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My Heavenly Hockey Club 1 : Another Manga Review

Article by Scott Tingley, July 4. 2007

Okay, I'm sure I'm going to tick off a lot of Manga fans if I keep saying this, but I don't know anything about manga (as the rest of this article will prove). I'm learning, but I really only know enough to know that you can't judge its content appropriateness by its cover and that it is a very popular format.

For those that don't know, manga are essentially Japanese created comics (I think Korean comics get lumped in as well, but not officially). They are reprinted in North America as small black and white digests. They are read back to front – right to left.

I grew up reading American comics, but one thing I really appreciate about manga is that you can find pretty much one for any genre you can think of. Fantasy, western, romance, the list goes on and on and on.

I thought it was about time for this site to have some manga content, so I picked up a 13+teen rated book (look on back cover – most manga have company created ratings) called My Heavenly Hockey Club by Ai Morinaga . I had no idea what I was reading at first. The art was nice and easy to follow. The plot was pretty easy to follow:

Hana Suzuki loves only two things in life: eating and sleeping. So when handsome classmate Izumi Oda asks Hana–his major crush–to join the school hockey club, persuading her proves to be a difficult task. True, the Grand [field] Hockey Club is full of boys–and all the boys are super-cute–but given a choice, Hana prefers a sizzling steak to a hot date. Then Izumi mentions the field trips to fancy resorts. Now Hana can't wait for the first away game, with its promise of delicious food and luxurious linens. Of course there's also the getting up early, working hard, and playing well with others. How will Hana survive ?(from randomhouse.com)

But I just couldn’t wrap my head around the point of whole thing. I was feeling pretty stupid when it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was reading The Breakfast Club! Not exactly – the plot is not similar in any way at all, but I finally got it. I was reading a teen movie! I finally got one of the keys as to why manga is so popular. No one may agree with me, but it makes sense. Teens love teen movies, and manga provides that experience in a serialized sort of way.

As with all teen movies, some are appropriate for YOUR teen (or your school) and some are not. There is a scene in My Heavenly Hockey Club where a boob is almost visible, but that is about it – more naughty stuff in Breakfast Club. There is a wacky ending involving a bear playing field hockey and lots of leftover drama for vol 2. Lots of wackiness.

Yeah, that just about sums up my review – WACKY. This might be the sort of thing to get your middle-high school teen reading this summer.

I agree with the company’s rating of “ages 13+”


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