Genre: Fantasy Shonen
Year Release in English: 2019-2020
Reminder: The star rating reflects overall opinion of the series.
The letter from the author at the end of volume one says, “I wanted to read a boy’s love fantasy manga about a middle-aged guy and an inhuman creature, but that didn’t exist, so I made my own.” It is the most accurate description of Monster and the Beast. Cavo is a gentle-hearted big scary boi while Liam is a gentlemen who fucks and has a sordid past for unrelated reasons. Perfect for the monster fuckers.
Content warning: attempted rape (suggested)
Liam is a middle-aged man who’s on his way through the woods when his companions threaten to kill and rob him. He’s saved by Cavo, a gigantic forest demon who Liam would not mind sleeping with. Cavo is immediately flustered, and it’s adorable.
The art style in this first volume really works. The expressions on both Cavo and Liam are so good. Plus, there is a lot of environmental story telling throughout the town sequence.
I also really loved the commitment to the monster aesthetic. Cavo is largely faceless, unfathomably huge, but ultimately a sweetheart. Liam, on the other hand, has a lot going on that’s not immediately revealed and I am hella intrigued by the world-building, and the truth behind Liam’s travels to come.
Content warnings: Body horror
Cavo the monster is not the only thing that’s a danger in this world. Liam is on the run from the royal guard, under arrest for crimes he committed several years before. The nature of them seems to be a mystery and those cards reveal themselves as we get more character development between our two romantic leads.
I really loved the sequence where they get separated at the port city. It’s fun seeing the ocean from Cavo’s point of view, and understanding how strange and sheltered his life in the woods was. From Liam’s perspective, we get a better glimpse of the human world and the trials and tribulations there. It’s a feast for fans of fantasy who don’t want yet another tale taking place in a war-torn world.
Content warnings: manipulation, child institutionalized at an asylum
The way I delighted at the “explicit content” warning on the cover of this volume. Cavo and Liam are still separated, but reunite eventually and oh boy, is it hot. But then it veers into more of Liam’s backstory, including a sort of asylum and the aftermath of what set him out on the run in the first place. The pacing is perfect, and the world-building keeps getting more and more intricate, especially as we get scenes from the points of view of Liam’s pursuers.
The secrets keep piling up and the juxtaposition of Cavo and Liam’s deepening physical relationship. I’m so invested in not just their dynamic, but also in the potential shifts as we learn more about Liam, who he really is. I like Cavo is a relatively non-complicated character, so I’m really interested in seeing him react to what kind of a monster his one true love actually is.