Manga Review | Amaregulus: Soldier & Soother by Aion Kiu

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Warning:

This review will contain spoilers for the and anime series . While the manga may vary slightly from all other forms of media, it may have similar story elements and could be considered spoilers.

Content Warning: There may be references to sex work, violence, , , power imbalance, mentions of war, disability, obsession, manipulation, and self-deprecation, as they appear in the manga.

Synopsis:

Anton was once one of the most powerful and skilled warriors in the kingdom's army. However, after an injury, Anton could not continue fighting within the military. Thankfully, as a praised warrior, Anton is put into a coveted and high-ranking position: Soother. Soothers are retired warriors who, thanks to their immense stamina and unquenchable libido, train their bodies to help sexually satisfy and train the nobility and royalty in the bedroom. It's an honorable role that Anton happily accepts, and after intense training, Anton is finally ready for his first partner. Anton doesn't expect to be posted to the 4th prince, Julius, who just had his coming-of-age ceremony.

Anton's task is to teach Julius about sex and take his virginity, something Anton considers an immense honor. Julius also seems ready and willing, but when Anton tries to do his job, Julius refuses to let him. Julius believes Anton still wants to be a warrior and is determined to get Julius back on the field. He has no intention of using Anton as a Soother, leaving Anton at a loss. While he appreciates how much Julius cares about him, he longs to fulfill his role. Is Julius just not attracted to him? Or is there something deeper that Anton isn't even aware of?

Review:

The art in this is super clean. I've been reading a lot of sketchy titles lately, so I have to admit, I was already won over by the artwork. It isn't perfect, of course. Julius, unfortunately, is pretty inconsistent, but it's overall very clean. Anton, though, is everything I could want in a beefcake and more. He has long hair, a scar, muscles, and man tiddies. He's a work of art. There's so much more to love about Anton, and we'll get into that in a little while, but just to scratch the surface, his design is great. Julius, in comparison, is a bit plain, but he's your standard hot manga dude. You can't really go wrong there. So, yeah, the art is solid. I love that.

Cover art for Amaregulus: Soldier & Soother by

Beyond the super clean art, I adore the premise for this. The idea that becoming a bottom is a praised position, held only by those manly and worthy enough to do so, is amazing. So often, bottoms are characterized as feminine and womanly and usually mocked for that simply because they are the receptive partner during intercourse. Of course, there is nothing wrong with feminine men and feminine bottoms, but it's a tired trope at this point. So, to have a big, beefy man, a soldier even, be given the role of a Soother, a professional bottom, essentially, for the royal family, and is perceived as being even higher in rank than a prince, is everything. Add in the fact that what is essentially sex work is considered honorable work, and it's just the cherry on top. Anton is still a man; he's still considered one of the best in the kingdom, and he's a power-bottom. This is everything I could want for my big, beefy guy and more. I love that.

Now, I've been showering this with praise, but it's not perfect by any means. While I love the art and the premise, the story leaves a bit to be desired. It's very superficial, especially regarding Julius's attraction to Anton. Julius has been pining for Anton since he was a child, which is, unfortunately, my least favorite version of an age gap. Thankfully, there is no attraction from Anton's side until they're both adults, but I'm still not a fan of seeing a child fall hopelessly in love with an adult to the point that it is almost obsessive. We see Anton praise Julius for his abilities to read and memorize everything he's read, which sparks Julius's love for Anton, but that's it — the end. From then on, it seemed like they never interacted again, and Julius just adored him. I wish a stronger connection were established to explain Julius's devotion, which has lasted for years at this point, but we don't see that. We get that small and sweet interaction in the library, and then that's it. I'm sure it was a formative moment, but calling it the foundation of a pining love that lasts for years, and I'm not so sure that's as believable.

It is worth noting that while sex is a significant focus of this title, there actually isn't that much in the way of sex between our main couple. There are a lot of solo moments with Anton. There's some seduction of Julius by Anton, which includes some heavy petting, but there is no full-on act until the end. I mention this because some people really want to jump into a smutty title with full-on sex from the jump. If that's your expectation, you might be disappointed. Anton has to work to get Julius into bed, but it's very much worth the wait when it does happen. I enjoyed the solo play and seduction, so this wasn't a big deal to me, but in case it matters to you, there we go.

Results:

If the story had been more fleshed out, I have a feeling this would've been a favorite of mine. It's very, very close and just reignites my love of big, beefy bottoms. I want more in the best way, and I think this is worth a read. It's got that European-style historical setting with a gallant bottom and a chivalrous top. This is a win, even if it isn't a favorite of mine. I recommend it.

Have you read Amaregulus: Soldier & Soother? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!

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