Review: The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat (Vol 1)

(art by Kantoku)

(art by Kantoku)

(Note: This site’s central focus is on light novels officially translated and published in English, but at times I will post reviews for stories that have only been translated by fans. Please support the Japanese books that don’t get English releases.)

Volume 1

Volume 1

The title perhaps makes it clear from the very start what sort of mood this novel wishes to convey, and indeed I found Sou Sagara’s The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat to be quite a goofy story. It wasn’t a story I ever planned to read, but when it turned out Frog-kun was the one translating it, I had to give it a try at least. And while it isn’t the sort of book I’m generally interested in, I did find myself pleasantly intrigued by the way the author worked with some of the more familiar tropes of harem-esque high school romcoms. Much of my kudos will go toward the translator though, who I felt managed to pull off a high-quality effort.

The “Hentai Prince” of the tale is a boy named Youto Yokodera, who is quite perverted yet never gets called out for it, as all his actions are misinterpreted by those around him. When he begins to worry that nobody will ever know him for who he really is, he makes an offering to a stone cat statue which grants his wish to take away his facade. At the same time, a girl named Tsukiko Tsutsukakushi makes an offering of her own: in an effort to become more mature, she wishes to hide away her emotions. It’s the age-old “be careful what you wish for” setup, but the way things play out are a bit more unorthodox than one might imagine.

The characters are memorable, and the story did give me some things to think about in regard to how high school students present themselves, and what constitutes their “true” personalities. When our protagonist loses his ability to maintain a facade, he ends up saying everything that comes to mind immediately, and all his perverted thoughts are exposed to the entire school. It creates plenty of comedic situations to be sure–and while Tsukiko’s constant deadpan expression serves well to counter the boy’s brash and hormone-driven behavior, her inability to visibly react to anything spins the “emotionless girl” trope to highlight the story’s themes regarding the complications surrounding being true to oneself.

Though there are interesting points to the story, much of it did feel awkwardly-paced. Some plot elements came off as rather forced, while others seemed to drag on for little reason. Perhaps the biggest point of scrutiny though will need to be applied to the ending, which to put it plainly turned out to be quite ridiculous. At first I found it a bit much, but in hindsight perhaps it is just the sort of ending this kind of story calls for. In the end, it is those who are “in the know” with this particular brand of light novel who will be most likely to get a kick out of it, but even those with a more basic interest in goofy romcoms may find some enjoyment from the characters’ unpredictable antics.

Cho’s Rating: Maybe Recommended

One response to “Review: The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat (Vol 1)

  1. Pingback: Interview: Henneko Discussion with Frog-kun | English Light Novels·

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