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Manga Review: Momoiro Heaven Volumes 1-7

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Chapters Completed: Chapters 1 – 28
Author + Artist: Yoshino Mari
Version: English (Starry Heaven scanlation project)
SH Online: Starry Heaven Blog (no longer actively translating)
Momoiro Heaven Online: Mangafox, MyAnimeList,
Genre: Romantic Comedy + Drama + Smut (some non-explicit sex scenes, nudity, naughty words and innuendo)

So, I’ve been reading lots of romance manga of late and was beginning to find myself reaching a point where I believed that I’d reached the limit of quality that was available. Lo and behold, I come across a gem on Mangafox called Momoiro Heaven, as known as Pink Heaven. The word “pink” should suggest something rather inappropriate to some of you and with good reason.

Momoko Shiina is a hard-working, seventeen-year-old high school student living a secret double-life ghostwriting romance (light porn) novels as her deceased father to take care of her seven-year-old brother Touma and their sick mother. Everything is put in jeopardy when she sees the newly transferred teen idol, Ranmaru Inui, shagging one of the English teachers and decides to use it as inspiration for one of her novels. When Ranmaru is linked to the story, he decides to track down the writer and discovers that the quiet yet-driven honours student is the author. She pleads with him not to tell anyone and he agrees to keep quiet if she agrees to be his “slave”. So begins a rather amusing, yet adorable romantic comedy.

The concept of a male lead using dirt in order to gain leverage over the heroine is not a new concept in romance manga, but it is done in a rather neat way in this series. The important thing is how the seemingly different leads complement each other in meaningful ways. I really like the chemistry between Ranmaru and Momoko, how the presence of the other leads to each growing as human beings. In Ranmaru’s case, he is somewhat broken from his family situation. He is the illegitimate son and heir to a large corporation, whose loving mother died when he was little. His father’s wife is highly abusive to him and his dad is ignorant regarding how resentful his wife is to his son. Momoko’s presence in his life helps him heal and begin to trust someone on equal terms. In Momoko’s case, she was stagnating because of her high work schedule. The thought of ever having a boyfriend or social life was just not an option because she was providing for the household. Ranmaru’s presence upsets her routine and leads to her making a meaningful connection with someone.
To the characterisation, the series did make use of archetypes to some extent. Ranmaru is the mischievous sexy prince whilst Momoko is an idealistically romantic virgin. These archetypes are tweaked and improved upon using humourous dialogue and situational comedy. This also manages to give the characters depth and make the reader abundantly aware that the world moves forward even when a character is not in a scene.
The dialogue is well-played out, feeling natural and true to each character. An example of this is in the one chapter where we see the world through young Touma’s eyes. Touma is a kid, hence his world is filtered through what he’s been told and has experienced. Though I am heavily amused by Momoko’s conversations and thoughts, I feel myself more often than not, to the point of snorting milk out of my nose because of Ranmaru’s tendency to be inappropriate. Seriously, who but Ranmaru would offer to teach a seven-year-old how to give an orgasm to a girl? Yes, that actually happened, leading to Momoko going into disaster mode.
To the art, I would say that I like Yoshino Mari’s art a lot more than that of Ukyou Akane, the author and artist of Biyaku Heaven. This actually makes quite a bit of sense given that Ukyou Akane creates a bit of Yaoi. I am not a huge fan of the art style of most Yaoi to begin with as it tends to suffer that issue where the characters that are either way too similar to each other and/or too archetypal. This can be an issue in other manga genres as well, but I find it more prevalent in Yaoi. Yoshino Mari’s art is a lot neater and feels less rushed, the characters are easily distinguished from each other. The backgrounds are noticeable yet don’t take away from the action.

I really enjoyed this manga so far. It is a breath of fresh air and I look forward to reading more instalments. I highly recommend this manga to anyone entertained by romantic comedies that poke fun of adult situations and make use of innuendo.

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Author: keikomushi

Reader, Writer, New Media Buff, Anime Fangirl, Gnome Hunter, Last Action Femme Fatale, Appreciator of Nature, Jack-of-all-trades.

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