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Tender Hearts Hentai Manga Review

4 min read

Tender Hearts
Tender Hearts
An explicit appreciation of improbable sexual encounters.

Creative Staff
Story: Shikishirokonomi
Art: Shikishirokonomi
Translation/Adaptation: Duane Johnson

What They Say
Curious co-eds, shy virgins and secret crushes are bound to get caught up when love (well, lust) is in the air! Can these cute couples make the most of their “big” moment? And will true romance actually bloom in the wake of hot-and-heavy hook-ups? Tender Hearts teases and tempts with tales of surprising seduction and fierce flirtation! When the object of your affection actually likes you back, you’ve got to rise to the occasion! But can these impulsive lovers keep it up when things go from warm to sizzling?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
In my last review I expressed my appreciation for female h-mangaka, but male mangaka seem to have dirtier minds as a whole. For those who might like a little more fetish material, Tender Hearts may be just what you’re looking for. If you’re a Project H fan, you know the size and quality of their releases, which tends to be better than the usual manga, though at an increased price. Tender Hearts sadly lacks color pages, and is censored with white space. But it does come with 10 different short stories to appeal to a variety of tastes.

This is the first licensed work by Shikishirokonomi and the first time I’ve had a chance to take a look at his art. His women tend to have a typical style, with big eyes, blushing faces, and huge breasts with delicate nipples. He tends to use a lot of screentone and hash-marks for shading as well, so his art has a darker, busier look than other titles, but it imparts it with personality, and a lot of detailed curvature for breasts and buttocks. He also draws pubic hair as well, so fans of that style will certainly be pleased. My only real complaint is that his male characters are kind of homely looking. Perhaps this aids in the fantasy of the average joe scoring with a hot babe, but it stacks the eye candy in the female column. And they are stacked, indeed.

There’s no single narrative running through the volume, but the stories all center on spur-of-the-moment unplanned sexual encounters. Sometimes this works well, as in the first story, where a female team manager hooks up with a baseball player she long had a crush on. Other times, it comes across somewhat awkward, as when a man decides he wants to get with a female jogger whose breasts are bouncing appealingly. Love at first sight is great, but “The way your boobs sway when you run makes you look cuter than anything!” is probably not the best pick up line. In Tender Heart’s fantasy world, it works anyway, but those who dislike having to suspend their disbelief might find themselves shaking their heads.

Each chapter has a look at a slightly different fetish. As mentioned previously, the first chapter involves hooking up with the sport’s team manager, and fans of sports bras and fitness will enjoy the second. In the third story, a boy and a girl with bikini tan-lines get stranded in a beach-side cave when the tide comes in, and they have sex to pass the time. In chapter four, a female cosplayer who dresses as a Sailor Soldier is seduced. In the fifth, an older university student seems curious about a vibrator she finds, so her younger male roommate decides to show her the real thing. Fans of housewives, office ladies, nurses and subway roleplaying will also find stories to their taste, although setting an erotic story in a VD clinic doesn’t seem like that great of an idea. At the end, Shikishirokonomi has liner notes for each story, explaining his motivation for each one.

Although the sex is always hot and has a lot of variety, I ultimately found a lot of the stories to be just as improbable as the proverbial pizza delivery boy: They just feel a little too artificial to be romantic to my tastes, especially with how average some of the guys look. However, if Shikishirokonomi’s fantasies match yours, there’s a lot to look forward to.

In Summary
Some very lucky guys get very lucky indeed in a collection of highly improbable sexual escapades. Just a little too unbelievable for my tastes, but for those who want spur of the moment seduction in some fairly popular scenarios, you’ll find Tender Hearts as eager to please as the busty, shy girls within.

Content Grade: B-
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B+

Age Rating: 18+ Adult
Released By: Project-H Books
Release Date: February 13th, 2013
MSRP: $17.95

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