Marriage to the Wolf: The Tale of an Inter-species Union – by Hana Inui

In the last post I belatedly realized that I hadn’t talked about the reason I now have a Futekiya account and for “this week’s” BL recommendation, I decided to talk about one of my favorite BL manga I read this year (so far)! You might notice that I have a thing for non-human characters~

Also, if anyone doesn’t know what Futekiya is, it’s basically Crunchyroll but for BL manga. You pay a monthly fee and then you’re given access to their library of English licensed and translated works. I think it’s a really neat idea and I’m starting to see this form of English licensing happening but I’m going to be honest, as a collector, I kind of hate it. I mean, I want to have a physical copy of the manga that I read, but it’s also very convenient. Not only can you access as many BL titles as you want (granted that it’s in their library) but now you don’t have to worry about liking or disliking a story (one price for it all), which, if you collect, can get pricey. I mean, there have been quite a few titles I’ve collected where I was like, WELL, if I’d KNOWN, I probably wouldn’t have bought it. But, it is the current way to support the authors so please check it out!

The hare tribe has never been a rich tribe, but they’ve gotten by every year and are even blessed with an abundance of children. This year, however, things are different. The harvest has been poor and their stores have been depleted. Kaede’s family, which consists of the village’s Elder, aren’t sure how they’re going to survive the year. That’s when an envoy from the House of Kuroe, one of the wolf tribe’s most distinguished families, comes forward with a proposal – in exchange for two year’s worth of food supplies, they would like a young hare to be sent to their home as a mate for their heir!

After explaining why Kaede is the only one who can fill this role, and much begging from all of the hare’s villagers, Kaede agrees to be sent away. While he feels betrayed by his family for treating him like a sacrifice, he’s also resolved himself to live a happy life. All he needs to do is be the ideal fiancé and surely his to-be-husband will love him, right?

I was SUPER excited to read this manga because the cover looks amazing and I’m so glad I wasn’t disappointed!! Actually, at this point I’ve probably read this manga like five times since the year started. It’s just that cute!! One of the reasons I really enjoyed this story was the development of the characters and their relationship. This is pretty much an arranged marriage and Kaede feeling like he’s been sent as a sacrifice for the benefit of his village isn’t all that inaccurate, and despite this, his answer was to seek happiness. Seeing him go from the above expression to the expressions he makes while trying to be the “ideal” mate was super hilarious! I’m actually wondering how he was able to keep it up for so long

I mean, he makes for a really cute ideal bride but I have to admit that his more fiery expressions are my favorite. Oh hey, I think I have a favorite type of partner?! I mean, if you’re going to get married to someone for life (which it is in this case) then they should have some personality, right? And Kaede DEFINATELY has personality

And Ren…yeah, he’s cool. Lol! Actually, I reread this manga just now to properly write this review (and have all the cuteness fresh in my mind) and I’d forgotten how much of a dick he was the first time they met?! Again, I think I have a type…My true colors are showing!

Out of the two, I think that Ren’s personality is more complex because of his circumstances, which I won’t mention because spoilers! And because he comes off as really rough in tone and treatment, I wonder if anyone would be turned off. I think that in BL manga readers, especially people who have been reading for longer, can forgive certain things because we compare it to how it was before, so I often wonder if maybe I let too much slide. That said, I think that Ren really changes quickly because he’s not really trying to be mean, it’s just that he’s a bit dense and needs things spelled out. Except it’s not JUST him being dense

I think that Kaede’s personality really brings out and even balances Ren’s, which is why I was super happy to see them both, in later chapters, really show their true selves to each other. It wasn’t pretty but then, it’s best to be honest, especially when marriage is what’s coming

One of the things I felt this manga did really well was having sex scenes that aren’t sexual. Does that even make sense?! Ok, let me explain. Since this is an inter-species marriage, there are certain EHERM, procedures that need to be followed, especially if both to-be mates are male

Actually, I really enjoyed how traditional this whole thing was! Maybe that’s the historical fiction lover inside of me being happy

But back on topic, there is a month long preparation period called Kateika and in that month, get ready for it, Ren gets to finger Kaede so that he can be well-adjusted for their wedding night. I know, I love it! Can you imagine the frustration these two feel with all that foreplay but then having to stop because the wedding night’s still a month away?! Well, ok, maybe they didn’t feel it all that much the first time since they were essentially strangers and kind of hated each other, but later?

Except it’s not really presented that way. The way the two handle it, especially Ren, gives these scenes a very cold feel to them, almost clinical and god, it must have felt horrible. My poor Kaede! His will is amazing! Once the two start to get to know each other, the mood begins to change but not entirely in a sexual manner. It’s more like they converse more during these moments and I think it’s important that we can see people having a different type of intimacy in times of sex. The manga really put emphasis on the emotional aspect of their intimacy and you bet I ate that up and cried like a fool! Also, if you’re worried that because there’s a lot of fingering, this might be too explicit for you, rest assured, it’s not really. I didn’t see a single penis or butt hole. I did see a butt though and it was very cute. Sadly, I think it was only once. That said, it showed the sexy in other ways I really appreciated~

The manga mainly focuses on the time (one month) the two spend before they go through with their marriage, which really bummed me out. I really wanted to see them being cute for longer, especially since I think they’re both really playful! That said, there is some drama that happens once the two get more used to each other, which gave it a bit of a horror tinge – something the author apparently was interested in, if the afterword is anything to go by! It’s not something that I would have imagined happening, especially with how cute the art is but I did really enjoy the plot

If anything, I’m more curious and want to know more about these apparent non-humans. I think a lot of stories with non-humans often get tied by the rules of omegaverse, so seeing this take a different course was nice. If only it could have been fleshed out some more. I don’t think we had gaps (where I was confused), I was able to follow along, but it did leave me wanting more

Well, I hope I did a decent job at selling it?! I don’t believe this author has other works (yet) but I will be on the lookout because this one was amazing! And I’m super proud to be able to display it on my shelf, it’s so beautiful~ If you haven’t read it yet, it’s worth giving Futekiya a shot. It’s only 6.99 for the month and you’d be able to read this gem, which seems like a good bargain to me. Such a good bargain that it’s the sole reason I first got the subscription and one of the few reasons I still have that subscription. Add it to your favorites and then cry with me!

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