Outbride: Beauty and the Beasts manga review

Earlier this year Seven Seas Entertainment announced the launch of a new imprint, called Steamship, “dedicated to sexy romance for women, with manga in the genres of shojo, josei, Teens’ Love, and beyond.” Steamship kicked off with the June release of Outbride: Beauty and the Beasts, and wowie—what a kick-off!

Outbride is a reverse harem isekai that tells the story of Mashiro, your average teenage girl that suddenly finds herself reborn into a fantasy world and surrounded by four men representing various supernatural tropes… all intent on mating her! As the last living human, she is the only woman alive who can give birth to human-beast hybrids; stronger than gods, these now-extinct creatures are needed to battle a rising evil. Mashiro’s four suitors are patient and loving, but all are intent on producing heirs.

This is by far one of the steamiest manga I have ever read that is aimed at women, and the best part is that it seems to be following the otome formula. In this first issue, the story wastes no time getting Mashiro into the fantasy world, and–much like otomes–she is introduced to each potential suitor. However, in Outbride this introduction the typical adorable hi-jinks or getting-to-know-you conversation are noticeably absent, and we get to cut right to the good part (eyebrow waggle). The story gives a flimsy reason for the constant sex scenes, in that the magic that powers the world is poisonous to humans, and the only way to battle the poison is through an exchange of fluids with a beastie. Sure, why not?! As it turns out, some methods are more effective than others.

The four suitors not only represent different (and familiar!) fantasy tropes for men from anime and otomes, but the characters also fall under some delightful personality tropes as well.   It’s the type of story where you may find yourself gravitating towards one character over another, and though there are strong hints that one boy will be the actual romance, it seems Mashiro will get equal time with them all—so there is no need to fear if you like someone else better. However, this manga is absolutely packed with racy scenes tinged with romance, sure to raise your heartbeat.

As a bonus, the art is as stunning as it is dynamic. Creator Tohko Tsukinaga does a stellar job of not just illustrating the world and the characters in it, but also the sex scenes! There is a romantic glimmer in even the raunchiest scenarios, and the focus is placed on Mashiro’s pleasure instead of on her as a sex object (there are even moments where suitors ask for, or casually discuss, consent–which is a delightful rarity). Every single panel is jam-packed with detail, and unique points of perspective show that Tsukinaga poured their all into the creation of Outbride

Outbride may well become my favorite erotic manga off all time. There are very few I have seen that manage to have beautiful art, an intriguing setting, good characters, and are this packed with sexy goodness. I am already impatiently waiting for the release of vol. 2!

Outbride: Beauty and the Beasts is available through Steam Ship, an Imprint of Seven Seas Entertainment

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