This is my first time to have Sakai Mayu’s series. So how did I get through this manga? Well, I discovered some cute manga characters on Facebook and desperately looking for the mangaka’s name. I was impressed with the art and thought she was a great artist. I ultimately found out they were works by Sakai Mayu. Her shoujo style of art is like Nana Haruta’s. Oops, I do not further intend to compare between them because their artworks are both masterpiece.
After much thought, I decided to start reading Rockin’ Heaven and considering my genre preferences, I have always thought from the very beginning that this manga would allow me, without hesitation, to give a high star on it, and yes, at some points, it actually met my expectation.
Let’s meet Sawa Konishi who enters Heaven’s Wing Academy for one reason – the uniform is simply cute. However, she is not aware that the school is formerly an all-boys, so she has to meet a lot of boys around. She is in class 1-G where she encounters these “hell-like” guys which mainly include Kido, Tsubaki, Ogawa, Taguchi and their class leader, Ran Matsuyuki. Sawa is bullied and teased by them, but it doesn’t matter to her because after all, she wants to change their way of life. Meanwhile, she is saved by Ran from those guys who throw Sawa’s new shoes in the water. She finds out kindness inside him and starts to have romantic feelings for him.
While reading the first chapter, I had the impression that the manga is somewhat similar to the popular series Hana Yori Dango with “bad boys vs. one girl” concept, plus, the guys are good-looking, or you could define them as idols, and seem to dominate the school. But, upon reading the further pages, I realized it wasn’t exactly what I thought because the manga centers on friendship and conventional teenage romance while the female protagonist gradually learns to deal with the people around her especially to Ran whom she ultimately falls in love with.
With a total of 32 chapters, Rockin’ Heaven is another romantic comedy manga series blended with a typical teenage school life and some dramatic involvement. The pacing of the plot flows slowly because you have to encounter side stories of some characters, like Akira Nakashima’s romantic involvement with Tsubaki, but it is still a good thing to get to know the other characters. So, I highly appreciate Mayu-san’s idea on how she equally gives enough appearance for every character. I must admit that the manga has generic scenarios of romance and has predictable scenes, but I still enjoyed reading the whole series because I might find it so boring if it only centers on Ran and Sawa. Although some readers would be disappointed on how the plot turns out to be out of the idea as jumping through another story. Still, at the end, the main conflict has to be settled.
Since this is my first time reading Mayu-san’s series, I still need to familiarize myself with her style of art. Her character designs and shadings are impressively done not to mention the male characters which are good source of fangirlism, and you’ll later on realize how she puts a lot of effort in every page.
With the average story of young romance, Rockin’ Heaven is still good to read but it isn’t that excellent as some of you would expect. Though readers would find it boring, the manga is made realistic when it comes to the world of romance.