"I’m Going! Or Maybe Not…" – Heaven Bound (manga) – 5/10 Sugar Cubes


The best way to get to heaven is to take it with you. ~Henry Drummond

Genre: Christian/ sci-fi/ drama

Licensed: Licensed in the US

Review Staus: Partial (1 Volume/ ? Volumes – only 1 published so far, but it’s been cancelled as of April 26, 2010: http://www.christianmanga.com/smf/index.php/topic,1259.0.html, so there may ever only be one.)

Art: Decent. Not as polished and professional-looking as most mangas out there, but decent doujin quality. Characters all look very individual. Backgrounds are pretty much nonexistant, and very plain when they are drawn out.

Summary: Getting everything you want isn’t akways as great as it seems…and young Elijah Worthy found this fact out as a child. Subjected to experiments said to make him and many other people live in a perfect dream-state on the intergalatic space station “Heaven Bound”, they would be able to pierce through the edge of the universe and find true heaven…and God. But when things have gone awry, and the implants cause them not to go into a deep, blissful sleep, but to gain awful, life-changing mutations, their sight of God has been all but lost. Now, everyone with the mutations is forced to live on Heaven Bound, because the normal world completely rejects them. Can Elijah keep his secret of being a Christian from the rest of the ship? Or will he befall the same fate of others like him? (From the back cover of Heaven Bound, Volume 1).

Review: Okay, I’ve never been a big fan of most Christian…. anything. All too often, the stories fail to be compelling, falling on every cliche that can be asociated with these types of stories. Considering the dearth of Christian manga out there, I suppose that this isn’t too bad for a breakout attempt. However, this also falls far short of something that could seriously be put out there for the masses.

The premise for this story is interesting. However, there are some clear logical inconsistancies that become clear once you get farther into the story. For instance, the people of the ship getting angry at God for letting their implants malfunction- wouldn’t it be far more likely that they would get angry at the scientist who invented them and hunt him down? Especially when no scientist worth their salt would let people wear them without extensive testing to ensure that problems didn’t occur? And would other scientists have wanted to verify that they would work, and want to know the science behind it?

Then you have the issues of cliches, which run rampant through this story. The ‘evil’ girl has horns. Been there, done that. Horns scream evil. And then you have the girl who the protagonist is going to hook up with- it’s so unbelievably obvious it isn’t funny. She’s sweet, has an overprotective older brother, and is not only good with kids… she’s a teacher! If there was ever a stereotype for the ideal Christain girl, she would be it. And to top it off, to emphasize how evil his original girlfriend is, she gets pregnant from a one-night stand with the main character and decides to get an abortion.

Now, I think it’s okay whether or not you’re for or against abortion. It’s none of my business. However, how this woman is portrayed in her reasoning is degrading to all the women for which it’s been a heart-rendering decision. The vast majority of women do not use it as a birth control method- for most, it’s a decision they make because they can’t afford to feed another child, or they can’t afford time off work after birth or they won’t be able to make payments on their apartment, or will be fired for not being able to work because of the pregnancy, or any number of reasons. The way this woman choosing an abortion is…. nigh on unforgivable.

Overall, this is fine if you’re younger or have strict, religous parents or family.

Recommended: No. Not unless you’re desperate for manga with a Christian message to it- there are other, secular mangas that do clean romances better, though. 14+ due to some light violence and implied sex.

Other series you might like instead: Shelter of Wings (manga)
Searching for the Full Moon (manga and anime),
To The Terra (anime series and manga)
Escaflowne (anime series)
Planetes (anime and manga)
Hotel (manga)

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Hope_In_Song
    Dec 19, 2010 @ 17:21:31

    This was a good review, it was interesting to see an opposite opinion to my review. Just a comment on the "hating God" thing. Yes, you'd think they would hate the scientist, however, they probably did want to hunt him down, but he mysteriously disappeared. Also, alot of people, despite whose fault it is, tend to hate God because they feel "If God really loves me, why didn't He stop this from happening? Why did He allow this to happen? Well then, maybe there isn't a God after all!" which I feel is the point trying to be conveyed. Just my 2cents ^.^

    Reply

  2. Sweetpea
    Dec 19, 2010 @ 17:55:11

    Was it stated that the scientist who created them disappeared? I missed that, so if it's in there than it's slightly more understandable. But again, we're talking about BRAIN IMPLANTS. There is no WAY that those things would be put on the market without extensive testing to make sure that they were as safe as possible.Would you honestly go under surgery to have one implanted without seeing a ton of testing results, see a few people who had them implanted, and seen what the result was after a few months- or perhaps years- of studies to see what the aftereffects were?That’s the main issue- these people show absolutely no common sense when it comes to getting these implants. It makes me think about Jonesboro and Waco. People followed their leaders blindly and ended up dead. They didn’t use their heads and think critically about what was happening. Now, if the author was a more sophisticated storyteller, she could use this to her advantage and show how thinking critically about religion is important and that you shouldn’t just follow blindly. However, due to her other clichés and gaffes, I don’t think that she would have done that.

    Reply

  3. Hope_In_Song
    Dec 19, 2010 @ 21:43:17

    That is true; never thought of it that way. But perhaps she would of gotten into more detailed, but sadly it was canceled, leaving us with so many unanswered questions. We may never know where it was headed, Cal-sama still feels really depressed over the project. Have you read her sister's manga, Game Plan yet? (it is online)

    Reply

  4. Sweetpea
    Dec 19, 2010 @ 22:10:50

    I have not read Game Plan- it's online?! Where?! I thought I could only read it if I bought it!

    Reply

  5. Hope_In_Song
    Dec 19, 2010 @ 23:51:51

    It's online at ChristianManga.com, where Heaven Bound is. Here is the link:http://gameplanmanga.com/?p=1It was listed under "Completed Work" since it concludes at 2 volumes. There are minor differences between the printed version and the online. Those differences are the online version has a different cover art for volume 1, volume 2's cover art being used for printed volume 1, references to video games that were cut from the printed version, and different chapter art for chapters 7 and 8. Other than that, it's basically exactly the same. Happy reading ^.^

    Reply

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