My Heavenly Hockey Club Vol. 1-2 (Del Rey)

mhhc.jpgHana was hoping high school meant a life of eating and sleeping, but that was before she was conned into joining the field hockey club. A hockey club packed with pretty boys that, oddly enough, don’t really play hockey.


 The cover to MHHC Vol. 1. Click thumbnail for a larger image.

208 pgs. B&W; $10.95 ea.
(W / A: Ai Morinaga)

Meet Hana Suzuki, a bright and determined 16-year-old girl who knows what she wants: sleep and lots of it. By studying very hard to get into the prestigious high school 200 meters from her house, she has finally realized her dream of sleeping in as late as possible! Hooray! One day, as Hana is running late for class, she dashes across the street and collides with the car of the richest boy in school, Izumi Oda. Izumi, seeing an opportunity to hang out with a cute girl, says the car is uninsured (a lie) and that she must join his all-boys field hockey club to repay her debt to him. But at her first club meeting, Hana soon learns that the Grand Hockey Club has practically nothing to do with field hockey. In fact, they’ve never even played a game. Hana’s new teammates, Natsuki Serizawa, the Ayuhara brothers, and Itoigawa — all rich bishonen (androgynous pretty boys) — are the first to admit that they spend more time traveling and eating than actually practicing hockey.  Now with Hana to play goalie, they can finally participate in games! Hana reluctantly agrees to join and learns that sometimes the best laid plans often go awry (6 am practices, ouch!).

Like many shojo manga, My Heavenly Hockey Club relies heavily on thematic gimmicks, but Hana’s sleep deprivation and insatiable hunger provide a majority of the comedy throughout both volumes 1 and 2 without making it seem like a tired gag. There are plenty of wacky interludes: a peeping-tom monkey, a love-struck bear, a brief stint joining the Judo club, but it always comes back to the sleeping and eating! At times, MHHC really is laugh out comedy, and this is largely thanks to the quirky, random gags. The humor coupled with the expressive drawings really carries the comic.

The cover to MHHC Vol. 2. Click thumbnail for a larger image.My inner middle-school-girl-self is very thankful for the PG-13 boy-candy throughout the book, and the romantic subplot is at least intriguing. By the end of volume 2, the relationship between Izumi and Hana has progressed, but not to an extent where the reader is sure of her true feelings. There are plenty of awkward moments and innuendos, but Hana seems uninterested in any romantic pursuits with Izumi. An impromptu drag show and a saucy sneak peek at volume 3 definitely raises an eyebrow, and leaves us wondering just how far things are going to go.

It may be too soon to tell if My Heavenly Hockey Club is a keeper, but there’s no question that it’s addictive. Whether or not the one-trick-pony plot can survive through all 6 volumes of the series is yet to be seen, but it’s at least worth sticking around for volume 3. While it may not be ground-breaking, MHHC is light-hearted and funny, a true guilty pleasure. | Stephanie Richardson

Learn more about My Heavenly Hockey Club at the Del Rey Manga website.

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