Shoujo – Supernatural, drama, gender bender
1 Volume (complete)
Mikuzu can see spirits, and she’s constantly being chased by them. Now she has another problem: she’s gained a stalker. Desperate and afraid, Mikuzu asks for help at the rumored haunted house. The person inside agrees to help her, but much to Mikuzu’s surprise, it’s a boy dressed as a girl!
While the author is known for one or two volume series, this should have been longer.
When I finished reading Heaven’s Will, I had to double-check and make sure the final chapter wasn’t ripped out or anything. That’s how confused I felt. I’m just going to let the author’s own words elaborate on this: “Unfortunately, it ended without me being able to even do half of what I had planned. . . . [S]o it’s a brilliantly incomplete story.” Although Heaven’s Will is given a sort of ending, it truly feels like “end of volume 1” rather than “end of series”. The manga probably needed a good three volumes. Heaven’s Will might have been interesting if it were longer, but at its actual length, it just feels like a waste of time.
So what is here? Girl sees apparitions, girl meets cross-dressing boy with a past, girl likes boy, girl discovers boy’s secret and wants to help. Throw in a vampire dog, and that’s the whole manga. While the “protagonist with sixth sense” plot has been done many times before, Heaven’s Will might have been an enjoyable version of this story with a heroine learning to become stronger along with a dose of gender-bending comedy. Instead, the manga feels like nothing but a writing prompt for an English class. The biggest question in the story is left unanswered, and it’s not the sort of ending that’s meant to be dramatically left ambiguous; this is a “well, that’s all I have time for, folks” ending.
Really, there’s not much more to say. The character development, the story, the art, everything might have been different if Heaven’s Will was longer. Mikuzu’s feelings seem to develop too fast (and honestly presents Mikuzu as very clingy), hints of a potential love triangle go nowhere, and even the explanation of Seto’s powers are pretty weak. Even the comedy bits feel forced and out-of-place considering how short this manga is. Seto’s cake obsession comes across as jarring compared to the serious tone of Heaven’s Will.
As for the art, the fast pace means some action-orientated panels are skipped. Which is ironic, since Takamiya tends to keep his pages busy. He doesn’t include many large panels or full-page spreads. Mikuzu is at point A. Now she’s at point B. The oni is here. Now it’s attacking somehow. Did I miss details because I knew there was no way to wrap up the story in such a short amount of time, or did Takamiya really try to cram things in there? Who knows; I’m not going to reread it to find out. In addition, because the main cast’s colors are mostly dark and light (no in-between), screentones and shading are extremely limited. It’s like Heaven’s Will isn’t trying to hide the fact it’s in black and white. I will say I like Takamiya’s more emotionally exaggerated faces, the way he portrays faces of shock. While most authors use some sort of screentone (like a mosaic), Takamiya generally whites out the eyes and replace the pupils with a single dot. It’s an interesting to present horror and resentment.
Quite frankly, this series is too short for me to bother to review. No honorifics are used. Mikuzu’s name is misspelled at least twice in the book as “Mizuku”. Words like “oni” are kept in Japanese. Otherwise, it’s okay.
Save your time and money. Pass. The story is too ambitious for a single volume.
None of Takamiya’s other works are available in English.