REVIEW: The Selfish Demon King by Kyoko Wakatsuki

Shizuku is an adorable and spunky high school student, but even he doesn’t know the secret he’s hiding. When Shizuku comes home from school one day, he’s met by a stunningly beautiful man. This paragon of exquisite beauty, Doga, tells Shizuku that the Shizuku’s true nature is that of a sexual mage. Doga is actually the king of the magical realm and that once every hundred years, right at the cusp of mating season, he has to take a sexual mage as his lover… What is Shizuku to do?!

Warnings: Noncon to dubcon, underage sex, abuse themes

Category: M/M

The Selfish Demon King is a BL light novel about a young boy who is whisked away to another world to be married to the Demon King, because it turns out that he’s not a human at all… He’s an incubus who’s parents have hidden him in the human world all his life to keep him from the Demon King’s clutches! It’s a relatively sweet and cheesy romance… except for the inherent noncon nature of it all. Fantasy meets kidnapping narrative, and who doesn’t love a good “captured by a powerful being from another world” story?

WRITING
The English translation is, at times, a little awkward, making the prose a little difficult to take seriously. The dialog doesn’t flow very well a lot of the times, and characters reactions to various absurd situations tend to be fairly unrealistic. This isn’t really all that much of a problem though, since the premise itself is, let’s be honest, really really silly. It’s not intended to be anything more than cheesy smut fare, so I wouldn’t exactly expect a lot from it plot wise. Still, I will say that the awkward dialog can detract and I wish there had been a little more care to the translation to render it just a smidge less nonsensical.

The artwork isn’t the best I’ve seen in a BL lightnovel; it’s pretty enough and very shoujo in style, but the anatomy tends to be a little off making a lot of it feel awkward.

EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT
Unfortunately, nonexistent. There is very little in the way of character development, and in fact Shizuku annoyed me more than anything else. The way that he casually treated what was essentially being kidnapped and raped like it was some silly little annoyance, and the Demon King’s obsessive need to cut him off from having anyone else in his life as though it was just a minor character flaw grated on me. I kept wanting him to be scared, upset, hurt, but instead all he was was tsundere and grumpy in a way that gave little to no seriousness to the severity of the situation. The reactions of his family members were similar; their attitude surrounding their younger brother being essentially forced into marriage seemed to be more or less “Oh well, what can you do, too bad I guess” and it was very strange.

WORLDBUILDING
There is indeed some beginnings of what might have been a fascinating setting. The demon world is ruled by a selfish Demon King, who goes into a sex frenzy once every 100 years and needs an incubus as a spouse because demons absorb energy from each other but only an incubus has the capacity to withstand as much sexual energy as the Demon King would emit during a week long mating session. And incubi are the only kind of demon without any fancy powers, but they are super alluring to make up for it so everyone loves them and dotes on them and wants to protect them, and also they can change their sex to suit either their own desires or their partner’s desires. There’s a lot to explore there! Even if it is mostly “thin excuse for porn” sex oriented stuff, it’s still a great attempt at crafting an interesting setting, and I appreciated it for the silly nonsense that it was.

I will say, however, that the story definitely dropped the ball by not having Shizuku ever transform into a woman. I get that it’s a BL title so the M/M content is the point, but it seems like a shapeshifting genderfluid character would have been really fun and I’m not sure what the point of even bringing up that incubi could change their sex is if it wasn’t going to have him actually… do it.

STEAMINESS
Ostensibly the reason that the writing, character engagement, and worldbuilding is a little hammy and lackluster is because the real point of this is, of course, the smut. And the smut is pretty good… if you like sweet fluffy vanilla fucking, because there’s a lot of that. It wasn’t as kinky as I wanted it to be, like I said I would have preferred if the main character were actually as terrified or upset or humiliated by the situation as he realistically should be, and I would have liked the sinister nature of the Demon King’s possessive actions to be handled more seriously for maximum effect. As it was it was quite “romantic”, if you can call it that, and well written enough to be pretty hot if that’s your speed.

Altogether, this is a very silly smut story that is good for an afternoon of reading, but ultimately doesn’t leave a very big lasting impression. A popcorn smut book, through and through, and I enjoyed it for what it was.

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