Sakiyama Youji has been absent for around year due to health problems. Upon returning to high school, changes started to occur to him. For instance, Shironuma Tetsuo, a guy who Youji rarely speaks to starts approaching him constantly, and when asked why, never gave an answer. At the same moment, Okinaga Zenya, appears right in front of his eyes, saying it's all his fault. Making matters worse, Youji starts having strange pains and nightmares. Will he be able to distinguish these feelings?
I have not played the visual novel and knew nothing about the plot. Sure, I've seen fan art floating around on various sites but that was as far as my knowledge went. I was skeptical on purchasing the manga for two reasons. One: because of the horror tag, and two: because it's not complete, yet. I eventually bit the bullet and decided to buy this on a whim...and I'm glad I did.
Sweet Pool is about a high school student, Youji, returning to school after being absent for about a year. He slowly slips back into his normal routine with his friends and class mates. It's
pretty straight forward. The story slowly warms you up to the events. He meets Tetsuo, who we all know is the love interest, and slowly their awkward relationship of gawking, staring and touching moves forward.
Now, this has horror tags due to the blood content and demon elements. Youji is apparently a host for a demon who needs to reproduce. We are told this by some creepy cult who are keeping tabs on "the female" (Youji) and "the male" (Tetsuo). At this stage, the cult are the backdrop. We get snippets of information every now and then to fill us in on what's happening to Youji, but that is all. Bottom line is: Youji goes into heat when he gets close to Tetsuo, which causes him to pleasure himself, which then leads to demon blood clots coming out of his...well, yeah. Tetsuo goes along with it as he is also confused by Youji's smell and reactions towards him. It's strangely erotic. Sure, their heavy petting sessions are hot...but the wiggling blood babies are a little freaky. It wasn't all that bad, nothing I couldn't handle anyway. I've read worst.
As this is based on a visual novel which has many other characters, they all get their 15 minutes of fame. Instead of supporting characters blending into the background, we get arcs of their story. They are interesting, I guess, but it takes it away from our main couple, which I don't like. I mean, the arc about the villain's butler was irrelevant. I'm not sure if this adds to the main plot, or if it's just to show appreciation towards their character from the visual novel? Too early to tell.
I give high scores for the art. The art is so detailed and graphic. The tones are dark with solid shades and block colouring. It sets the atmosphere for the horror genre perfectly. However, the characters look more mature than high school students, and it varies. Some moments Youji looks so young and feminine then in other scenes he looks like a twenty-something with solid male features. All the characters are mature men. No girly-ukes or child-like aspects. I like the realism in the drawings, no exaggerated features or actions that give it a cartoony feel.
The sex scenes are explicit, however, the publisher whited out a lot of the genitalia to the point that it bothered me. In some scenes you see everything, while in other scenes it looks like they were attacked by a photoshop eraser? hmm
The pacing of the plot is slow and you can tell that you in for the long haul. So far, two volumes have been released and the plot has introduced all the characters and given us a taste of things to come. There is a lot of back story. I enjoy it but I know that I will be waiting for a looong time until the end, and I don't even know how many volumes are going to be released.
I gave this a 9/10 because of the art and the exotic scenes. The story isn't something I would normally follow as it's lengthily and detailed. The characters are so deep that I feel that it has only just scratched the surface. I enjoy the relationship between our two protagonists. It was sweet, at times, as they slowly become friends--even though they had already gone waaaay past friendship after their encounter behind the school. Still, it was nice.
I am eager to follow this series and am happily waiting for volume three to be released....when ever that may be.