This review will contain spoilers for the manga and anime series Beast's Storm: Kiss 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, sexual assault, and violence, as it appears in the manga.
Akira Miyaji is no longer that gloomy, single Bestia he was approximately a year ago. Instead, he's come into his own as a Bestia and partner. Despite his distrust and dislike of Bestia, he is now married to his partner Sougo, and as fate would have it, he has even given birth to their son Shouta. While he is overjoyed with the turn his life has taken, it has only gotten much more complicated with the addition of a husband, a child, and a new earless coworker at work.
With life only becoming busier and busier, it's becoming much more complicated for Akira to be the best partner, mother, and doctor he can be. As he suspects Shougo might be seeing other Bestia on the side, Akira feels like he's failing on all fronts, and those negative feelings toward Bestia begin to rear their ugly heads again. Before he even realizes it, he relies heavily on his earless coworker and Sougo's friend for comfort. Can Akira do it all? Or is Akira destined for failure because he is Bestia?
Just as with the first Beast's Storm, this art is impeccable. Our main character, Akira, does look more mature, as one would expect after some time (he is now married, and they have a child together). I'd even say the same for Sougo, who looks much better this time around, in my opinion. However, the real winner in all of this is their baby Shouta. He is one of the cutest babies I've ever seen in any manga, especially with the added ears and tail. He is to die for, and if you aren't going to read this for any other reason, Shouta is a great one.
Now, while the core of the story is based on Akira's self-consciousness over being Bestia, being concerned that he isn't enough for his partner, and making sure he is a good mother to their child, all while being a reliable physician, but where this really shines to me is in the child-rearing. One of my favorite parts of male pregnancy is the child-rearing aspect, and I was not disappointed in the least when it comes to this volume. There are so many charming and heartfelt moments where Sougo and Akira are raising Shouta that it makes your teeth rot from all the sweetness. Shouta eating, singing and dancing, playing with toys, and even whining and crying are all precious moments we get to see. It's a feast for the eyes and the heart, for sure. It is also nice to see different sides of Akira and Sougo as they transition from single people to married people and then to parents. Seeing them grow together and assimilate into these different roles is really fun.
It's worth noting that this actually includes a story that isn't part of the Beast's Storm series, which is unfortunate. It isn't even part of the same world and is an entirely separate story titled Enjoy Delicious. I would usually enjoy additional stories, especially from an artist as good as Morry Kuroi. Still, it was pretty disappointing since this volume is so short, especially with the two chapters dedicated to this random extra. I would have much rather there had been more Beast's Storm universe content.
That's not to say the extra story Enjoy Delicious is bad, but it certainly wasn't the best, nor do I think the main story was all that great, both of which are due to the length of each respective story. Unfortunately, though, while the first Beast's Storm was mildly superficial, the second entry in the series is even more so with its even shorter length. Don't get me wrong, I loved the fluffy child-rearing, but that's almost all we get, minus the tiny bit of tension we get as Akira worries over whether or not Sougo is cheating on him since he's gone back to work after giving birth. I liked the concept, but there are so few chapters to develop it that it feels like it's over before it even really begins, especially since some time is spent introducing an entirely new character and then doing very little to develop him.
Having read the rest of the series currently available in English, I would call this a foundation/filler volume. It's a nice little extra to introduce us to some new characters, lay the groundwork for future plotlines, and tempt us with fluff and smut. It's a must-read if you plan on continuing this series, but as an individual story on its own, I wouldn't say it was all that worth the time. However, Shouta is definitely the carry for this volume and is well worth it. I can't wait to review the rest of this series for you.
Have you read Beast's Storm: Kiss Me Baby!? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!