This review will contain spoilers for the manga and anime series Baby, Sugar, Succubus. While the manga may vary slightly from all other forms of media, it may have similar story elements and could be considered spoilers.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to age gaps, imbalanced power dynamics, discrimination, starvation, debilitating illness, sex work, sex workers, and stalking, as it appears in the manga.
Arata has got a lot going for him. He's pretty attractive, a manager at a café, and has no shortage of women to pick from. But, unfortunately, he has a large problem. His genitals are huge. Most men would be proud of this fact, and Arata once was in his younger years. However, as it turns out, his substantial piece isn't popular among his sexual partners. It's too big, doesn't fit, and hurts, with Arata being forced into a mostly celibate life.
While bemoaning his cursed fate of reborn virginity, he encounters what he initially thinks is a drunken student passed out in his café. However, while trying to rouse the young man, he grabs Arata and says he is hungry before passing out again. When the young man wakes up, Arata is there waiting with a plate of food. While the meal is delicious, the young man isn't hungry for food but for something else that Arata has plenty of.
And Arata is all too happy to give it.
By the time I'm writing this review, I've purchased and read everything that I have been able to legally acquire of Sakana Tojo‘s work. I don't know what will if that doesn't tell you how much I enjoyed this story and its artwork. It's not the cleanest art style, but it's super cute, and I love how this artist designs characters. It can be challenging to see what is going on because of how sketchy it is, but it's just so cute and well-designed that I can't complain. It takes a little longer to look at a panel and understand what's happening, but with such appealing characters and fun smut, having to look a little longer is not a complaint.
Beyond the art, though, the concept of this manga is awesome. A male succubus who struggled to thrive because of his unique disposition? And he's a virgin? I love it so much. I wish this weren't a single volume because I would love to explore that concept more. What we get about it is very interesting, especially regarding the differences between incubi and succubi, and it's all-around fun. Shinya is so cute and alluring, maybe too much so for Arata.
I'm all for an age gap between consenting adults, but I found it rather uncomfortable. Arata constantly talks about how he isn't gay initially but still takes advantage of Shinya's starvation to fulfill his needs. I'm not saying Arata intentionally tried to manipulate Shinya, but it rubbed me wrong. Arata just isn't my favorite as far as tops go. I'm not a big fan of the “I'm straight, but for you…” type of guys. Their relationship is lovely, though, and I love how much Arata shows affection to Shinya. I just wish Shinya had a bit more power in the relationship.
Something I need to talk about, though, is the smut. This is chock full of it, just as the premise suggests. We get all manner of positions, which is a sight to behold. It only gets better when Shinya develops a little tail nub, which becomes integral to the play. However, something that I've said time and time again: I hate dirty talk. I just do. It's a silly preference, but it's mine. Unfortunately, this is packed to the brim with it. Arata is like a pervy older man in the way he likes to talk to Shinya during sex. It makes me want to fade away to dust. Don't let me dissuade you if you don't have an issue with dirty talk. I still really enjoyed this, but I wanted to note it because it's gratuitous.
I love this creator so much. Such fun and exciting concepts with unique character designs. This wasn't the first thing I read by them, but it's one of my favorites from their available catalog. I can't wait to review the rest of what I have from them. I definitely think this is worth a read.
Have you read Baby, Sugar, Succubus? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!