From the back cover:
Hyoue Inugami is a powerful Koma-Oni—so powerful, in fact, that a spell of binding has been put on him to restrain his supernatural strength! Hyoue can only remain Amane’s guardian providing he never says the forbidden words that break the spell. The problem is, he doesn’t know what they are! When Amane agrees to take the role of Beauty in the school’s production of Beauty and the beast, Hyoue seems perfect to play the Beast—but what if the forbidden words are in the script?
School festivals, athletic and arts, serve as the backdrop for the action in this volume. Aoi torments Hyoue throughout, needling him about confessing his feelings to Amane on the theory that it’ll be too much for Amane and she’ll turn to Aoi instead. I find their antipathy tedious. Also tedious are the antics of a pair of girls who are peeved that Amane gets cast as the heroine in the school play. They set out to play various cruel pranks upon her. Most unfortunately, this includes a “slipping on a banana peel” gag.
The main drama concerns a binding spell that was apparently cast on Hyoue when he became Amane’s koma-oni. She was a child at the time, and by binding his power it would make it easier for her to control him. At least this explanation makes sense, even though it’s kind of retconny. And despite how the back cover blurb makes it sound, Hyoue doesn’t suddenly worry about the words in the script for no reason—for most of the volume he gets warning twinges that some of the dialogue he’s helping Amane practice may be close to the forbidden phrase.
There’s a little bit of good stuff in this volume, but it almost always gets derailed by some unfunny attempt at comedy. I like that Hyoue acknowledges the problems of love between a mortal and immortal—when Amane tells him she wants him by her side forever, he thinks, “You’re the one who won’t be with me forever.” I’ve been known to get sparkly-eyed over this kind of angst, but really, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who did it so much better. It just doesn’t have the same impact when two pages later, someone’s super deformed, flailing, and breaking the fourth wall.