"I’m Going! Or Maybe Not… Redux" – Heaven Bound (manga) – 3/10 Leprechauns

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

*NOTE- This is a Redo of my original review, which I have left posted here

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. Occasional hispans when drawing characters- one occasionally has his mutation forgotten.

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: I had a talk with my mother on this- she’s known about my anime/manga review blog, and we got to talking about the Christian manga that is coming out, and a few titles I have read. When I expressed dislike for this particular title, she mentioned that I might have been unnecessarily hard because it’s Christian, and that I read anime/manga with more implausible plots.

So I’ve come back to re-assess, and where necessary, justify my opinions about this series.

If I were basing my opinion simply off the sci-fi and drama, then I would still rate this a 4/10. Why? Because after thinking deeply about this, I realized that unless this were written before the discovery of DNA, none of the science aspects of this are valid in any way, shape, or form.

Sci-fi is written to be believable. It should fall in line with the scientific knowledge of the day, even if it is an incredibly far-out theory, because those have turned out to be truer than we suspected. The aspect of the mind devices has been used for decades. You can find it simply by searching for ‘cryostasis’ or ‘suspended animation’. Being put into suspended animation does require manipulation of the brain functions. However, anyone with a basic knowledge of Biology knows that the brain does not control or influence your DNA. In fact, it’s just the opposite. But the mutations that occur with the characters can only occur with DNA manipulation- they are physical, body-wide changes. A simple brain implant to slow down your body’s metabolism and put you to sleep would in no way be able to cause that. If these mutations had been mental, such as giving them telepathy, psychokinesis, or even the ability to start fires with their minds, this would have been okay. As it is, the author clearly has no idea what she’s writing about. It falls directly into ‘Fails Biology Forever’ and ‘Did Not Do The Research’.

My second qualm: The people who join the space crew are smart enough to build a spaceship, but stupid enough that they are willing to get brain implants without having seen any sort of testing done. It’s a brain implant. Who knows what the effects would be after immediate implantation, let alone the effects after a few years! If you’re dumb enough to play in the highway, maybe you deserve to get hit by that truck.

Which also brings up (again) the issue of blaming God for the mutations. They don’t bother to see that any testing is done to see if there are any side effects, and then blame God? I would be blaming the scientists for lying and taking advantage of me. And then I would blame myself for being an idiot. Another reviewer stated that maybe it was to show that people would blame God for allowing it to happen. I still think that makes no sense, since God did not force them to use the implants. God did not make the implants- the scientists did. I feel that if some of the people felt that God was at fault, it would be the minority opinion. Why? Well, it’s like those people who believed that the world was ending in 1988- they expected something to happen, God didn’t deliver. How did they react to it? Not by blaming God.

Now for the abortion aspect of it- whether or not you agree with abortion, this is perhaps some of the most callous, uneducated handling of it I have ever seen. It’s clear that the pregnancy/abortion is used simply to emphasize that the woman is evil (because not only does she have to sleep with him, she has to laugh about getting one). It’s given no good reason for happening in the first place, and her clear manipulation of the main character is given no justification, either. Not to mention that, after doing many days of research, reading, and talking to women, I know that this character in no way represents the vast majority of women who have had to go through that.

As for the Christian aspect of the story, I have to rate the manga still lower. This falls into so many Christian cliches and stereotypes I almost had to laugh. For instance, the bad girl has horns. It’s not like horns represent the devil or anything like that. Nor is it like in any of the hundreds of Christian fiction that you pick off the shelf, where the bad guy has horns and likes to dress in dark colors. Or has tatooes. Or dresses in a sexy manner.

Another reviewer and I had a small back-and-forth about what might have been with this manga. I cannot rate on what the mangaka might have done with it- I can only rate on what she did with it. And what she did was terrible in all aspects.

Overall, I don’t recommend this to anyone.

Recommended: No. Not unless you’re desperate for manga with a Christian message to it (and even then I would only recommend it to the more conservative Christians out there)- there are other, secular mangas that do clean romances better. There are other, secular manga that do sci-fi far better, too. 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),
Hotel (manga),
To The Terra (anime series and manga)
Escaflowne (anime series)
Planetes (anime and manga)


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