his old and transfer to his current one. So, to avoid getting too close to anyone, he acts in such a way that everyone despises him, and that works just fine for him. His only true friend is his roommate and fucky buddy Gongju. Unfortunately, Gongju is also a bit of an insufferable asshole, but that's why they get along so well. Plus, Gongju is very talented in bed, so they have a perfectly balanced relationship.

But while attending Gongju's gardening club, he meets a freshman named Seoha. Yul is instantly attracted to him, and though he knows this will likely end up in him getting hurt, he can't help trying to forge at least a friendship with the young man. It's a big surprise for Yul when Seoha begins to reciprocate his feelings. Yul sees this as his chance to finally be in a relationship with a kind and honest guy. But Gongju doesn't seem to be willing to end their situationship. Stuck between the man he's in love with and the man he loves to bed, Yul isn't sure he can choose.

And Yul doesn't realize is that beneath all of the sweetness, there can be a sour center, just as there can be a sweet middle to a bitter treat.

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OEL Comic Review | Lucifer’s Garden by HamletMachine

Title: Lucifer's Garden



Elisah is an angel. But though he is an angel, he can't help being drawn to the forbidden, specifically sex. He finds himself being drawn to the nude and lustful, which his fellow angel Gabriel chastises him for, trying to keep him in line. While out with his fellow , Elisah sees an apple, a vibrant red fruit. He's drawn to the produce, but when he reaches for it, he's captured, and his wings are clipped by devils from hell. He is then confined in a cage and chained, taken to a festival of physical pleasures, and presented as a gift to Moloch.

Moloch is initially disinterested until he sees that Elisah is an angel. Moloch fully intends to educate the broken angel on the pleasures of the flesh, sating his desires. And though Elisah has fought against these lustful wants, now that he is in hell, how could he possibly ignore the temptation?

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Manga Review | Love at First Bite by Sakana Tojo

Title: Love at First Bite



Makoto just wants someone to love. As a closeted gay man, terrified to put himself out there, that seems like an impossibility. Still, he can't help but continue to want and dream. Makoto finds himself practicing saying ‘I love you' whenever he's alone to prepare himself for the day he meets the one. It's just another night in the park when he decides to practice again. Alone, he says the words out loud, but a small boy appears out of nowhere, silently watching. Embarrassed, Makoto is just about to question the boy, only for him to pass out.

In a panic, he takes the child home and nurses him back to health. But when the child finally wakes up, rather than answering any of Makoto's questions, the child's first words are ‘I love you.' And from there, the child tells Makoto to say the words again. A week passes by, and it's clear the child Makoto ‘saved' is not a human child. Really, he isn't a child at all anymore. He's now a full-grown man named Shiro — instead, he's a full-grown demon. Shiro is a demon who feeds on words, and his favorites are the happy and loving ones from Makoto. The two live together, with Shiro feeding on Makoto's words, often begging him to say his favorites, while Makoto tries his best to keep his distance.

Makoto isn't annoyed or disturbed by Shiro. It's quite the contrary. Makoto finds himself intensely attracted to the demon, and though the demon seems attracted to him in return, he just can't work up the nerve to confess his feelings.

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Manhwa Review | Limited Run by Eeej

Title: Limited Run



Yeon-oh is not just a struggling actor. As the eldest son in his family, he is compelled to try and pay off his father's neverending gambling debt, constantly compounded and recurring thanks to loan sharks who willingly lend him money. They know his father can't pay it off, but they also know Yeon-oh will do he can to pay it off, including providing them sexual favors. His life is a neverending rat race, and he sees no end to it until he gets invited to speak to the CEO of the conglomerate Haekang. There's no doubt what a CEO wants with a struggling actor. It's a sponsorship, which equates to a celebrity being showered with gifts and opportunities in exchange for, often, sexual and physical favors. Yeon-oh initially wants to refuse, but after being pressured by his father, he decides to go.

The CEO, Jaehyuk, decides to make the offer. But Jaehyuk tells Yeon-oh what he expects. He doesn't want just simple physical pleasure, though that would be part of it. He wants Yeon-oh to use his acting skills to pretend to be his boyfriend in public. As it turns out, Jaehyuk is determined to rebel against his grandfather and tear down the upper echelon of Haekang's public image. The ultimate goal is to ruin his grandfather, though for what reason Yeon-oh doesn't know. The two start off rocky, with Yeon-oh struggling to put on a front in public, but over time, it grows easier, and as lucrative work starts coming in, Yeon-oh's life takes a positive turn. Neither Jaehyuk nor Yeon-oh realizes that there is a growing target on Yeon-oh's back, not just from Jaehyuk's family but all of the people watching Yeon-oh.

Meanwhile, Yeon-oh is beginning to struggle not with acting or being Jaehyuk's bedmate. He's struggling with his own feelings. What started as an act is slowly beginning to feel like reality. While he knows Jaehyuk has no intention of being with him for real, Yeon-oh can't help feeling hopeful that Jaehyuk cares about him as a real lover somewhere deep inside.

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Manga Review | Sweet Apartment In Paradise by Sakana Tojo

Title: Sweet Apartment In Paradise



The man known as Demon hunts down criminals and enacts deadly vigilante justice. In this world, it's common to sell and buy people. People buy spouses, children, friends, and more, and it's perfectly legal and often a positive experience for all involved. But there is a dark underworld where those who may not qualify to buy others or those with more depraved desires traffic these people as merchandise, torturing and using them as they see fit. Police often don't intervene, as there are people within their ranks just as corrupt and depraved as the illegal owners. As a former victim of these criminals, Demon is determined to kill all who harm those purchased by them, and after one such killing, he rescues a young man named Sui.

Most people Demon rescues fear him, traumatized and afraid, never knowing kindness from their owners or strangers alike. But Sui is different. When Demon reaches out for Sui, Sui takes his hand. Demon himself has experienced very little kindness and acceptance in his life, and this one moment sparks a need in him that he didn't even know he had. But Sui needs to heal, and Demon refuses to take advantage of him like his owner did. Usually, Demon has a network of good and vetted owners to take in these strays, but as fate would have it, no one is available. So, the two begin to live together.

Over time, Demon learns just how terribly Sui has been treated. He's been sexually abused and assaulted, his body has been drugged to stop growing, and he's been trained to want to be abused lest he be punished and abandoned. Yet, Sui trusts Demon, and the two steadily form a bond. Sui even gives Demon his first real name: Angie. The two care deeply for one another, but can these traumatized and broken people learn to relish their newfound freedom together? Or are their painful pasts too much to overcome?

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Manhwa Review | Business as Unusual by Moscareto

Title: Business as Unusual



Minjun's life revolves around his job. Even when he's off, he's often on the phone fielding inquiries and dealing with issues related to his job. All while he's working, though he puts on a pleasant and helpful front, he's constantly cursing and bemoaning his life. He longs to travel. He longs to do more. He longs to break out of this chaotic and busy hum-drum of a life. But right in the middle of his daily venting and daydreaming, he hears a strangely familiar voice nearby. As he nears, the voice reminds him of someone.

But it couldn't be, could it?

Minjun wanted a change in his life, but this was not he was expecting.

As it turns out, the person he heard speaking was none other than his ex-boyfriend Jinhwan. Seeing him again brings back so many sweet memories, but those memories are tainted by the cruel way Jinhwan indirectly ended things all those years ago. While Minjun is more than willing to ignore the past and do the bare minimum to keep the peace at work, Jinhwan doesn't seem to have the same plan. It looks like, just like in college, Jinhwan is all too happy to pursue Minjun despite their rocky past.

Their was snuffed out before it could really begin in their early twenties. What are the odds that they could do any better in their thirties?

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