Review: Heaven's Will

Heaven’s Will
By Satoru Takmiya
Publisher: Viz Media
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Supernatural/Romance
Price: $8.99
Rating: ★★★★½

Sudou Mikuzu has a very special talent – she can see ghosts.  And because of this predisposition, she’ become a magnet for all sorts of unwelcome monsters.  Luckily for her she’s just met Seto, a friendly, cross-dressing young exorcist.  Sudou needs protection from all the creepy phantoms bugging her, and Seto needs to practice his exorcism skills.  consequently, the pair decides to team up and help each other.  In return, Sudou promises to back a cake every time a ghost gets zapped!

At first glance, Heaven’s Will appears to be a typical supernatural romance title with a cross-dressing twist.  Once you start reading though, you’ll find that it’s actually the start of an interesting that should have been given more of a chance to develop.  The characters really grown on you, and the story, which has some sad twists to set it up, could have gone on to do so much more.

I didn’t have much hope for this title when I first started reading it.  The female protagonist, Mikuzu, is your typical school girl who can see spirits.  She is also weak and scared of the spirits she can see, and boys, and just about everything else.  She runs away instead of trying to understand the unknown.  Until she meets Seto.  He seems to be the exact opposite of Mikuzu.  He’s strong and brave, and wants to face the unknown head on.  He’s trying to become an exorcist, and with spirits attracted to Mikuzu, they seem the perfect team.

Seto is the really interesting character of this title.  He’s confident to the point of being cocky, but he’s also sensitive to other people’s feelings, especially Mikuzu and Kagari, Seto’s vampire assistant.  He is able to get through to Mikuzu and she starts to change because of him.  Seto’s cross-dressing seems eccentric at first.  He first claims he does it because he looks cute in dresses.  Then it’s learned that he wants to get a sex change and become a girl completely.  The real reason he wants to do this is not only fundamental to his character, but an instrumental part of the plot.  At least it would have, had the story been allowed to continue.

This volume sets up an engaging story of not just exorcising spirits, but also of loss, grief and a search for atonement.  But most of all, it by the end, there is a feeling of hope, both for Mikuzu and Seto.  A touch of romance seems to be kindling between Seto and Mikuzu, but it’s not immediately obvious.  It’s starting out as feelings of caring and wanting to protect one another.  It has a sweet feeling to it, something a lot of shojo manga seems to be missing.  I would have loved to have seen this story continue.  I really cared about the characters by the end, and wanted to see more of them.  It’s really a shame that it never got to go any further.

Takamiya’s art isn’t anything special, but it’s perfect for the story.  The doe-eyed look of the characters really softens them, adding to the touching feelings that come through as the volume progresses.  Takamiya really pulls off the girl look for Seto.  Most of the time he comes off as a girl, but there are moments when his maleness does come out.

Heaven’s Will is more than just another supernatural shojo title.  It’s the start of what could have been an exciting and heart-filled romance with strong and ultimately engaging characters.  I’m glad Viz brought this title over.  Even though there won’t be any more of their adventures, I’m really glad I was able to at least meet them.

Review copy provided by publisher.

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