This review will contain spoilers for the manga and anime series Saving My Favorite For Last. 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 child abandonment, unsafe sexual practices, dubious consent, BDSM, discrimination, prejudice, incest, manipulation, obsession, and abuse, as it appears in the manga.
Humanity has evolved from cats. To expand their population, they have also developed the ability for all sexes to give birth, if they so choose, and can lure in potential mates with pheromones. Kazui is an expert in using his pheromones, as he spends every evening going out and trying to find someone to inseminate him. Why? Because he desperately wants children of his own that he can raise and love. He was abandoned as a child, and he has always longed for a genetic connection with someone.
No matter how many partners he tries with, his body won't get pregnant. Undeterred, he continues working extremely hard to scrape and save every dime he can to care for his future children. When the contracts for his jobs start to run out, he is offered a position as a manager for a model, which pays way better than many of his jobs combined. He jumps at the chance. On his first day, he meets some of the hottest purebred cats out there, and the particular model he is assigned to is the top Maine Coon model, Noah.
Kazui would love it if a purebred like Noah would help him get pregnant, as purebreds are guaranteed to inseminate their partners, but there's no way someone as sought after as Noah would go for a plain mixed breed like him… right?
This is a fun art style. It's very messy, and it can be hard to distinguish what's happening from panel to panel. It's also not all that consistent. However, the character designs are very pretty. Kazui, especially, is a cutie. He isn't the quintessential beauty, which I love. Some will probably say he's ugly, but only because he doesn't align with the standard sexy bottom BL trope. He's plain, but in a world full of ethereal beauties, that is such a unique look in itself. It's refreshing to have a character who is more on the plain side being coveted by someone who is absolutely stunning. They're a fun pair, and they look great together.
I am a huge fan of male pregnancy. I know I'm weird. That's fine. I accept it. In a world where there are exclusively cat men who live to breed with each other, my dreams come true. One of the things I love most about mpreg is the opportunity for multi-generational storylines and child-rearing, which sets us up for just that in this series. One downside to the multi-generational storylines is that it is very easy to mix characters up and to forget who is related to who and all that jazz because everyone starts to look similar over time. This particular volume is comprised of three couples, two of which are related, with the mother taking one story and the son taking the next (these stories do not have the incest, just to be clear). I can already foresee this getting super complicated as each coupling begins to have their own children, who will inevitably interact. Yet, I am so pumped for it.
Something that might bother some people is the lack of world-building in this. This is a cat beastman world where everyone has evolved from the traditional cats we know of. As the creator admits, there isn't much in the way of world-building or explanation on when or how that occurred, but that wasn't a big deal for me. I came for the smut and babies, and I got both, so I was happy. However, if you are hoping for deep world-building and fantastical explanations for this world, you will be severely disappointed. There are some interesting rules to this world, such as people not aging physically all that much once they reach adulthood (perfect excuse for having perpetually attractive characters), certain pheromones attracting certain people while others won't even react, etc. It's all very interesting.
I wish I could end this with a positive bookend, but this volume has an extra story. It's completely separate from the main storyline/universe, and it's weird. This would have been a favorite if not for this extra. I am cool with pseudo-incest when it doesn't include grooming or anything like that (My Housemate holds a special place in my heart, which, oddly enough, also has an uncle and nephew relationship, though by marriage only). But this particular extra has actual, real incest, which isn't my level of spice. Not to mention, the nephew is super obsessive and manipulative, which just added one more uncomfortable layer of weirdness to this. This story felt so out of place, and I was not a fan.
By the time I am finally getting around to creating the review for this series, I've read everything that is officially and legally available. I really, really like it, and if it weren't for that super weird extra in this volume, this would probably be part of my favorites. I'm still tempted to mark it as a favorite, stipulating that it does not include the extra… but I'm not sure. I guess we'll see once this is officially on the blog.
Have you read Saving My Favorite For Last? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!