Sunday, September 2, 2012

Commentary: Comic Heaven

It's sometimes impossible to tell what kind of magazine something is just from the cover.  I'll come back to this idea when I talk about Ryuu magazine.  In the case of Hevn, it looks pretty much like any other seinen manga.  Turns out though that it's pretty much all hentei.  Now, if you're not really familiar with the term, it's hard to tell the difference between hentai, etchi, "H" and regular manga with lots of reader service.  "Etchi" is the Japanese pronunciation of the letter "h", which in turn is the abbreviation for "hentai".  "Hentai" means "pervert" or "perverted", which includes B&;D, various fetishes, etc.  "H" and "etchi" have somewhat softer meanings, and often just refer to someone wanting to have sex, where the partner is either unprepared or too shy.  So, if a character sees a female naked, he's "etchi", even if it was an accidental situation, or if the partner is the one that set the situation up intentionally.  Given the number of reader services in most boy's and men's manga, from shower scenes to close-ups of women playing tennis, just about every magazine on the shelf can be considered "H" at some level.  However. There are those publications that cater to adult males that fall in the "R" or "X" category, that aren't kept in the Adult racks.  Hevn is one of these.

(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

I haven't verified this, but it would appear that Comic Hevn (ヘヴン, i.e. - "Heaven") is a new publication, possibly related to the harder-core title Aun (it's on vol. 1, but several of the stories are at chapter 7 or higher).  There's no direct sex, but lots of naked bodies, lewd set-ups, and suggestive poses.  So, yeah, it's R-rated at a minimum.  On the other hand, there are some stories that don't immediately resort to sex or sexual situations, so it's not all pure etchi material.  Some of the artwork and character designs are very good (others are crap).  Genres are largely fantasy and school life.

(Death ru desu. The shinigami class rep is the blonde one.)

The first story is Death Ru Desu, by Dai Suzuki.  It starts out with a teacher of a class of student shinigami (gods of death) handing out assignments to the class.  Each shinigami has to reap whoever is on their assignment sheet.  The victims are all people that managed to avoid dying somehow, and their souls need to be collected now.  The class rep finds herself paired with an unusually dense office worker who refuses to die no matter how many times she tries to reap him.  Finally, by accident, he kisses her, and things get out of hand from there.  Average artwork, but interesting idea.

(Yankee Quest)

Yankee Quest, by Makoto Murakami. A group of street punks go up against a group of what seems to be evil demons in a fist fight.  Average artwork, but fairly graphic.

(Legend of Heaven's Door)

Legend of Heaven's Door. Medieval fantasy setting with three-eyed demons using modern day firearms against the populace.  Above average artwork, but average character designs.

Hanetsuko Otome, by Hideyu Tohgarashi. This is one of the only chapters that doesn't have naked bodies in any shape or form.  The story is simply a Japanese-style badmitton contest between girls dressed up as miko (apprentice priestesses) or Edo-era court ladies.  Above average artwork and character designs.  The movement of the birdie and the players on both sides of the net is also above average.  Not much of a story, though.

Summary; I don't recognize any of the titles here, and I'm not a big fan of etchi manga overall.  It's also kind of pricey for the page count. I recommend giving this one a miss.  Monthly Comic Heaven, 730 yen, 600 pages.

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