My Gently Raised Beast was originally a web novel and web comic. It was published on Webtoon for English audiences and can still be read there. This series is completed.
Content Warnings: This series contains depictions of violence and child abuse.
Blondina’s life has not had the greatest start. She and her single mother struggled as commoners in the empire of Ates, and once her mother passed away from illness, things only got worse. After years of being beaten, abused, and starved by the people who took her in, Blondina finds out that she’s going to be sold to a man known for killing young girls for fun.
In an attempt to escape that fate, she goes to sell her only possession: a ring left by her father to her mother. At first, the jeweler is convinced she must have stolen the ring. Why else would a commoner child possess something with the royal family crest on it? Once it’s confirmed the ring belonged to her mystery father, Blondina gets swept away to the palace by guards and finally meets her father, the Emperor of Ates, and her Cinderella story begins.
But as with all fairytales, not everything is rainbows and roses in her new life. Blondina’s step-siblings want nothing to do with her, and her father remains standoffish and a stranger to her. Content that she now has a roof over her head, food to eat, and a comfortable place to sleep, she’s fine with keeping her head down and simply existing in one of the smaller palaces on the grounds by herself. She is horribly lonely, but she would prefer a life of solitude over what she had before.
One day she comes upon a black kitten with an injured leg. When she goes up to it, she’s taken aback when the kitty talks! He tells her that his name is Amon, and he is a Divine Beast, a race of incredibly strong animals that possess magical abilities. Humans and the Divine Beasts, after hundreds of years of war, have come to a tenuous and strained peace, with everyone on either side preparing for the battle to pick up yet again. Can this newfound friendship between Amon and Blondina be the way to true peace? Or will it be the spark that ignites war yet again?
Yet again, I am in awe of the quality of web-to-print comics. My Gently Raised Beast is one that I’ve read for years, having started it during the series’ early days on WebToon. So, of course when it was announced the series was getting physical books, I had to jump on them.
The first thing that grabbed my attention with this series was the art. Everything about it is beautiful and detailed–the characters, their clothing, objects, and the backgrounds are unique and vibrant. I loved seeing each new outfit and getting peeks of the world every chapter. Details like facial expressions and body language are excellently depicted as well. The line art and the coloring both are gorgeous and enchanting. I found myself flipping through the story multiple times just to stare at some of the more detailed passages.
Beyond how they look (which is absolutely beautiful), the characters are fantastic in every other way as well. Each feels like an individual, with their own personalities, desires, and motivations. None of them came off as being bland and tasteless cookie-cutters. Each one felt real and helped to make the story as a whole come alive with their own strengths and weaknesses. From the sympathetic characters, like Blondina and Lucy, to the more gray and villainous ones, like Lart and Adellai, each of them brings something to the table and helps to push the plot forward.
Then there’s the story as a whole. I’m a sucker for a good romance. My heart gets all doki doki when the characters blush, when the love interests get jealous, when there’s only one bed (gasp!), and all of those other infuriatingly enjoyable tropes. Witnessing Amon and Blondina’s budding friendship be the catalyst to their character growth, and then having that friendship grow into something a little more… it’s everything I want in a story. The writer and artist both did fantastic jobs of showcasing Amon and Blondina’s relationship and the subtle changes that happen over time. There are multiple reasons that had me flipping through this story like my life depended on it, and this is the main one.
In terms of plot, art, characters, and grammar, there’s nothing I can pin against My Gently Raised Beast. The only notable negative aspect of the series is that readers with sensitivities around violence and child abuse should take caution when reading. The first chapter depicts a very young Blondina being beaten and threatened, and there are flashbacks at times when her trauma makes itself known. Other than this, I’ve found no fault with the series.
My Gently Raised Beast is a top-tier series. The characters, the plot, the art, the way that storylines circle back to each other, the character progression–everything is so well polished. It was so fun to see Blondina grow and change after meeting Amon, and seeing the two’s relationship develop was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the first volume. It also helped that the story was full of adorable cat images. My Gently Raised Beast is a series that I would recommend to anyone, but especially those who like romantic dramas with a healthy dose of comedy thrown in.
If you liked My Gently Raised Beast, you might like…
Story by Early Flower
Art by Yeoseulki
Adapted by Teava
Published by Ize Press
- Beautiful art and character designs
- Detailed plot with good pacing
- Good mixture of comedy and drama
- Some mature elements that aren't suitable for all readers
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