Healer for the Shadow Hero Volume 1 Manga Review (Spoiler‑Free)

“He looks and acts like some kind of murderer! And they want me to have sex with him?! Seriously?!” - Nanna

Content Warning: Healer for the Shadow Hero contains explicit sexual content.

At a Glance:

Spice level: 2/5
Mosaics: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Content Warnings: N/A

After war ravaged her home and left her an orphan, Nanna was “lucky” enough to be taken in by a wealthy family as a servant when she was very young. Abused her whole life and with no other avenue available to her, Nanna takes the punishments, finding solace within the pages of her favorite book, The Moonlit Hero. The story tells the tale of the hero who fought in the war and saved the kingdom, including Nanna’s hometown. When she’s called to the palace to meet with the hero she’s held a fondness for for years, she’s confused but excited. However, her employer denies her the opportunity and tells the palace officials she doesn’t exist. Locked in her room, Nanna laments her predicament, until a strange man shows up and kidnaps her!

After arriving at the palace in the dead of night, Nanna is introduced to the hero, Lord Kainritze… only to find out he’s not actually the hero? As it turns out, the creep who kidnapped her, Ludveigh, is the true hero who refuses to step into the spotlight. Kainritze begs Nanna to use her gift of healing to save Ludveigh from a severe illness. The only issue is, for Nanna to use her Perfect Healing, she has to give him her virginity.

The Good

Healer for the Shadow Hero is a cute Cinderella-esque story of a young girl catching the eye of her hero, complete with wicked mistresses, dingy bedrooms, and a glamorous makeover. Though there is less dancing and more sex than the original fairytale.

Nanna is a hardworking and sweet character who wants to find her own way in the world, no matter how difficult it is or how small of a living she’s able to eke out. When she’s given the opportunity to help the man who saved her all those years ago, she jumps at the chance, even knowing the unique cost of her gift. Ludveigh is extremely grateful to her and promises to take responsibility for her, but Nanna isn’t having it. She refuses to be someone’s charity case. Watching her interactions with Ludveigh, both in and out of the bedroom, was a riot thanks to her stubbornness and his inability to speak clearly.

The volume’s art does a lot of work in terms of setting up the story and promoting the genre. Healer for the Shadow Hero’s high fantasy setting is given incredible detail in the outfits, decor, and backgrounds presented throughout the title. I loved seeing Nanna’s dresses and exploring the market when she goes shopping. And though it breaks from the traditional ‘knight in shining armor’ cliché, I adored Ludveigh’s emo-gamer-boy design. In fact, it might be because it breaks from tradition that I liked him so much.

The Bad

The main issue with Healer for the Shadow Hero is the plot. While we’re given a decent overview to the characters’ histories and current goals, there isn’t much going on beyond the awkwardness between Nanna and Ludveigh needing to have contractual sex. Volume 1 plays out in such a way that it’s not much of an issue, but unless volume 2 brings something new to the table, I could see this series fizzling out.

The Spice

Healer for the Shadow Hero has two sex scenes–three if you could the flash-forward sneak peek at the very beginning of the volume. Whiteouts are used to hide the more sensitive tidbits while nipples are left alone. Nothing more than a bare chest is shown for Ludveigh as the art makes it a point to conceal his fun areas with pants, blankets, and angles.

The two scenes are pretty vanilla yet endearing as both MCs navigate each other’s bodies for the first time, though the amount of apologies in their dialogue throughout the whole scene bordered on egregious.

The Verdict

Clean art and sweet characters makes Healer for the Shadow Hero a fun, high fantasy read. While the story leaves a little to be desired, the volume remains solid and is an excellent addition to any 18+ josei lover’s shelves.

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You can purchase volume 1 of Healer for the Shadow Hero on Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble.


Art by Ako
Original Story by Kyu Azagishi
Translation Faye Cozy
Lettering Mercedes McGarry
Logo and Cover Design M. A. Lewife
Copy Editor B. Lillian Martin
Proofreader Alyssa Honsowetz
Production Designer Brennan Thome
Editor Callum May
Published in English by Seven Seas Entertainment

The Good

  • Cute art and interesting characters
  • High fantasy setting is very detailed

The Bad

  • Sex scenes feel a little awkward because of excessive apologies
  • Plot fell a little flat towards the end

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About the Author

Kaley Connell

An avid reader, gamer, and writer obsessed with romantic comedies and dramas. When she's not eyeball deep in a good story, she's probably redecorating in FFXIV or romancing a cute 2D boy.

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