Reviewed by: Priss
Released by: Deux Press
Publishing Country: USA
Author: Takashi, Kanzaki
Age Rating: 18+
Page Count: 192
Sharing your room and board with two other guys can be tough but Hazumi's roommates Ray and Luke bring a whole new dimension to the invasion of personal space. Rising each morning to a rude awakening, Hazumi finds himself caught in the arms and affections of his two exotic admirers.
If a torrid love triangle wasn't enough to complicate his existence, the stakes are elevated when it is revealed that Hazumi is the central figure in a celestial contest between Heaven and Hell! With the lascivious Ray and the charming Luke as the representatives, how can Hazumi follow his heart when the fates of the world and his body are at stake?
'Heavenly Body' presents a trio of one shot plots from Takashi Kanzaki, a veteran BL author with more than 30 titles to her name. The confidence of this experience is evident in the excess of erotic interludes that shape her stories, however, this does not eclipse the poor excuse for a plot and the crass characterisation that comprises the title piece.
If Hazumi is supposed to be the jackpot of this erotic lottery, I can't say that I would be fighting very hard. A comedy, this may be, but the characters completely lack dimension, conviction or charm, creating a shallow stage for seduction. It is pretty difficult to pity Hazumi when his greatest concerns are expressed in his air-headed internal monologues epitomized in "I know my decisions may cause others pain... but I can't change my feelings. Even if I end up destroying the Earth". Resembling a poor parody of apocalyptic plots such as 'X/1999' and 'Angel Sanctuary' this was a sickly and shallow read.
Steeped in steamy scenes, this story might be just the ticket for those seeking pure fujōshi fan service but if you seek something with a little plot and poignancy, 'Heavenly Body' is not where you will find it.
Following on from the clumsily conducted 'A Ballad for You', a tale of deception, dominance and desire, is the collection's saving grace 'Beloved'. It is here Kanzaki's style and maturity shines through with competent character construction as a conflicted young call boy falls for his client.
'Beloved' expresses the value of touching the heart of the readers of romances. This is not dependent on a serious or down to earth context but rather relies upon an essential emotional exchange. Without this, the work falls completely to the story and its sensuality to save it, something that sadly Kanzaki cannot consummate with 'Heavenly Body'.