This review will contain spoilers for the manga and anime series Beast's Storm: Hug Me Baby!. 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 cheating, unhealthy work/life balance, strained familial ties, and male pregnancy, as it appears in the manga.
Dr. Akira Miyaji is a Bestia, a human with beast ears, a tail, and the ability for either gender to mate and give birth regardless of sex. Akira used to hate being a Bestia, but having met Sougo and given birth to his child, Akira has never been happier being a Bestia. Unfortunately, while his personal life is pure bliss, the pressures of his work life are slowly leeching into his happiness at home. Akira never imagined how difficult it would be to work and raise a family as one of the few Bestian doctors at his hospital.
The pressure only intensifies when his father-in-law, Sougo's father, pulls Akira aside and asks him, “Do you have any intention of leaving Sougo?” Of course, Akira has never considered such a thing, but Sougo's father does make a few good points as to why Akira should let Sougo go. Sougo is an ideal specimen. He should be able to spread his genes to as many Bestian as possible to keep the Bestian line at its best. But Akira just can't allow it because he wants Sougo all to himself.
Is he just selfish, or can Bestia be monogamous with each other, instincts be damned?
No surprise here. The artwork is still great and only gets better and better as this series goes along. Sougo is a daddy in more ways than one. Akira is so sweet, kind, and beautiful, and he really exudes that in the way he is designed and drawn. Then, there is Shouta. This little bean brings me such joy that I can't even express it. There are many moments when Akira watches Shouta, and he feels “warm and fluffy.” That is a perfect expression of how I felt looking at Shouta. This artist can draw children so well. I love this style so, so much.
So far, the story has focused solely on Akira and Sougo, which has been great, but it limits the worldview. In this particular entry into the series, we get the lovely relationship between Akira and Sougo, but we also get to see Sougo's father. We finally get some clarity on why Sougo was so lustful and insistent on mating before he got with Akira. Sougo's father is intimidating and such an asshole. How he tries to talk Akira into leaving so Sougo can spread his seed freely is disgusting. He creates a perfect antagonist for this entry into the series.
However, while there isn't much in this one, they set the foundation for something between Sougo's father and Mr. Ohara, a friendly older man working at the daycare center built into the hospital. They also subtly suggest there may be something between Kirigaya and Dr. Kurosaki. We're starting to see the build-up of the world and couples that stray away from the young Bestia couple we've seen thus far. I hate that it is only hinted at in this one. I wish we could've gotten more from them, but thankfully this series continues, so I am looking forward to more information on these couples.
Now, probably my favorite part is the side story, which hints at a new pregnancy between Sougo and Akira. Something I am not a fan of, though, is when a child can seem to sense a pregnancy before the parents know about it. Unfortunately, that does happen here with Shouta when he implies that there is something in Akira's stomach. It's cute because Shouta is cute, but I'm just not fond of that as a story element. I was super pumped at the idea of another baby, though, and I can't wait to see where this pregnancy leads in the next iteration of this series.
I love this series so much. It only gets better and better, and I love a story that follows the evolving family and family dynamics, which this does. I wish it had set a stronger foundation for the future couples that they hinted at in this one, but I am so happy to see we will be exploring other couples, aspects, and backgrounds beyond Akira and Sougo. This series is excellent, and I am glad to see it continue. I lowkey hope it never ends, but that might be a bit unrealistic of me. A girl can dream, though.
Have you read Beast's Storm: Hug Me Baby!? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!