Tenshi Ja Nai!! Vol. #04 (Mania.com)
By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Release Date: Monday, July 31, 2006
Translated by:Akira Tsubasa
Adapted by:Jaime Rich
What They Say
In the play of life, all Hikaru Takabayashi wanted was to be part of the scenery. But ever since she transferred to the prestigious all-girls' Seika Academy, Hikaru has been living life in the spotlight with scandal on every side!
Hikaru's crush on her sexy teacher Ayase is getting steamier, but there's more to the older man than meets the eye. When her roommate Izumi, the cross-dressing model, intervenes, is it in Hikaru's interest or romantic jealousy?
Gender-bending romance-comedies are the best aren't they. In some a guy turns into a girl with water. Others have girls dressing up like guys to join basketball/track teams. In Tenshi Ja Nai!! a guy dresses up like a girl so he can pay off his father's rising hospital debts. Izumi is still in high school and he is the biggest teen idol in Japan, but he is a she! And the only person outside of his handler who knows this is the main character of this story, Hikaru. Reclusive and passive Hikaru has to keep this a secret while avoiding residual attention for basically being Izumi's assistant manager/roommate.
You'd think Izumi would be the star in a story like this. He's the guy going through all the trouble of scheming up lies to get his mug on billboards. However, Hikaru, the character that doesn't want attention is in the spotlight. Talk about irony! But Hikaru plays the role very well. In the first three volumes she has been a star friend and a star on stage and screen. She shows off more of that talent in this volume with flair and style. But I wish Shigematsu-sensei would keep on track with her growth through art a bit more. Because one thing Hikaru is really bad at is expressing her feelings.
This volume more than the previous three, focuses on Hikaru's romance troubles. She is dating teacher! Uh-oh, Hikaru doesn't want attention but there she is having public displays of affection on campus! Furthermore, she is lying to the person she cares about and possibly has feelings for someone else after only recently hooking up with teacher. Is this a part of the whole artist thing because Hikaru seemed to be a little more stable than this earlier on in the story when she was just a hermit wannabe.
Tenshi is a fun title. And it has its moments where the character interaction and sexual tension is intense. However, I am having a hard time with the two plot lines. At one point they were running parallel to each other. Hikaru's romance was being hurt by her potential artistic development. With that settled, Shigematsu is only branching out even more. She added a potential yuri element that was stunted. There is a conflict the other main character that was not resolved well. And Hikaru as a character is becoming much more shallow and vulnerable than I thought she was. Hikaru was never an angel, but now I have to wonder if she is as bad as her rivals think she is.
Mania Grade: B-
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: B
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Go! Comi
Orientation: Right to Left