Beasts of Abigaile, Vol. 1

Beasts of Abigaile Volume 1

I make no secret of the fact that I’m generally a shoujo enthusiast, and I also enjoy reverse harem manga. Though the plots may be thin, and the characters may never vary from their highly specific and formalized roles, I still find manga of the genre trashy fun to read, even if there might not be much depth to the stories. As I started reading Beasts of Abigaile I was struck with a strong sense of deja vu, because something about the aesthetics reminded me of some of the older series that were published by Go! Comi. Sure enough this is an Akita Shoten title, so maybe that’s why I felt a bit of pleasant nostalgia as I was reading Beasts of Abigaile.

The set up for the story in this volume is so fast-paced, I got the sense that the author wanted to rush through any logical explanations and world building, and just get to the gorgeous wolf boys. Nina is the predictably outspoken but likeable heroine of the story, and she finds herself on the mysterious country of Ruberia, which is famous for its beautiful roses. There is also a mysterious prison school where it turns out adolescent werewolves live! Nina is bitten and starts exhibiting some werewolf traits, and she’s promptly sent to Abigaile to live among her own kind, except she has to keep her human origins secret.

Nina has a headstrong tendency to stick up for the little guy with little regard for her own self-preservation and this causes her to have multiple run-ins with fellow students and school administrators. She falls in with a pack (literally, ha ha) of art kid werewolves instead of joining in with the popular kids or school rebels. As far as handsome werewolf boys, there’s Roy, the surly leader whose bite originally turned Nina wolfish, Giles the nice guy who appears to be under the thrall of the mean female student council president, and the list goes on and on. I suspect that Roy, Giles, and Nina will be the main triangle explored in the rest of the manga.

With lackluster art, this series would be much less enjoyable, but Aoki’s illustrations are expressive, and there’s a dark gothic vibe about the art that also make the title stand out a bit from the other shoujo series coming out currently. Nina’s continued refusal to allow herself to be intimidated by hulking wolf boys is entertaining. If you enjoy paranormal romance shoujo that doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, Beasts of Abigaile seems like a promising series.

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