HEAVEN!! • Shizuru Seino • TOKYOPOP • 13+
Seino knows how to tell a story entertainingly, and Heaven!! is unexpectedly good fun, starting with the first full-page shot of the heroine about to beat the crap out of a ghost. Rinne is a wild girl who exorcists ghosts with her magic harisen, and she hates her classmate Uzaki, a scowling delinquent sociopath who wears his hair in an ’80s yankii pompadour and looks like Yusuke from YuYu Hakusho. When Yusuke–I mean Uzaki–is hit by a truck, a horny ghost named Keiju possesses his vacant body, changes his hairstyle and turns him into a player who charms everyone and even gives our heroine a nosebleed. Meanwhile, Uzaki’s angry spirit is trapped inside a pink stuffed monkey, and Rinne torn between her desire to help him get his body back and the fact that the new, possessed Uzaki is TEH SEXXY. The art is fairly standard shojo, but there’s lots of twists and turns, and an amusingly irreverent, pure comedy attitude. Few manga can provide the spectacle of an angry stuffed monkey riding a dog screaming “ASSHOLES!” Recommended. (Review by Jason Thompson – originally printed in Otaku USA magazine.)
This review only covers the first two volumes of the manga. I’m out of the country until April 18, so all the winners of “365 Days of Manga” between then and now will be announced after I get back. Please keep entering the contest, there will still be a winner a day, I’ll just be announcing them all at once!