Mania Grade: C+
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- Art Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: B
- Text/Translatin Rating: B
- Age Rating: 16 & Up
- Released By: Go! Comi
- MSRP: 10.99
- Pages: 206
- ISBN: 1-933617-12-8
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
Tenshi Ja Nai!! Vol. #05
By Eduardo M. Chavez
February 21, 2007
Release Date: December 01, 2006
Tenshi Ja Nai!! Vol.#05
© Go! Comi
Translated by:Christine Shilling
Adapted by:Jaime S. RichWhat They Say
Perennial wallflower Hikaru Takabayashi is finally starting to bloom. Thanks to her working with pop star roommate Izumi (who's secretly a guy!), Hikaru has newfound confidence in herself. And best of all, Ayase-sensei, the hunky teacher she's head-over-heels in love with, has returned her feelings!
Meanwhile, Izumi feels the burn of unrequited love. The more he helps Hikaru find her happiness, the farther away from him she goes. Will Hikaru realize that the one who loves her most is just across the room?The Review
To me Tenshija Nai!! has been a shojo title that runs mature in content as well as art. On the surface, this manga looks like a romance drama, but I have seen this as a complex debut of a talent. The development of lead Takabayashi Hikaru was always at the center of each arc; even when flowery romance scenes were dominating the storylines. That said the talent that is Hikaru's character has been grown leaps and bounds in the first four volumes. Unfortunately, Hikaru as a person has grown very little. And this has made continuing this title a little difficult for me, as the drama has become derivative and predictable. And even gender-bending romance dramas can be derivative nowadays.
In this latest volume, Hikaru?fs problems with love have caught up to her. Honestly, as a reader I saw this coming a mile away, so I had a hard time feeling for our heroine. Yet, Shigematsu really efforts the scene to not only get readers to feel even more sorry for the lead but to also give her another reason to fall into her roommate?fs arms. New characters were also introduced into the story adding to the prevailing mild yuri feel to this title (shojo friendship stuff not the fanboy yuri). And just like the taboo romance this felt contrived and pointless.
What was intriguing is how Izumi is quickly losing his grip. Alone with Hikaru in Kyoto or at the open-air onsen every little thing is pushing him over the edge. The young man who was always short-tempered but with good self-control, is now flying off the handle left and right. The reasoning is clear as can be. His one-sided love is driving him mad! You cannot get any more shojo than that, but is that an improvement?! Only if it means Hikaru will continue to outshine the actor/ess model. The retouch problems I saw in a few Go!Comi releases before this release have cleared up. Meanwhile, alignment problems have taken its place. I have also seen a drop in the quality of Shigematsu's art. Her art has always been a little long for my taste but her line work was very clean. For some reason, now her panels are getting very crowded and her characters are losing detail. Izumi is drawn inconsistently for most of this manga. At times he looks huge with shoulders so broad he?fd have a hard time wearing the dresses he models. And then he has a body structure similar to Hikaru?fs but taller.
Tenshi is still an entertaining property. I think its potential has not been fully tapped. So with every new volume the plot, what little there is, just seems to get more and more predictable.