Title: Beauty and the Beast Girl
Genre: Yuri, Monster Girls
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Length: 162 pages
So, let’s start with a brief run-down of the book. Beauty and the Beast Girl started life on PIXIV back in 2017 but was released in print format by Seven Seas Entertainment in 2019. This release collects the first four chapters, some bonus manga, character bios, and an afterword. Seven Seas have done a great job with the production – as you’d expect – releasing it in a slightly larger format than most manga, but with no reduction in print quality. The full-colour cover and insert page really pop in particular, but the black and white pages also look great, with even the darker shaded ones still appearing crisp and clear.
In terms of the actual manga, the title may make you think that this is a retelling of the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. This really isn’t the case though as our pairing here avoid the trappings of imprisonment and being forced to co-habit. Instead, what we have is a sweet-natured yuri story about a lonely monster girl and a blind girl.
Though not an action-focused piece, everything moves pretty quickly in terms of the story. Our titular pair meet, hang out, and fall in love over the course of a few chapters. If you’re not a fan of insta-love stories, that may be slightly off-putting, but speaking as someone who prefers a slow-burn romance, I do think that there’s plenty here for you to enjoy even then. Heath and Lily really are quite sweet together, and their interactions are lovely. Perhaps more so though are the moment is the final chapter where they speak of one another to other characters. In Heath’s case, this means a confrontation with Lily’s father, and for Lily, it’s a conversation with her maid, Iris. It’s in these moments that their love for each other is most prominent. Even with her slight possessiveness, Heath comes across as very resolute and genuine here, which is great to see when compared to her sadness early on in the story.
The art is generally very good. Neji does a good job in mixing things up with the backgrounds, switching between blanks and illustrations that show just enough detail to look right without detracting from the characters. The characters themselves are also well imagined, though it’s Heath that is my favourite in terms of design. The mix of different monster types gives her an original feel, of course, but it’s the way her clothes are designed that really stood out for me. Her trousers and top have been designed to fit around her physical characteristics, and it makes her stand out all the more because of it.
In terms of potential issues with the manga, there isn’t anything major. If we want to get nitpicky, I’d say that there are a few panels featuring Lily’s father that make it appear that Neji is more comfortable drawing female characters. There is the aforementioned speed of the two falling in love too. Again though, neither of these should be major problems for readers.
Beauty and the Beast Girl is a sweet, self-contained story that features some lovely design work, sweet moments, and generally good writing. It’s a quick read, and absolutely worthy of your time if you’re a fan of yuri and monster girls. 4 out of 5.