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Pass the Monster Meat, Milady Vol 1 Review


Volume 1 cover for the series Pass the Monster Meat, Milady. On the cover is the lead character Melphiera eating a steak made out of a monster with the romantic interest Aristide watching on a throne

Publisher Summary


Like any proper noble lady, one must have certain acquired tastes. For Melphiera Marchalrayd, she just happens to crave a rather exotic protein-monsters! But do not judge! Despite its bad reputation, monster meat can be used in exquisite cuisine and Melphiera is determined to change the kingdom’s opinion of it! Unfortunately, since debuting in society, Melphiera has been struggling to find her perfect match…until she meets the fearless “Blood-Mad Duke” of Galbraith!



I received this volume as an ARC from Kodansha Comics in exchange for an honest review!


Background

 

"Pass the Meat, Milady" comes from Chika Mizube (manga creator), Kanata Hoshi (created by), and Peperon (design) and published by Kodansha USA. In Japan, the series is published in Kodansha's online Shojosei (Shojo and Josei) platform Palcy.


What caught my interest was Melphiera's interest in eating good food made from monsters. We're not talking some alternate looking boars either. No, we're talking some that are borderline Behemoths or dragons!


The publisher markets the series for readers who loved "Delicious in Dungeon and Drifting Dragons". As a fan of Delicious in Dungeon (also known as Dungeon Meshi in Japan), I was excited to read another series about cooking with monsters.



Review

 

The series starts with the standard "young, misunderstood duke rescues the noblewoman who sees the good in him from the start" trope early on between Melphiera and Aristide.


What the mangaka alters about the trope is that they bond over eating monsters. Aristide was always curious about how monsters taste, but wouldn't dare eat them. Melphiera enjoys having someone take genuine interest in her hobby.


Melphiera asking the blood mad duke if he has a strong digestive system so he could eat food made of monsters

The art style is a standard manga style. Nothing to really write home about. What I think stands out are the screen tones. The mangaka subtly applies them to a scene and emphasize character expressions to give the reader the perspective of what the other character is experiencing.



The introduction to Melphiera and her title of the Voracious Villainess. She got that title because she eats food made of monsters/

Melphiera's dream is to eat all kinds of good food, but has to play the part of a typical noblewoman and have to find a man to marry. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to fit in aristocratic society.


She has a good heart, which you can see when she tries to protect an elderly couple from being mauled by a Blood Mad Backhorn, a horrifying monster that can go on a mass rampage once it gets "blood mad".


Since she likes to eat all kinds of food (many that horrify her peers), the her peers give her the title of the "Voracious Villainess".



I enjoy Melphiera's inner monologues. They always escalate to the point of her fear of being shipped to a monastery. It's really funny to see her freak out. She's a fun, dorky, person that will endear the reader.


Aristide, like Melphiera, doesn't seem to belong in aristocratic society either. While people speak ill of Melphiera because of her lack of etiquette, Aristide is outright FEARED.


He is called the Blood-Mad Duke because of how wild he gets when fighting monsters, with some even saying he's worse than the monsters. He's fascinated by monsters so he can better kill them.



Aristide, the Blood Mad Duke. He got the name due to losing all forms of humanity when fighting monsters

Kauss, the steward to The Blood Mad Duke.

Kauss is a fun guardian for Aristide and Melphiera. He acts like a parent scolding and lecturing both leads on acting like proper nobles since those two only care about hunting and eating monsters.


A notable example is when Aristide rushes over to check on Melphiera while carrying a decapitated monster head. Melphiera's lady in wait faints from the sight causing Kauss to scold him on bringing the head in the sight to women.


Aristide mentioned that Melphiera is fine (she confirms it), which causes Kauss to lecture Aristide and scold Melphiera on enabling him by admiring when he shows her his kills.The scene made me laugh at how he has to be a parent to two children now.








What I like about the romance aspect is that both Melphiera and Aristide get blatantly nervous around one another. One will say something and get visibly nervous or flustered which the other realizes with surprise.


In most romance manga, one of them would be the emotive partner while the other is stoic. To me, it's refreshing to have a romance manga where both leads are emotive with the other present.


I found it interesting on how they handled the surprise of Melphiera's betrothal to Aristide. I was expecting Aristide to directly propose to her before she left for her town. Him following protocol was a surprise since he comes off as a rebel.


My only complaint is that there was no actual cooking of monsters in the volume. While there were discussions of it, none of the characters took time out to cook monsters.


Melphiera had pre-made food that she gave Aristide while she spoke at length on how to prep the monsters for cooking. This gets repeated by Aristide in the third chapter. Even the monster hunting to cook a meal was done off-screen.


While I like the developing relationship between the two, I felt like the driving point of the story that's marketed seemed to be lacking in this volume, especially since this series is marketed towards fans of Delicious in Dungeon. They should have dedicated one chapter to them cooking a monster to eat.


Final Thoughts

 

If you're looking for a romantasy (romance & fantasy) series, I would recommend the series. The leads are fun and goofy but are endearing and lovable.


If you were looking for something similar to Delicious in Dungeon where you will get some monster cooking while the leads' relationship develops, I would wait for volume 2 to come out since the last few pages hint at them cooking a monster. Hopefully they show the process on screen this time.


Verdict: Pick It Up On Sale



Pass the Monster Meat, Milady volume 1 from Kodansha is now available at all retailers


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