Monster and the Beast Vol 1 Review

monster and the beastThis manga is a strange beast, if you’ll pardon the pun. Featuring a middle-aged man and a literal monster as our leads, this Boys Love story certainly stands apart from the typical high school romances that pervade the genre. With a premise this unusual, how could I resist?

Synopsis:

Cavo is a hulking monster that lives alone in a haunted forest. Humans always run in fear whenever they see him and even the other demons in the forest avoid him. Cavo had resigned himself to a life of isolation, but one day he stumbles upon Liam, a traveler who is in a midst of being attacked by a group of men. After rescuing him, Cavo is shocked when Liam isn’t repulsed by his appearance and is even friendly. Perhaps even a little too friendly. Cavo winds up agreeing to help guide the eccentric Liam through the forest and, while initially weary and awkward around him, Cavo quickly becomes attached to his new friend. But the two are very different and the world outside the forest still regards Cavo as a dangerous demon. Will Cavo be able to stay with Liam? Or will society, or Liam’s secret past, tear them apart?

Cavo and Liam make quite the pair. For a demon monster, Cavo is very innocent and he is so unused to interacting with people that he has a lot of trouble sorting out his feelings for Liam. It’s very cute watching this monster blush shyly and freak out over a kiss on the cheek. Liam, on the other hand is an irreverent flirt who loves to tease Cavo. It’s hilarious to watch them play off each other and they wind up having a very sweet dynamic. Their relationship isn’t without conflict, however, and things start to get more complicated for them as they continue to travel together. Liam can be straightforward to the point of being almost brutal. When Cavo first tells him that he wants to continue traveling with him once they leave the forest, Liam just flat out says that he can’t. He doesn’t sugar coat the situation; Cavo is a demon and traveling together would mean trouble and he’s too pragmatic to agree to that… at least until they figure out a way for Cavo to get around covertly. It’s important to note that Liam is blunt, not to be mean, but rather because he knows total honesty is the only way to avoid more painful situations down the line. He’s also completely up front about his more hedonistic tendencies. When the duo arrives in a town, Liam spends most evenings having one-night stands with various strangers and Cavo, who is still struggling to understand his feelings for Liam, gets upset that he’s spending all this time with other people. I love that Liam has no patience for Cavo’s jealousy and that he doesn’t lie or mislead anyone about his intentions. He states that he doesn’t plan to change and that, if this causes Cavo pain, he should leave. Again, this might be hard for Cavo to hear, but Liam isn’t trying to be hurtful, he is trying to avoid causing Cavo to suffer. This particular conflict hasn’t been fully resolved as of the end of this volume, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the situation will continue to play itself out in future installments.

While a tad unusual, Monster and the Beast was extremely fun and engaging. I really fell in love with Cavo and Liam and I can’t wait to read more of their adventures. There is also a bit of a mystery at play, as Liam is on the run from someone and we’re not sure exactly why. Colour me intrigued! I’ll definitely be picking up the next volume.

Final Score: 9 out of 10.

To find out more about Monster and the Beast, visit Yen Press’ website: https://yenpress.com/9781975357214/monster-and-the-beast-vol-1/

What did you think of this manga? Is this the weirdest couple in BL manga or can you think of a stranger one? Let me know in the comments!

You can also check out some of my other BL manga reviews:

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