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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hentai Review: Knock Me Up

Knock Me Up
Author: Kuon Michiyoshi
Digital Manga Publishing/Project-H
200 pages
After silencing her parents' objections with the lie "I'm carrying Shu's child!" Hime and Shuichi were left with no choice but to make that lie into the truth. But day after day and night after night love making is causing Shuichi's baby batter to dry up!! (Source: DMP)
Content warning: The following post is a hentai review, covering a manga meant for 18+ audiences. Although hentai reviews will not include images, they will be about materials that involve explicit scenarios and may go into detail about certain H scenes. Please read with caution!
I am often surprised when a hentai manga has a halfway decent story. A lot of hentai – and I do mean a lot – use whatever dredges of a storyline they muster up to hang a lot of smut on. And I'm not here to argue that Knock Me Up is a piece of fine literature in the world of manga, because that would be a foolish errand. But it manages to be smutty and sweet at the same time and deliver a rather amusing story that would make for a decent non-H manga by itself.

First of all – ladies, don't be Hime. Don't tell your parents you are pregnant to save your relationship with your boyfriend! Of course, Hime is in a ridiculously traditional family, with a father who is a CEO of a major company, so the pressure on her is different. But for Knock Me Up, it's the catalyst to a whole lot of lying – to her parents and with her now very flustered and worn out boyfriend Shuichi, who is tasked with getting Hime pregnant before it becomes obvious there's no bun in her oven.
Although, as far as suspension of belief goes, y'all can't convince me that the sex scene on the bridge was plausible. Like, no one walks through that area at night and could have stumbled across them? They couldn't have afforded a room in a hotel nearby instead of banging on a bridge guard rail like squirrels in heat? Although, if you come into a hentai manga expecting total realism, you will most likely walk out disappointed every time.
From that point on, Shuichi and Hime are doing it like rabbits in order to make their desperate lie a reality. At the very least, Michiyoshi keeps the sex scenes from reading the same throughout the volume, and it doesn't seem mechanical in practice. And, of course, the first time doesn't do it – what kind of hentai manga would this be with only one sex scene?
Also, how the hell do Hime's parents not hear them going at it? I thought they all lived in the same house, but their parents act as if they never hear the couple's desperate lovemaking. Speaking of the parents, they are pretty amusing to watch as they take care of Hime and send Shuichi into panic every chapter. The father has some interesting nicknames for Shuichi, calling him a soggy cracker at every opportunity. He also sounds like a scary person to doublecross, if Hime's story about the basement is true – yikes.
Shuichi seemed to be the most developed character in the book, personality-wise. Which is good, because I'm growing tired of two-dimensional spineless main characters. He has faults, he makes mistakes, and in the end, he owns up to them and takes responsibility for the situation he's led himself into. Although his idea that Hime's body belongs to him since they're married and the fact that Shuichi initiates sex most of the time instead of Hime are rather gross things indeed.
I did think the story of how Shuichi and Hime first met were incredibly sweet and rather foretelling of their future together. Plus, cute girls in kimonos, okay?
The main story is followed by two short one-shots, one involving a scientist who loses her memory after a fall – but only of her lab partner – and one about a maid assisting her young master while living in squalor. They're okay stories, and the humor from the previous story is still there, but the scenarios kind of squick me out. Plus, can we stop pounding women's cervixes with semen? That is not healthy at all. We need to send these hentai authors back to sex ed.
The manga-ka's art style is fairly decent, and they do humorous scenarios the best. But those whirling nipples during sex scenes look like comical blurs and don't do anything for the H-ness of it all. And so much virginal blushing – on the faces of people who are very much not virgins! I'm sure it is supposed to cast an innocent pallor upon the activities of Hime and Shuichi, but let's not pretend like they haven't been going at it at least twice a day for a week.
For all the crap I just gave Kuon Michiyoshi's Knock Me Up, it's a rather big step-up in storytelling from the average hentai. That plus the humor and the surprisingly gentle and sweet love story that is threaded between the sex scenes makes it worth picking up.

For more information on DMP titles, releases, and the latest news, visit the Digital Manga Inc.'s website: http://www.digitalmanga.com/. You can find more information on Project-H titles at the Project-H website: http://www.projecth.xxx - please notice the domain type used!