This review will contain spoilers for the manga and anime series My Darling Has My Favorite. 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 blood and violence as depicted on a movie set, child acting, poor work/life balance, burnout, implied eating disorder, and mentions of possible mpreg, as it appears in the manga.
Masachika and Grim are happily married. Grim has really embraced the spotlight that comes along with marrying prolific actor Masachika, and Masachika is just as big of a fan of Grim as ever. Everything should be peace and tranquility, but Masachika has recently moved to his mother's agency and, in doing so, has gotten himself wrapped up in job after job. Thankfully, Masachika loves his acting work and takes it all in stride, especially since he gets to come home and rest in the arms of his favorite person, Grim, after all the work.
Unfortunately, the time has finally come when two major works that Masachika wants to be part of overlap, and they are quite a distance from each other. This means being away from his safe place and person for an extended period. Grim is very supportive and offers to visit when things get tough, but Masachika is determined to finish the work without worrying Grim. Unfortunately, only two weeks in, Masachika's mental health has steeply declined to the point his work is beginning to suffer.
If he could just get a short break with Grim, he'd be refreshed, but he just can't bring himself to expose this weak and vulnerable side of himself. Will Masachika be able to make it through these shoots without falling apart? Or is he destined to lose both his job and Grim?
The art style in this volume is entirely different from the rest of the series, which makes total sense because of the time gap between the third entry and this one. One of the best parts of following an author is seeing their work grow and change over time. It's much cleaner than any of the other volumes, but it does one thing that I'm not a fan of. Grim was my absolute favorite character of the entire series, and while he still is, I'm not as big of a fan of him in this volume due to the change in art style. His face feels so much more pointy than before and more narrow, which takes away from that down-to-earth vibe he gave off before. He feels much more like the other modelesque characters in the series, which is disappointing. On the other hand, I really liked Masachika in this design. He was pretty before, but this style emphasizes his cute appearance. I would also be remiss if I didn't mention that the author started working out, and as a result, so did their characters. Grim and Masachika are beefcakes, and I love it. Masachika also got a haircut, which I really enjoyed. It really helped separate him from all of the other characters. We also get a special of Grim with his summer trim. I definitely like him better with long hair, but seeing a different side was fun.
Something else that changed a good bit was Grim's personality. He is still very relaxed, cool, and down-to-earth, but he is much more maternal, which aligns really well with them trying for a baby. That isn't the focus of this volume, mind you. It's just mentioned a lot (sad). Instead, his maternal instincts focus on Masachika, who needs someone to comfort and care for him, which Grim does perfectly. Grim lost much of that cold and detachedness from the previous volume. I imagine some people might not like this change, especially since it encourages Masachika to be childish. Still, I thought it was rather sweet how Grim went from being a loner, unwilling to appease anyone, to being someone's safe place. It shows lovely growth on Grim's part.
Something worth mentioning is that this volume solely focuses on Grim and Masachika, which is very different from the other entries in this series, which usually feature multiple couples. I liked the care and attention the characters got because they didn't have to share the spotlight. That said, I'm not sure this helped me like Masachika. I didn't care for Masachika much in the previous volume due to his selfishness and childishness. This volume did make him less selfish in many ways, but that childishness increased tenfold. It was a bit more endearing this time around, but it's still not my favorite. I was happy to see a more serious side of Masachika, though. It really rounded out his character for me.
I'm sad we don't get to see Grim and Masachika become parents, but I'm hoping this is only the next step in their journey. We got to explore Grim's character in the last volume, we explored Masachika's in this volume, and fingers crossed that we get to see them grow together as parents in the next. I loved Grim and am so glad his family has become a focal point. The way this is going, it doesn't seem like it will end any time soon, and I am here for all of these cat men's adventures (and misadventures). I selfishly hope this goes on for a while yet.
I liked this one. It was nice to hone in on one couple and see the dynamics of that particular unit. The art is also much cleaner, which is really encouraging for future entries into this series. I'm looking forward to more, especially if it means we get to see Grim and Masachika become parents. One can dream.
Have you read My Darling Has My Favorite? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!