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. What 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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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 | The Words In Your Snare by Chepali

Title: The Words In Your Snare



Jooin is just trying to enjoy his life. He's running a little cafe in the middle of the country, enjoying spending time with the locals. But more than anything, he enjoys the words, and that doesn't mean conversation. One of the main reasons Jooin enjoys the conversation so much is because he can read minds. His ability is limited to physical words that spawn off people and linger around where they hang out. In the city, Jooin was often bombarded with negative and positive thoughts. In the rural areas, Jooin sees more positive words than any other kind, and there are fewer, making his life much more peaceful.

However, that peace is disrupted when a strange bag of coffee beans appears at his cafe. Not long after, a group of police officers and a handsome man in a suit come looking for that bag of coffee. It's an odd scenario for a random bag of coffee, but nothing is stranger than the man who, for whatever reason, doesn't give off any words at all. Jooin has never encountered anyone whose thoughts he couldn't see, but no matter how much he looks, he can't see any of his thoughts. Things only get stranger as the man returns time and time again, lingering around Jooin for a reason he can't even fathom. The man then makes a request, one that Jooin has no intention of complying with.

This stranger, Mookya, wants to date Jooin.

Thankfully, Mookya works hours away in the city, so Jooin plans to let their odd relationship fade away. But then a young man with a knife drops by, looking for drugs. Jooin can only assume that the random bag of coffee beans was actually a bag of drugs, and after subduing the young man, Jooin has no choice but to go back to the city. He ends up right back where he started, working alongside the police to read possible criminal's minds. Unlike before, though, Mookya is there, too. As Jooin spends more and more time in the city, with the gangster Mookya wooing him, Jooin feels himself softening up to the man, but love can't cover up the dark feelings and thoughts lurking around the city Jooin has left behind.

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Manhwa Review | The Pain in My Neck by Face Park

Title: The Pain in My Neck



Kim Sumin has not been feeling well. He's sick constantly, to the point that he can barely leave his apartment, and has been forced to take a leave of absence from work to heal. He goes to the hospital and gets a battery of tests to solve the problem, only to be told there's nothing wrong with him. But his pain is very much real and debilitating. With no hope in sight, Sumin is unsure how to live a fulfilling life.

On his way back to his apartment, he catches sight of his neighbor, seemingly making out with another person in broad daylight. Sumin is initially grossed out until his neighbor looks his way, revealing they aren't kissing. Instead, his neighbor, Lee Luhan, is a vampire, and he is feeding. Sumin knows he should run away, but he's too stunned to do anything, and with his secret revealed, Luhan doesn't feel like he has to hold himself back anymore.

He can smell that Sumin is full of bad blood, which is causing his illness. All Luhan has to do is suck it out, and Sumin will be healed. Will Sumin be willing to give himself over to a vampire, or will he just bear with the pain?

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Manga Review | My Demon Cry Baby, Maria by Yukihiko Sano

Title: My Demon Cry Baby, Maria



Satoru is in mourning. His unrequited love, Jun Mariya, has passed away before Satoru ever got the chance to talk to him, much less confess to him. In the throes of sorrow, Satoru crumples up and marks all over the love letter he had intended to give to Jun someday before throwing it aside. Then, he lies there, expressing his want to die. Out of nowhere, a voice calls out to him, offering to take his life. It is a fluffy little black smoke cloud, claiming to be a demon, having been summoned from Satoru's inadvertent scribbling of a summoning circle.

Satoru is surprised, of course, but intrigued, as the demon offers him a wish in exchange for his life span, which the demon will steadily feed on for the remainder of Satoru's life. Satoru can only think of one wish: to see Jun. The demon takes this opportunity to lure Satoru even further, suddenly shifting into Jun's exact likeness. Satoru is shocked but is more than happy to make this deal so he can be with Jun. Similarly, the demon is delighted to make such an easy deal.

What the innocent demon doesn't realize is that Satoru has some depraved plans for this demonic lookalike, and he has every intention of acting on them until his dying breath.

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Manga Review | Sweet Blood by Nene Shakeda

Title: Sweet Blood



In a world dominated by , human rights and freedoms have been severely limited. Humans and vampires are segregated, with very few select humans given passes to travel through and in vampire areas without being accompanied by a vampire. Jinosuke is one of those few humans. He's a potter whose work is impeded by the deteriorating relationship between humans and vampires. Unfortunately, his most recent job has just been canceled due to his sponsor pulling out.

Frustrated and unemployed, Jinosuke travels through a vampire district, aimless and trying to determine his next course of . Even with a pass, it's not easy going through the streets of vampire districts, as all vampires have silver hair, and humans don't. So, Jinosuke is constantly being watched and talked about. He's hardly bothered by the attention until he ends up in a sparsely populated area. There, he is ambushed, confined, and then sold in a human auction for vampires. This is very illegal, but as the product being sold, Jinosuke has no choice but to go along with the process.

In the end, Jinosuke is purchased by a youthful-looking vampire named Noi, a human anthropologist. Thankfully, Noi doesn't want to force Jinosuke into being food but would like to make a trade. In exchange for his blood and knowledge of humans, Jinosuke can continue to work and live under Noi's protection. It's not ideal, but it's better than the alternative, so Jinosuke accepts. What Jinosuke doesn't expect is for the feeding to feel so good. As they share more time (and fluids) with one another, Jinosuke begins to suspect it wasn't a coincidence that Noi was the one to purchase him.

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Manhwa Review | Royal Servant by MasterGin

Title: Royal Servant



Kyon is looking for a job. One of the most lucrative positions out there is the position of a “servant,” which means working under someone with royal blood. While the royals look like regular humans, they are much more than that. Royals are almost invincible. They have superhuman strength and speed, are nearly immortal, and can even manifest powers. They are Gods among men, and with vast estates from their prestigious and long-lived lineages, they need as many servants as possible.

One such royal is Selvior Lucaon. Lucaon is looking to hire a servant, and Kyon happens to be that lucky one. Lucaon puts his mark around Kyon's neck, allowing Lucaon to control and monitor Kyon at his leisure. Lucaon is a cold and particular master, meticulous in how he expects his household to be managed, and he seems to despise the servants working for him. Despite this, Kyon is desperate to tear down the walls Lucaon has built around himself, even when it leads to punishment.

While Lucaon and Kyon struggle with their relationship as master and servant, a group of creatures known as Zeros are popping up everywhere, threatening the lives of everyone around them. As Kyon's devotion to his master grows, so too does the threat of the Zeros.

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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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Manga Review | Total Eclipse of the Eternal Heart by Syundei

Title: Total Eclipse of the Eternal Heart



Terumichi is in love with his mysterious classmate Yamada, who just appeared in his life one day. Yamada is strange and imposing but dangerously beautiful and one of the few people who have been kind to Terumichi. His unique disposition makes him all the more alluring to Terumichi, and in the end, he can't help being drawn to Yamada. After an abrupt confession, Yamada and Terumichi seem on the cusp of when a stranger with a knife appears.

Terumichi does everything he can to protect Yamada, but in the end, Yamada is stabbed to death. Terumichi is in a panic, calling an ambulance, even though it's clear by the amount of blood that Yamada isn't going to survive. Yet, somehow, Yamada gets right up and walks away as if nothing ever happened, whispering a cryptic sentence:

“Only two left.”

Terumichi would be better off cutting his losses and moving on, but he just can't forget Yamada.

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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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