Sweet Paprika has been a delightful series mixing sexual humor in a manga-inspired visual style. Written and drawn by Mirka Andolfo, the latest issue takes a turn as its title character is further pushed by her new side-piece Dill, who also happens to be an angel. The sex hasn’t quite worked out, but it’s really about learning how a relationship might actually be the thing she needs.
This issue opens with Dill’s roommate desperately trying to impress him with breakfast only to find he’s gone. He’s at Paprika’s house meeting her mother and bathing his dog in her bidet. He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, but that’s part of his charm. Dill continues to be a hilarious and over-the-top character, never quite realizing he’s pushing Paprika to her very limit, but also being chill enough to know it’ll all work out.
Since Paprika’s mother is staying over they can’t have sex, which takes the sexual element of this issue to a quieter place with oral sex. What makes this series work so well is how Andolfo tackles each sexual act in an honest way that approaches the lewd and lifts that up to find the humor of the act. At the same time, Paprika is always second-guessing herself or questioning her confidence, which makes her sympathetic and relatable.
Paprika’s emotional state is turned so far up she’s always overacting, which plays off Andolfo’s manga-inspired style. Expect to see characters crying rivers, sweating bullets, and generally losing their minds. The series has done well to convey sex positivity, especially for those who grew up feeling shame around it, and that continues here.
This issue also develops Paprika’s nemesis well and you’ll grow to hate her just a bit more. She’s plotting to destroy Paprika and even steal Dill away from her. Andolfo uses these moments to move the villain’s plot forward, but also test Dill. There’s a sexually-charged romance brewing in this series, and it’s done in a subtle but natural way.
Possibly the best way to describe Andolfo’s art is “frenzied fun”. Simon Tessuto colors the book, giving it a cartoony feel with bright colors and colorful flourishes. Andolfo’s style is cartoony as well, right down to Dill’s anthropomorphic dog who is good for plenty of shocked reaction shots.
Sweet Paprika #6 continues to blend comedy, sex, and a budding romance into a unique high-energy story that’s hard to resist. It’s a unique approach to sex positivity that also serves as a strong message about being open, knowing yourself, and being a better person. In that, this series continues to be an important work for all ages.
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