On Bended Knee is a collection of short stories featuring professional adults (pediatricians, chefs, professors, et cetera) linked together by, as the back cover points out, the common theme of learning to accept one’s true feelings for another. Although too brief to achieve greatness, each story is a pleasant enough read and all are free from the nonconsensual scenes that plague other boys’ love titles.
The drawback of having a common theme is that the stories can get repetitive after a while. There are five tales in On Bended Knee and three of them follow pretty much the same pattern:
1.One member of a couple is a bit too demonstrative.
2.The more reserved member sets some boundaries like “don’t touch me at work” or “don’t try to ravish me in my sleep.”
3.The other party respects said boundaries and keeps his distance.
4.The reserved fellow begins to miss the other guy.
5.Reconciliation and a tacked-on sex scene (featuring many amusing sound effects) ensue.
Despite its flaws, On Bended Knee is pretty good. It’s not the most amazing thing around, to be sure, but you could definitely do worse.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.