I want yours, so I’ll give you mine.
Story: Miyuki Nakayama
Art: Miyuki Nakayama
Translation: Leighann Harvey
What they say
Christmas is here, and it’s the valkyries’ big chance for romance! As Takuma works hard at becoming a better lover, a determined Itsuyo plans to give him something very personal—something she can never take back. But unknown to them is the rapid escalation of conflict behind the scenes. The most evil of wicked gods, Loki, has her own schemes, and she has an insatiable appetite for both pleasure and pain!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Despite what the blurb says about Loki hatching her own schemes, we only ever see her once in the entire volume. It’s at the very beginning. This is also our introduction to Odin… who looks like a fat penguin of a man that waddles and doesn’t seem at all strong. I’m sure this is just one of those tropes. He’s probably like a certain Turtle Hermit who looks like a wrinkly old man but gets super buff when he powers up. Anyway, nothing really happens during the confrontation. We’re just introduced to two characters who have been mentioned before but never shown.
I will say one thing. Loki is like the quintessential disgusting villainous. When she is introduced, she’s naked and groping herself. I’m not really sure how I feel about her, but I guess she was designed to be one of those purely evil villains who have no redeeming qualities, which I actually do think is appropriate given the nature of this story. I also find it refreshing. I’ve noticed within the last couple of years that misunderstood villains have been growing in popularity, and while that’s all well and good, I do miss the villains whom I could hate because they are just evil. I honestly don’t always want to understand or relate to my villains.
After the confrontation between Loki and Odin, our story switches back to Takuma and his harem. Takuma wakes up in the same bed as Shino Saotome, who we have not seen much of. They share a pretty sweet kiss just as Natsuki walks in on them. Of course, Shino is naked, so her breasts are on full display. I’ve noticed boobs are a very large focus in this series. While I actually enjoy the eroticism, I feel it is only right to warn people right now that this is a series for adults and not children. In either event, Gullinkambi soon interferes by giving Takuma and Natsuki a Val x Love mission: Grope Natsuki’s breasts for five minutes.
The situation after that gets very very erotic.
Most of this volume involves similar situations with the Saotome sisters. I think my favorite part of this volume was the moment between Takuma and Itsuyo. During Christmas night, Itsuyo sneaks into Takuma’s bed with the intention of giving her virginity to him, but he turns her down. I liked this moment because it’s an atypical harem protagonist response. He says the reason he doesn’t do anything with her is because it seems like she already has someone she is in love with, which is true. Up to this point, she has only ever interacted with her family, which is why the man she loves is her father (she has a daddy complex), but those feelings have since shifted to Takuma. He still denies her because he can’t choose just one of them yet, and he believes it would be irresponsible to sleep with her when he can’t commit. I like that reason. I also like that they discuss this and don’t gloss over the issue.
Val x Love is probably one of my favorite harem manga both for its erotic content and the progression of its story. This is one of the few series that I feel handles the harem elements well. While this volume didn’t progress the story much, the characters are developing along a route I feel many harem manga neglects to take, and I am very much looking forward to seeing where Takuma and the Saotome sisters go next.
Content Grade: A
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: M
rReleased By: Yen Press
Release Date: December 24, 2019