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Heaven's Will

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Heaven's Will by Satoru Takamiya from Shojo Beat Manga / VIZ Media

Heaven's Will

© 2006 Satoru TAKAMIYA / Shogakukan Inc.

The Bottom Line

One-shots can offer low-commitment entertainment, but not all shorts are created equal. Heaven's Will started out with greater aspirations, but ended before the creator could fully realize them. Takamiya is unable to decide whether she wants her tale of a girl who can see ghosts, a cross-dressing exorcist and a vampire to be spooky or romantic and settles for just being confused.

The art of Heaven's Will is nice, and the premise has some promise, but without chemistry nor a compelling plot to drive it forward, this pretty but vacant Gothic short story is dead on arrival.

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Pros

  • Simple and charming artwork that appeals to Gothic sensibilities without being overdone
  • A one-shot manga that doesn't require a long-term comics commitment
  • Has a promising plot premise and a few surprises under its lacy Lolita dresses

Cons

  • Characters are either emotionally crippled or annoyingly neurotic
  • Virtually no chemistry between the Mikuzu, Seto and Kagari
  • A Gothic story that's neither spooky nor romantic, or even engaging
  • Admittedly a half-finished story, Heaven's Will ends before it ever hits its stride

Description

  • Original Title: Heaven's Will (Japan)
  • Author & Artist: Satoru Takamiya
  • Publishers:
  • ISBN: 978-1421522586
  • Cover Price: $8.99 US / $10.50 CANADA
  • Age Rating: T – Teens Age 13+ for mild violence, cross-dressing, references to death
    More about content ratings.
  • Manga Genres:
  • US Publication Date: January 2009
    Japan Publication Date: September 2006
  • Book Description: 200 pages, black and white illustrations
  • More Manga by Satoru Takamiya:
    • Devil's Kiss
    • Full Moon Joker

Guide Review - Heaven's Will

Tired of manga epics that take volumes to get to the good stuff? Plots that meander on a long road to nowhere? One-shots can offer some no-commitment comics enjoyment, but not all short stories are created equal. Some are written to be complete in one volume, while others like Heaven's Will start out with greater aspirations, but were cut short before the creator could fully realize them.

Sadou Mikuzu is a shy and skittish girl; but then again being able to see ghosts and demons can do that to a teen. When she stumbles into the local haunted house, she meets Seto, a pretty blonde in a Gothic Lolita black lace dress and Kagari, Seto's dark and sullen male companion. Mikuzu eventually finds out that Seto is an exorcist and Kagari is a vampire. As if that wasn't enough, Mikuzu finds out that Seto is really a guy who cross-dresses for fun, and for darker reasons.

When she meets Seto, Mikuzu thinks that he/she's a doll, and it's easy to see why. Seto's limited facial expressions might as well be sculpted in porcelain. Kagari is so excruciatingly monotone, he might as well be a zombie. And Mikuzu? She's a neurotic, spineless mess.

When this trio team up to send unhappy spirits to the great beyond, you'd think that their adventures would be just a tiny bit spooky. Alas, they are not. You'd hope that there would be some delectable romance. Other than a few sparks that fizzle out quickly, there's not much chemistry here. The art is nice enough, but that's not sufficient to make this tale even halfway entertaining.

So when Takamiya-sensei explains that she wrote Heaven's Will while "in a state of confusion" and that it will end "without doing half of what (she) had planned," I could only think "well, duh." When armed with her warning, I was slightly less disappointed when I got to the end of this story, but not any more satisfied either.

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