Jul 22, 2016
If you're ever in need of a quick, lighthearted pick-me-up, this series can do the trick. The narrative isn't convoluted nor does it capitalize on the torture and tragedies of characters for shock value as some romcoms tend to do. However, it does contain the death of a sibling (Ch. 25/26) which I did not enjoy because it came out of nowhere. It was almost written as if Wanichin (the love interest) saw Eimi (the protagonist) as a sister instead of a prospective love interest. There were parallels drawn between his sister and Eimi and then the creator immediately changed her mind because she remembered
they were supposed to fall in love. I also wish she fleshed out minor characters more. Sometimes it seemed like Matsumoto lost track of where she wanted to go with the story and tried to make it up with quirky hijinks and tiny bouts of romance.
Overall, Beauty is the Beast is is a terrific comedy with chuckle-worthy, heartwarming antics, and some romance. The characters have great personalities all the while using beloved tropes like the "tough guy who's actually really caring" and the "absentminded but clever girl" without being misused for dramatic effect. Some tropes were used to illustrate machismo but luckily it was kept to a minimum. The story slowed a bit toward the end and the conclusion was really abrupt! Not as satisfying as I would like it to be; there are a lot of unanswered questions and too many things left to the imagination.
There was an odd break before the story concluded where Viz put an unrelated short story (by the same creator) right before the finale. I'm about to spoil it for you because it was horrifically racist and romanticized slavery and human trafficking. Basically, these three white boys abduct a Japanese girl and throw her in a concrete block and chain her to the bars. They all racially fetishize (wiki it) her and one in particular takes it even further to sexual attraction. He throws cherry blossoms into her jail cell as if it were supposed to be romantic and then he grows a "conscience" and frees her, giving her nothing to wear and no weapons to defend herself with. We all know he's going to kidnap another person and auction them off. I'm not sure how Beauty is the Beast was published in Japan but this terrible story really tainted my view of the author so I docked a lot of points for its inclusion. I don't wanna read that kinda shit.
What did you think of this review?