Light Novel Review: Kawaikereba Hentai demo Suki ni Nattekuremasu ka? Volume 1

Who Would Like this Series/Volume?


Oof, this is a tough one to describe. It’s actually just a bland rom-com, with only a few good gags in the first half. Then it turns ecchi-er (surprise) and funnier but I don’t see the romantic part. There’s no real drama or anything, it’s a completely light-hearted story. The girls are more or less just quarrelling with each other over the protagonist. If you like rom-coms and aren’t disgusted by a moderate amount of ecchi (there’s “Hentai” in the title), you don’t go wrong reading this. It’s not a must-read by a long shot, though. Hentai is best read with half an eye and half a brain, don’t expect too much from it and treat volume 1 like an intro.

Difficulty


Fairly easy. The heroines during their escapades can be a tad harder to read, but in the end it’s just of average difficulty, nothing to be scared of. No cut-off sentences either, they’re mostly written out properly, no real slang. You’ll be fine.

Difficulty 4/10

Translation Where?


Nothing that I know of.

Contents


NOTE: These summaries can never give you an accurate impression on how the book reads or what the book is really like. It simply gives you the gist of the novel, but don’t judge the book by this alone. It can’t be helped that things read rushed and colorless in a summary. You can get an idea by reading the conclusion and, finally, by reading it yourself!

The Whole Damn Thing

The prologue introduces the protagonist, Keiki (yes, like cake), together with the four heroines, cleaning the calligraphy club’s club room. After all, it was Sayuki, Keiki’s senpai in the club, who went berserk and threw calligraphy paper and ink all over the place, splashing it on the walls and ceiling alike. Also helping out is Mao, Keiki’s classmate, a member of the club as well. Keiki’s little sister, Mizuha, a cleanfreak, also volunteered to clean up the mess, although not part of the club. Last but not least, Yuika, Keiki’s kouhai (opposite of senpai), is the last of the heroines to help out while not being a member of the club either. It mainly serves as an introductory chapter, making clear that Mizuha is kind of a bro-con, Sayuki with her big boobies and long black hair an inspiration to Keiki and also just kind of weird and out of touch, while she and Yuika apparently don’t get along too well. Yuika is the typical foreigner-type with her blonde hair, but actually a born Japanese. Mao is hard to pinpoint, she seems kind of cold and indifferent.

Once the mess is cleaned up, the first big thing’s about to happen. Everyone else has already left and Keiki merely tidied the last things up, but once he returns to the club room, there’s a letter on the desk. It says “I love you.” And it has an attachment. A pair of panties.

Keiki’s sitting down with his friend Shouma to discuss the situation. Shouma’s a kind, attractive-looking guy – but sadly for the girls, a lolicon to the core. They deduct that the letter has to have come from one of the heroines, since why would anyone go out of their way to go to the calligraphy club to leave the letter, putting it into the locker or something would be way simpler. And thus they announce the start of the search for the “Panties Cinderella.”

Not having slept all night, Keiki meets Sayuki in the club room. Nothing important’s being said, really, just a slight flirt with Sayuki pointing out the bags under Keiki’s eyes and suggesting he’d nap in the class room for a bit. He refuses and she comments that it’s a pity since she would’ve slept at his side. Anyway, she apparently isn’t much different from usual. Then it’s library duty with Yuika. She asks him whether he’s into bigger boobies since he’s so obsessed with Sayuki. He asks her why she’s on such bad terms with her, and her answer’s simply that people with such udders are the enemy of all flatchested girls. Being pressed for an answers, however, it becomes apparent that Keiki’s into big boobies, which makes Yuika pout. Seemingly feeling down about that, she does back off, though, and states that she was merely teasing him. Because “girls have to tease guys that show now interest.”

It’s time for PE classes. Keiki tells Shouma about his impressions so far, which leaves two more girls in question: His sister (olala) or Mao, his classmate. Said classmate sits on the other side of the gym, and she appears to be looking at him. Their eyes meet, and soon a stray ball meets Keiki’s face. He gets knocked out and wakes up in the infirmary. Mao is at his side, Shouma apparently had stuff to tend to and left earlier. They have a bit of a talk whether something’s on Keiki’s mind since he seems so absent-minded today, and whether it’s a girl even. He asks back if she’d support him if he indeed had a crush on a girl to which she replies that that’d be kind of difficult for her. That, of course, goes right above his head, and she, of course, doesn’t wanna explain it and has to leave now.

After school, he meets Sayuki who’s with a dog. Not hers, though. It appears to have been separated from its owner. They put in some effort and look for the owner, find her, and hand the dog back over. Sayuki, all of a sudden, mentions that she’s kind of jealous of dogs. Asking why, she merely replies that she put in a lot of effort today, and that she wants her head to be pet. And so Keiki pets her head. As a reward for always being so kind to her, he gets a kiss on his cheek. At home, Keiki asks his sister how the last person to have remained in the club room the other day was. And apparently, it had been Sayuki.

So it’s confirmed that Sayuki was the last person who’d been in the club room before Keiki went in and found the letter, there’s a high chance she’s the one who placed it there. However, Keiki’s having a hard time asking her face-to-face whether she wrote that letter. After all, if he asked her whether she wrote the love letter and she didn’t, the reaction’d certainly hurt; if she’d be honest about it to begin with. He can’t ask her to test wear the panties either. He figures it’d be the best to take her out on a date to get to know her better and maybe find out the truth. Sayuki hears his mumbling and actually agrees to go on a date with him… because there’s a new parfait she really wants to try but she’s broke right now.

After a few hints that, parfait aside, Sayuki likes to have the opportunity to go on a date with Keiki and a few roundabout compliments from both of them, he asks her whether she isn’t hiding something from him, like a special feeling she might harbor. That question is enough to make her go bright red and leave on the spot.

From there on, she avoids him the best she can. Mao also notices that and asks whether something happened between Sayuki and Keiki. She suggests Keiki drove her “back against the wall” to get to face him and talk it out. And that’s what he does. Surprisingly, she isn’t weirded out, but rather just embarrassed by this bold move. He tells her that he knows her secret, which embarrasses her even more. After a brief pause, she then asks whether he hates her now, to which he replies that, quite the contrary, he’s rather happy about it. Sayuki reconsiders and tells him to be in the clubroom in the afternoon tomorrow.

When Keiki shows up in the clubroom the next day, Sayuki’s already waiting for him. She tells him that she feels like he’ll accept her fully now and wants him to close his eyes. Keiki’s expecting her lips to touch his, but instead he hears clothes rustling. When he’s told to open his eyes again, she’s taken her blazer off and unbuttoned part of her shirt. She gets really touchy-feely with him when he notices it: She’s got a choker around her neck, no, a collar with leash; and then Sayuki tells him she wants to be his pet.

The next day, Sayuki visits Keiki during his school library shift – at which Yuika is present too – and is awfully close to him, making suggestive comments about how they were on a date and how Keiki did “this and that” to her. After Sayuki left, Yuika is pouting hard. She demands rectification: Yuika wants her own shot at a date with Keiki.

The date goes down that following Sunday, they go window shopping, have lunch together, watch a movie, yadayada. The only distinctive event is when Yuika goes to the restroom and doesn’t return for quite a while, so Keiki goes to check on her. He finds her surrounded by a bunch of guys who try to hit on her and, of course, saves her from the situation. Probably important is that she just stands there with empty eyes and Keiki recalls that that’s the way she’s been when they first meet: Looking seemingly empty, like a puppet. After the date’s over, Keiki gets a kiss on the cheek from Yuika.

The next day, he tells Shouma about their date. Before long, he gets a text from Yuika, she wants to tell him something important in the sports equipment shed. Well, we’re back to where we were with Sayuki: Keiki expects a confession, but instead Yuika tells him that she wants Keiki to be her slave. She promises to be a good master who gives him the treats he wants, strips her panties where she stands, stuffs them into his mouth like a gag, and pushes him down. Not much more happens since, well, apparently you can’t breath too well with a pair of panties stuffed into your mouth: Keiki loses consciousness.

A few days (?) after, there’s a bra in his locker. It’s Yuika’s, so he decides to go and meet her in the library. She figured that Keiki doesn’t like panties that much, so she gave him a bra instead; she also noticed he tried avoiding her. Anyway, he returns it to her, and she hands him the book she promised to lend to him back when they had the date. That, plus a sketchbook. She’s planning to become a children book author in the future and tried making one. It’s about a princess who finds her dream prince, so she imprisons the prince and trains him to become her slave… you get the idea. Keiki gets cold feet and makes a run for it. But it’s not over yet. In the afternoon, when he’s about to leave school, Keiki finds a picture of half-naked Sayuki on top of him (the situation he ended up in when she confessed wanting to be his pet) in his locker with the message to come to the clubroom if he doesn’t want the picture to be spread through the internet. When he enters the clubroom, he finds Sayuki in a maid uniform, ready to serve her master. She noticed he’s been trying to avoid her, and she doesn’t like that, if being his pet is a no-go, she figured being a maid isn’t that much different. She handcuffed herself too. And the key is in her cleavage. And she really needs to go to the bathroom. After Keiki rummaged through her boobies, got the key, and released her from the handcuffs, Sayuki can have her toilet break. After that, Keiki and her have some more talk in which she states that the dog just got anxious about her master ignoring her so she went with this, and she also states that she’s ready to serve her master in body and mind, every night, to which, of course, Keiki bursts out of the room, clinging to his chastity.

Another talk about the “Cinderella” problem with Shouma later, it’s after school. He gets called out by Sayuki again, but on his way, Yuika surprises him in the hallway. She covers his eyes with her hands (the “guess who”-stuff), but doesn’t let go. Why? She’s naked. So he, a gentleman (*cough* cuck *cough*) through and through, keeps his eyes closed and follows her so she can put on some clothes. He sits down on the chair she points out to him and… ties him up. It’s punishment time for her slave. He’s been unfaithful with the “boobs monster” and as his master, Yuika doesn’t like that. She wasn’t naked, by the way, she lied to trap him. Yuika wants him to lick her feet, or she’ll take his first kiss.

However, Sayuki bursts in. She heard the two of them talk and was wondering where Keiki was at, anyway. It turns out, that Sayuki and Yuika know of each others fetishes and, in fact, have been fighting over who gets to live them out with Keiki behind the scenes. Their fight over him gets broken up by Mao, who also bursts into the room and shouts he should stop playing around with girls, then leaves, obviously upset.

So I can actually cut the rest of the novel rather short, here goes:

Mao then seems rather distant to Keiki. His sister, Shouma, and Keiki himself to kind of suspect that she’s got feelings for him and is hurt now. So he talks to her and to make up she wants him and Shouma to go out and have fun with her like they often did in the past. They visit an arcade and there’s an instance where Keiki’s about to fall over and Shouma catches him, which makes them end up in a weirdly lover-like position. Mao takes pictures like crazy. After Shouma leaves and Keiki escorts Mao to her house, he gets all nervous and came to figure from all the circumstances that actually she must be in love with Shouma. He mans up to ask her and what she’s actually in love with is the idea of Keiki and Shouma being gay and havin’ some BL. She’s a fujoshi and not just that, she’s a BL artist too. He and Shouma are both models for her BL series which actually seems pretty popular. So there you have it: Pet, Master, Fujoshi.

In the end, there’s a suggestive pic (he’s been in enough situations of which a pic would be perfect for blackmailing, after all) in Keiki’s locker again, and he’s told to come to a certain room if he doesn’t want it public. Once he enters the dark room, the door closes on him and he gets jumped by someone. It turns out to be a girl, a member of the photography club. This time, however, she doesn’t want Keiki, she’s surrounded by hundreds of sneaked photos of Shouma. She’s a stalker, one who stalks his friend. And that concludes volume 1.

Conclusion


Volume 1 Cover

Reading a title which roughly translates to, “Would You Fall In Love With A Pervert As Long As She’s Cute?,” raises expectations. I was basically expecting something outrageous. Something that barely manages to escape a big, fat R-18 label on its cover. So more or less what other MF Bunko J light novels do and beyond.

To my surprise, Hentai (the official MF Bunko J website shortens the series’ URL to this, so I’ll just keep talking about Hentai from now on) is unnecessarily docile. While other rom-coms tend to go overboard with the ecchi and become just borderline softcore pornography, Hentai basically announces that level of ecchi on its cover, yet hardly ever backs it up; at least not in volume 1.

The most disappointing part is probably the pace, or “build up.” You’ll have to read half the volume until there’s even a hint of perversion for you to enjoy. Until then, the “worst” it’ll do is a love letter with a pair of panties attached. Wow. Such taboo. Need I remind you that the protagonist in TaiCheat likely got jerked off at the end of volume 4? Now, I wouldn’t expect this level from the getgo. However, the first half of Hentai is just a bland and boring, bog-standard rom-com with no redeeming features at all… The dude just wonders who sent him a pair of panties and goes on a date with two different girls. There’s nothing too funny, nothing too romantic, no suspense, nothing interesting going on. You’re just waiting for Hentai to unshackle, for the title to deliver, but it’s on a leash for a very long time. Poorly done.

And then it eventually does break loose. One girl after the other shows her true colors and we’re graced with a sadist (wants to be his pet), a masochist (wants him to be her slave), a fujoushi (wants him to do his best friend), and we get to catch a glimpse of a stalker (stalking his best friend). I think the sadist and masochist provide enough interesting features to fit the theme well. Wanting to be a pet and wanting to enslave someone sexually does sound perverted enough. Furthermore, they know of each other’s fetishes and fight over their love (?) interest. That doesn’t happen often in volume 1 – heck, you have to read half the volume first until they come out of the closet – but makes the character relationships and interactions (Sado and Maso against each other) more dynamic and could be a great thing as the series progresses; it’s not much of a factor yet, though.

Honestly, the fujoushi was a disappointment. You can say that it’s a perversion, I guess, but it’s something so widely spread that I wouldn’t’ve expected it in this kind of novel. I guess it’s a staple in setting up gags, but I would’ve wished for something more niche and extreme, something more surprising and unique than this. Lastly, the stalker only appears at the very end of volume 1. Is stalking even a sexual perversion? Not in my book. So as far as I’m concerned, this one’s a letdown too, which leads to a hit ratio of 50%. As “stalking” is being teased for volume 2, I don’t exactly have high hopes for the directoin the series is going in the short run. There’s still the protagonist’s little sister who has yet to reveal if and what kind of perversion she has. But let’s be honest: She’s more than likely just a bro-con. That’s not very creative either but at least I personally can get behind that kind of character. As I said, she’s not yet revealed her little secret in volume 1, though.

As you might’ve noticed by now, I’m basically judging this novel by how perverted it is, which is a weird way to look at a novel , but… it’s in the title, right? You’re bound to expect something absurd from it and yet get such a shy, reserved effort. If we look at the “big storyline,” the Cinderella story a la “Who sent me that love letter with the panties inside?,” it’s just not all that interesting. Who cares who sent that letter? You want more action, you want what the book sold you on. The guy’s so hung up on finding that girl who wrote that letter, but why? He’s in puberty, hot girls are begging to throw themselves at him, yet he backs away because he just wants a “normal girlfriend.” I know that protagonists always behave this weirdly in anime, but make it a bit more believable than this. If he wanted them all and just couldn’t pick one, now that’d be more believable.

In the latter half of the book, when the girls do go all out, the respective scenes are alright. Nothing too special. The intensity of those scenes are actually what I expect from this kind of title throughout its entirety. That most of the book, however, is far less intense or – I dare say – boring isn’t a good sign. The author also wants us to believe that the masochistic girl is kind of a yandere (that’d be the perfect kind of perversion for this kind of book!), but she really doesn’t act the part at all, sadly.

All in all, Hentai barely ever provides what it advertises. I do not know whether that changes in volume 2 and beyond, all I can say is that volume 1 is a bland rom-com for the most part, neither too funny nor too perverted, and even at its best it still feels too reserved and shy for its own good. There are lots of more intense light novels out there who don’t put Hentai in their name. I’d be interested to see whether volume 2 does go out more in this regard, but am overall disappointed with what volume 1 showed thus far. I’m trying to recall scenes which would allow me to say that this book is an above-average experience, but nothing comes to mind. It’s average as far as I’m concerned.

Similarly to what I added in KonoSuba, that its illustrations are superb, I’d like to add that, in my oppinion, Hentai‘s illustrations are pretty poorly done. I literally can’t tell the majority of heroines apart, they all look the same. Yikes.

Rating 5/10

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