Manga Review | The Mountain Bird Cries at Dawn by amam

Title: The Mountain Bird Cries at Dawn



Yamato Edogawa is set to become the fifth head of the Edogawa family, a prestigious crime organization that has maintained their territory for generations. Unfortunately for student Yamato, his position in the crime family has made his social life nonexistent. For this reason, among many others, Yamato has no intention or drive to become the next head. The only thing (or person) keeping him tied to his mafia family is the love of his life, his attendant Yoshiteru Fujiwara (aka Yoru).

As the head of the family, Yamato's father is relatively absent, and after his mother leaves them, Yamato is often on his own. From the time he was very small, where his parents should have been, a young Yoru was there instead. This connection to Yoru has grown from an innocent crush to an insatiable lust that Yamato has no idea how to sate. One day, after running away from home to prove his resolve not to follow in his father's footsteps, Yamato ends up alone in a hotel room with Yoru. Not wanting to miss this chance, Yamato makes a deal with Yoru:

I'll go back if you have sex with me.

And to his surprise, Yoru agrees. Will this ensure that Yamato becomes the mafia's next head as he's meant to be? Or will it only irreparably change their relationship forever?

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Manhwa Review | Breathing the Same Air by YUUJI

Title: Breathing the Same Air



Haeshin lives alone, and he prefers it that way. Having grown up being raised by a womanizing single father, Haeshin was used to people coming in and out of his life on a whim, and rather than deal with the same thing in his adulthood, Haeshin would prefer the solace of singledom. This also befits his sexual preference for solo anal stimulation, which he does frequently just before bed to ensure he gets a good night's rest. Unfortunately, his peaceful, homebody lifestyle ends when his former stepbrother comes to live with him.

Haeshin never wanted to live with Sangheon, but after his father, who still pays part of his rent, comes to Haeshin with Sangheon's mother in tow, Haeshin can't help but enthusiastically agree. It probably wouldn't be such a bad living arrangement if Sangheon and Haeshin didn't hate each other due to their strained relationship as children. It's even worse as adults, with Sangheon being messy, a smoker, and prone to destruction, which is entirely counter to Haeshin. Will Haeshin be able to regain his peace, or will he be stuck fighting against Sangheon for the rest of his life?

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Manga Review | Charming Scarface by Io Kaziwara

Title: Charming Scarface



Yuma is a big, bulky bear of a man, but inside, he's a soft sweetheart. This gentle personality manifests in the motherly way he dotes on his younger childhood friend Shizuya, in his love for kid's picture books, and at work when helping kids find books they'll love at the bookstore. But nothing gives him more pride than Shizuya. Much of who he is as an adult was carefully crafted for Yuma to be the best big brother and guardian figure for Shizuya. Yuma's happiness is intrinsically tied to Shizuya's, and Yuma wouldn't have it any other way.

Unfortunately, no matter how hard Yuma tries, it seems like Shizuya just isn't all that happy. Undeterred, Yuma does everything he can to dote on Shizuya in hopes that he will become the upstanding man Yuma knows he can be. One evening, while in town, Yuma's devotion to Shizuya reaches a dangerous level. As much as Yuma likes to think Shizuya is still the small, sweet, and gentle little boy, Shizuya has played the role of a delinquent through his teen years and, consequently, has gained a violent reputation and many enemies. He's challenged by some other delinquents, itching for a fight, but what was going to be a fight with fists turns deadly as one of the guys pulls out a knife.

When Yuma sees his beloved Shizuya threatened with a blade, he has no hesitation and jumps in the way, permanently scarring his face and making his life much harder, as children are afraid of the scar. Shizuya is beyond guilty, but Yuma is all too happy to sacrifice himself and his livelihood for Shizuya's happiness.

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Manga Review | Wails of the Bound ;β by Keri Kusabi

Title: Wails of the Bound ;β



This is the sequel to Wails of the Bound.

No longer feeling compelled to protect his chief anymore, Miyabi, having finally met his alpha partner and being marked, Shingo Utou decides to take a promotion, putting him into the chief position of division two. Utou hopes his time of pining after and protecting omegas, who could never love him in return because he's a beta, is finally over for the foreseeable future, but then he meets the new hire: Sumito Sasabe.

Sasabe is an omega, and though he's not planning on disclosing his secondary gender at work, he has to disclose it to his bosses. Sasabe hates being an omega, as any success he has is always attributed to his ability to seduce and pleasure. But he hates betas even more as they can do nothing for him, unable to mark him and protect him from other alphas, so he'd rather hate them so he doesn't mistakenly fall in love with one.

Utou is having flashbacks of working with Miyabi, and after talking to his boss, it's clear that the intent of hiring Sasabe is to replace Miyabi and what he offered the company: his body. Utou has no intention of seeing another omega be used by clients again. But every time Utou tries to help, Sasabe sees him as just another predator trying to take advantage of him. Still, as time goes on and the two grow closer and closer, they find themselves falling for each other. But Sasabe's role in the company is already becoming that of a sex worker, and he's desperate to take that opportunity away. A beta can't mark an omega, so there is only so much Utou can do for Sasabe. Thankfully, there is an alpha from another company lingering around that Sasabe could use.

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Manga Review | Too Close for Love by Akira Nakata

Title: Too Close for Love (digital) | Too Close to Fall in Love (TokyoPop print)



Shizuka's father has finally found the one in a widower named Jace. Shizuka is very happy for his dad, but the addition of a younger brother in the house has him a bit worried. Thankfully, the younger brother, Motoya, is a pretty chill guy, and living together with them all isn't much of a problem. Yet, Shizuka is still nervous. Why? Motoya is exactly Shizuka's type.

But no matter how attracted Shizuka is to Motoya, he doesn't want to risk his father's happiness by pursuing Motoya. As sure as Shizuka is that he should maintain no more than a familial relationship with Motoya, it seems that Motoya may not have the same apprehension.

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Manhua Review | Monstrous Heart by SYball

Title: Monstrous Heart (Tapas) | Ogus's Law (all other platforms)



Johnathan Su is a human. Yet, he has been accepted into the prestigious monster academy: Augustine Academy. Why would a human be able to apply to such a place, and why would he even want to attend such a place when many ' primary source of energy and sustenance is humans? Johnathan's mother is drowning in debt. While he could easily move on in life and leave her to deal with it, he would never do such a thing. Unwilling to let his mother go into further debt, putting him through , he can attend Augustine Academy for free and allow the monsters there to learn about humans through his presence there.

There are safety precautions in place in the form of laws that prevent the monsters in the academy from harming human students, but that doesn't mean the danger is gone. Still, Johnathan finds the risks worth it and attends all the same. Within just a few days, he's assaulted and attacked by various monsters. Eventually, he learns about the Pal system, where a human partners with a monster. This partnership opens both individuals up to more opportunities, including the ability to leave campus, and requires the monster to become an unofficial bodyguard for their human.

Johnathan initially intends on becoming the pal to a bunny demon, but the bunny turns out to be a serial killer, having murdered numerous humans and demons alike in revenge for them abandoning him or bullying him. Johnathan, after coming upon his latest kill, ends up being his next victim. Before the bunny can successfully kill and consume Johnathan, Lucian Yu, the infamous black fox demon, swoops in and kills the bunny. Unfortunately, Johnathan's wound is to his heart, and he's facing death. Despite his better judgment, Lucian hands over one of his three hearts to Johnathan, keeping him alive while also intrinsically tying these two together for the foreseeable future.

It's hard enough being a human and a blacklisted species of monster, but beneath the pristine veneer of Augustine, numerous plots are stirring that could alter the monster world forever.

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Manhwa Review | Killing Stalking by Koogi

Title: Killing Stalking



Yoon Bum is a loner, but he doesn't want to be. Bum longs for companionship, but not just with anyone. He longs for no one other than Oh Sangwoo. Bum has been quietly stalking Sangwoo since meeting him during conscription after Sangwoo rescued him from an assault by his platoon leader. After figuring out where he lives, Bum discovers the numbers of Sangwoo's door lock and lists out every possible combination, which he decides to try so he can gain access to Sangwoo's house. Unfortunately, at the end of the list, a cop car pulls up and begins questioning why he is there. Bum is in a panic but is able to say he's Sangwoo's cousin before getting the code right and slipping inside.

While Bum sees this as a victory, he doesn't realize that the cops he spoke to know Sangwoo, and they end up telling him about the run-in with his “cousin,” prompting him to return home while Bum is lurking about. But having a stranger in his home isn't the main reason Sangwoo is in a rush to get back. While Bum is snooping about, he discovers a basement door in the floor with a lock on it. Once he opens it and heads down, Bum discovers a woman, bound and beaten. Bum tries to help her, but before he can get her free, Sangwoo finds him, knocking Bum out with a baseball bat.

Bum is now Sangwoo's newest victim. Can Bum survive this encounter? But more importantly, can he make Sangwoo love him as much as he loves him?

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Manga Review | Midnight Stranger by Bohra Naono

Title: Midnight Stranger



Roi is a goat spirit born from the wants and desires of humans. While the purpose of his existence is to protect and heal humanity, his looks scare all of the people around him. Unwilling to trust in this being, the humans end up sacrificing Roi in a fire to the gods, hoping they will gain favor for their offering. Instead, they end up calling upon the god of fire, Xiu. Xiu is far from impressed by the human's offering, scaring them off with his power. Now that Roi has been sacrificed to Xiu, Xiu has no intentions of letting the goat spirit go, instead rebuilding his form into something cute for Xiu to enjoy.

Centuries pass, and the importance of gods in the modern world has faded. Xiu and Roi are still hanging out in the human realm, with Xiu becoming an idol to pay for their lifestyle among the humans. On the other hand, Roi continues to work for his master, Xiu, whom he cares for much more than a servant should. But as much as he loves Xiu and follows his every command, Roi can't help but still be drawn to the humans who betrayed him so long ago against Xiu's advice. So, during the night, in the cute goat form, Xiu made for him, Roi goes out to rid humans of illness and spirits.

While this is Roi's purpose for living, would he be able to live if Xiu found out he was still protecting humanity?

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Manhwa Review | Rent Boy by Studio Stellas

Title: Rent Boy



Anton Arnault has finally come of age. Unfortunately, his celebration isn't all that fun. Since he is a child of mixed blood, most attendees (the upper crust) don't see him as the heir to the Arnault fortune but as an invader into their exclusive world. They foresee his rise to power as the end of the prestigious Arnault name. They don't try to hide their disdain and mockery of him either, and all Anton can do is shoulder their judgment and do everything he can to prove them wrong.

Unfortunately, the coming-of-age party isn't the end of the ritual. Now that he is of age, it's time for him to visit the Cyrene Salon, a pretty facade, hiding behind it an exclusive brothel where the upper crust can explore all manner of pleasure hidden from the eyes of general society. Anton must also visit and give up his virginity to one of the many workers there to finally enter the noble world as a man. Wanting to establish himself in this society, he requests the top sex worker in the brothel, who turns out to be a young man named Arwin. Anton is instantly smitten and finds himself drawn in again and again just for Arwin.

Unfortunately, Anton isn't the only one bewitched by Arwin. As it turns out, Arwin is also his father's favorite, and Klaus Arnault isn't above challenging his son for the affection of Arwin. Can Anton maintain his foothold as heir to the Arnault family, or will he lose it all just to be with Arwin?

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Manhwa Review | Placebo – Short Story Edition by Cuke Soap

Title: Placebo - Short Story Edition



Woo-yeon and Woo-jin are step-brothers and have been since they were young. For the same length of time, they have also had a vitriolic relationship, with Woo-yeon vehemently bullying and mocking Woo-jin any chance he gets. This never dissuaded Woo-jin, who stayed right by Woo-yeon's side, no matter how cruel he might be. Woo-yeon revels in Woo-jin's loyalty, taking every opportunity to pick on Woo-jin.

Woo-yeon doesn't realize that Woo-jin has developed the power of hypnosis and has been using his power to control and dominate Woo-yeon. When Woo-jin finally holds the reins, Woo-yeon will receive every ounce of punishment he has earned over the years. But it isn't in private. It will be in front of the two people he would never want to be seen by: their parents.

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