It’s the final volume of With the Sheikh in His Harem, and volume 8 contains only two chapters and a bonus one. When you subtract the character introductions and other extras, the 135-page book drops down to 125. That’s on the short side for a manga, but even moreso for a final volume.
The good news is all the main plot points are resolved here. Everything from Lui and Adil’s estranged relationship, to what the group Aramus was up, and to Lui and Sanagi’s marriage are covered. As you can probably guess, though, is that things are a little cramped due to the limited amount of pages.
The biggest victim of this is the secret of Lui’s background: what happened to his mother and why he seems to be able to entrance people to do his bidding with his eyes. Lui hears the truth, and then in the very next chapter, the truth of the truth is revealed. Readers don’t really get a chance to analyze the revelations or see Lui rise up and accept himself since the two are only separated by Sanagi once again falling victim to schemes and bad luck.
Plus, the explanation for Lui’s “powers” is rather weak. The manga had been flopping back and forth on whether it had supernatural elements or not, and so that meant either this was a fantasy story or Professor Layton-level mindtwist. Regardless of how I feel about Lui’s eyes, I still wish With the Sheikh in His Harem had an additional chapter in between, which maybe would have helped.
Alternatively, instead of a third main chapter, the bonus one could have been dropped. When I saw that there was an extra story, I immediately and accurately guessed it was going to be about Sanagi and Lui consummating their relationship. It’s set a year after the main story ends, and the reason they haven’t moved on to the next step is…well, even Sanagi finds it idiotic when she finds out why Lui hasn’t been as lovey-dovey lately.
The ending, which leads to an epilogue, did put a big smile on my face. The art has been a consistent reason to dive into this series, and while volume 8 is hardly the most gorgeous volume, romance fans get the payoffs they’ve been waiting for (plus a bonus or two). Combined with the story events, the main story’s conclusion and the extra’s ending are just so heartwarming and melts away a lot of the negatives from this volume — negatives which includes some of the subplots and minor characters getting reduced to no page time. With the Sheikh in His Harem doesn’t go for a grand finale, but if author Miasa was only given this amount to work with, maybe it’s better this way.
But whether you’ve collected all of With the Sheikh in His Harem, skipped a few volumes, or haven’t started yet, you’ll want to add volume 8 to your digital bookshelves and save it for a day when you need something to give you a nice, fuzzy feeling.