Nyanko's Reviews ＆ Ratings
Caramel is an apt title here - it fits the theme, the characters, the story, and is a running motif throughout. While the characters and story are sweet, they aren't simple one-note tropes. The young naive kid has a mature side, and the grumpier “old” guy (he's 27, so like suuuuuuuper old) is petulant and childish, so their dynamic has layers and nuances of flavor, while maintaining a base note of sweetness. The art is very cute, but it suits the story. If you're looking for sultry gazes and chiseled abs, move on. The heat level is medium, the story is simple, and the tone is sweet. You can make caramel pretty easily and with only a few basic ingredients, but if you pay attention and give it a little love, you can coax a whole symphony of flavors from it. Likewise, this story is pretty basic, but the mangaka clearly put love and attention into this one, and the caramel is delightful indeed.
I'd recommend this one unreservedly. Story- and character-wise, there's nothing really new here, but I still really enjoyed it. I think what really sold me on the lead characters here was that they were very honest about his reasons for finding the each other attractive (spoiler: it rhymes with hex). His absolute lust for lusting after her body is played well for manga, staying cheerful and bright. He honestly digs the female lead, and if his attraction for her started in his hot spot, it got to his heart and mind pretty quick thereafter. Finding that you're sexually compatible is hardly the worst way to start a relationship, so let's hope these characters keep their freak on ever after.
Let me preface by saying that I liked the stories here. They had some emotional resonance and the characters, especially in the title story, had enough depth to make their experiences real and sympathetic. Honestly, I loved the heroine in the title story and how she went all out when she thought she was “only” having a vacation fling, then struggled to reconcile her passion with her professionalism. All things being equal, I'd give this four stars and move on. HOWEVER, I found it really difficult to get over the abysmal quality of some of the art. While the facial art is pretty good, this mangaka has some real issues with perspective and proportion in depicting the human body, and it's very distracting. See how the cover art shows the heroine without a neck? I thought that was an example of bad cover art with good art inside. Nope. There are scenes where characters have no necks, wildly disproportionate limbs, or just unnatural poses, and I found it, well, ugly.
This didn't hit the mark for me. While the art is adequate, the stories were not. A lot of tales in this genre gloss over the initial attraction between characters, but here the characters go from zero to love to naked (with a few exceptions) so they end up cardboard-y. The stories contain a lot of smut, but the characters are so bland that there's zero steam, which is the main reason I read TL manga. The sheer volume of sex is impressive, but the lack of chemistry between couples made it so boring I ended up clicking through in the vain hope to find redeeming qualities somewhere in this anthology. I'd say this collection ranks at about 1.5 stars, with the half star given because none of the stories entered into degradation or abuse. Not recommended.
The art here is pretty primitive and it's clear the manga is several years old. If you can get over the wedge shaped faces and grainy textures, the story is a mixed bag. There is no real character progression and the drama is manufactured and overblown, but there's a definite mood that works well; it's a gothic romance plus hints of something darker. If you're into threesomes, you might find some things to like - the bulk of the sex is two on (in) one - but the price is steep for the quality. I'd say go for the rent option here, because there's a lot of conceptually hot action but you have to use a lot of work to overlook the flaws.
I've reviewed the B&W version of this, so I'll recap: This story is in the universe of and contrasts nicely with Sexless With You. The heroine meets a school friend she hasn't seen in awhile, while bemoaning the lack of stamina and drive of the men she meets. In school, they were the "gluttony club" with an appetite for food, and it turns out their shared gluttony isn't restricted to food. Their matching libidos and energetic brashness cement their match. The heroine is lusty and driven...and cool with herself. The hero is a bit more flawed, but shows the emotional vulnerability in his character not depicted in Sexless. The art is a bit jangly and awkward, but the story more than makes up for it. I can't say the the VertiComix format and color make a huge difference, so purchase to your taste and budget. A fun read, with a heroine who declares herself "a bit of a freak" in bed. Get your freak on, girl!
While the art is crisp and attractive, this is a story that's been told better elsewhere. The oneshot format means the story moves along at a good pace, but it does give short shrift to the characters as they rush into "romance" for no apparent reason. The central romance is reasonably well presented, but the secondary relationship came out of nowhere was hard to connect with in the story. Again, the art is very good, but the story quality doesn't match.
While the art in this manga is acceptable, the story telling is really lacking. Everything's a rush, characters are unlikeable, and the tone of the stories shows a lot disdain for the female leads. Admittedly, the female leads here are of the passive, marginally intelligent, low ambition type so they weren't my favorites, either. There's no emotional connection between characters, so there's a clinical, detached quality to the 'romances.' This one feels more like you'd see in 'blue films' written for inexperienced young men, and I can'tsay I'd recommend this to anyone who wants more than a very quick tickle.
I'm going to go against the grain here, but the early parts of this story do have clear non/dubcon scenes coupled with the deception of the male lead. Certainly, there are worse stories out there but lies and dubcon coupled with the overall slapstick shojo comedy tones is weird. Is the male lead just a liar to save the female lead's brittle ego? Pretty sure what's making her feel insecure and freaked out is the fact that he won't be honest about his feelings, yet he gets sexually aggressive without any preamble. All that makes the absolutely top notch artwork feel like a waste. Make no mistake, the characters are all expressive and attractive, with flashbacks showing the leads as some of the cutest kids I've seen in manga.
Here are three cute stories with an overall theme of not judging or making conclusions based on appearances. The smutty parts aren't particularly steamy, but since the main characters are in their teens, it fits the tone. There's nothing exciting or new, but there's nothing bad either; the art is about average as well.