The epitome of sexy friendships, "Beast Master" is a short manga which has girls everywhere swooning.
Story: Kubozuka Yuiko loves animals, but, unfortunately, suffers from Sakaki ("Azumanga Daioh") syndrome, so animals hate her. The persistent Yuiko won't give up, and she ends up meeting Aoi Leo. Leo is covered in blood and has feral-looking eyes... but Yuiko isn't afraid of him! Well, turns out Leo is a little like a beast, and Yuiko tames him (SPOILER ALERT XD). So, if the title didn't make it obvious, this is going to be a kind of S/M-type shoujo romance. Well, it's actually more of a friendship. With zero sadism and even less masochism.
This story is cute and all, but, if you couldn't already tell, I can't stand heroines who sit around waiting for their men to save them. Yuiko gets into a bunch of instances where Leo needs to jump in and save her. Yet, somehow, this never happened to her BEFORE she met Leo. Go figure. And, since we know Leo is gonna beat the crap out of the guy before Yuiko hugs him and tames him, all anticipation is lost. Mangaka Motomi Kyousuke has got this formula down pat.
Art: This is probably the high point of the manga. Sexy male characters and pretty female characters exist in a world of generic-but-nice-looking backgrounds. The character designs are purely meh: Yuiko looks like, well, a pretty female character (she acts like one, too). Leo looks like an untamed animal--he has messy black hair and wears illegal amounts of guyliner, but he looks sexy as hell. (Just saying. Now STFU.) The only other character worth a mention is Toki. There. I mentioned him.
Characters: Nothing special here! Yuiko kind of got on my nerves, along with good ol' Toki. Leo is cool and all, but he could have been so much more. Another chapter or two and he could have gone from "kind-hearted wildcat" to a deep, heartbroken lover or become badass. There's just no freaking development. And no one, NO ONE can call Yuiko's taming of Leo "development."
Overall: A nice shoujo manga for fans of "Vampire Knight." It has plenty of romance, a miniscule amount of violence, and its fair share of eye candy.
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