The Cold-Hearted Wolf has Come to Devour Me Again
冷酷オオカミくんに今日も私は食べられる (Reikoku Ookami-kun ni Kyou mo Watashi wa Taberareru)
Josei – Romance, smut
3 Chapters (complete)
Mao lost her best friend — and crush — after the two of them witnessed their parents having an affair. Years later, she thinks it’s just a crazy coincidence that a man looking like Yuto is dating her coworker. But he is Yuto, and his job is to break up couples. Mao begs him to quit, and he agrees — but only if Mao helps him with work by seducing a target!
Warning: this review is of a series that is recommended for ages 18+ and is not safe for work!
Gee, with a title like this, what should we expect?
So nine years ago, Mao and Yuto saw Mao’s mom (a single parent) sleeping with Yuto’s married father. While the children had promised to be together forever (even exchanging rings), Yuto was angry at Mao and the world and brushed her aside as he moved away. Mao has never gotten over Yuto, and she feels like everything was her fault since she wished Yuto’s dad could be her dad. Presumably, Mao’s biological father either left or died when she was very young, so no doubt this was just the wish of a young girl wanting a father figure in her life.
Unfortunately, she’s still holding on to her guilt even in her 20s, and so the straight-laced, never-dated-anyone Mao agrees to seduce a stranger in order to get Yuto to quit his job as a professional heartbreaker and decoy. She’s expected to go further than just a kiss or body flash like they do on Maury, and I have no idea why the fact that your lover is caught on tape going into a hotel and kissing someone else is not good enough for a client. I know Japan has laws regarding compensation for being caught cheating (or at least extra money in a divorce settlement), but geez. “Yeah, honey, of course I was having a business meeting with one other person in a love hotel room without telling you!”
But that’s Yuto’s job, and now Mao is supposed to do the same thing. Mao doesn’t like the idea of sleeping with someone other than her beloved Yuto, but she feels like she has to in order to protect and save him. Meanwhile, the dude has major baggage from his parents’ messy split, but he keeps finding himself irritated by what should be just a job and some teasing/revenge on the pure Mao.
Compared to some other male leads, Yuto did actually change. Obviously, he had feelings for Mao before they were adults, so they have a different dynamic than the couples in a majority of these romances. That helps to sugarcoat the usual more problematic parts of the story like Yuto’s pressuring of Mao. At least he doesn’t physically abuse her. Plus, considering Mao’s target is super shady to say the least, Yuto serves as a good foil. We also get to see his thoughts more than the usual love interest, so readers can follow along with how his cold heart is being thawed by Mao’s dedication.
As for the art, Yuto reminds me of Fruits Basket‘s Kyo. They have similar designs and, more significantly, facial expressions. They have the same scoff and both push away the women they love. Mao looks like a cross between Tohru and Kagura to boot. Looking at the cover, I immediately thought the characters appeared a bit stiff, and there’s definitely some awkwardness in the art. Mao in particular tends to have the blank, doe-eyed look, and the young versions of the leads appear as short versions of themselves rather than young versions. On the bright side, the characters’ physical appearance is of young adults and not loli-bait. The art isn’t something to immediately draw you in, but it’s heads above some of the other manga even from the Manga Reborn josei line.
Fortunately, the titular wolf in The Cold-Hearted Wolf has Come to Devour Me Again is not as cold-hearted as I thought he would be. I mean, Yuto still has his issues, but for the genre stuffed with sadistic leads, this wasn’t half bad.