Stop me if you’ve heard this one!
Plot: An alien girl moves in with a human guy, and she and other aliens fall in love with him!
That’s the plot of many other manga. This time, it’s “Guardian Hearts”!
Guardian Hearts has nothing going for it. Ugly as sin artwork and plots that repeat over and over, a psychotic female protagonist and a cardboard cutout for a male protagonist, and a mom that gives Jar Jar Binks a run for his money.
What works about this manga? Well… it is visible. Unlike imaginary manga, I can physically see it. Also, there are words in the manga that forms sentences. Even Gon doesn’t have that.
What doesn’t work about this manga? I wish it was imaginary. This is the kind of manga that Hell conjured up, you know. Also, the words and sentences aren’t formed into anything good. At least Gon is fantastic.
Our first scene is of Hina, an alien girl, asking Kazuya and his mother to adopt her. Why? Because she was sent to Earth to fight crime, and her identity may not be revealed. She reveals it in under a second. So Kazuya, clearly not a typical boy, doesn’t want an attractive girl to move in with him! Luckily, that doesn’t happen, since Hina moves in with him. Her face is… ugh. Ugh-ly. It’s supposed to be cute, but half the time she’s melting, while the other half she’s possessed by the devil.
Get this. On Hina’s first day of school, a nameless classmate tells Hina that “I see the way you look at him! You got it baaaad, gurrrl!” So Hina believes her and becomes really creepy for the rest of the volume. Maybe the series, I dunno.
Hina is supposed to be a crime-fighter, but we never see her in action. Everyone says, “That girl has done so much for us!” Yeah, like… uh… crash through a roof and move the debris? That. That was in a montage of her “working hard”. The rest of it is her snoozing. I HATE THIS GIRL.
Kazuya notices that Hina is overworking, so, being a nice guy (I guess?), he tells her to stop trying so hard and relax. If we actually saw her do anything, this could be compelling, but the manga just wants to show us panty-flashes. Wunderbar.
And I’m not kidding. The flashes are on every other page. I wouldn’t mind if the butts didn’t look like they belonged to a toddler. In fact, the girls all have waists as thick as pinkies. I feel like they’ll topple over if they bend too far!
So Hina is in love with Kazuya, and he never notices. Okay. Chapter Two: Another alien girl. This one steals gym uniforms. We find that out almost immediately, too, in no subtle ways. Hina overreacts to her uniform being stolen, saying that the thief should die. The thief alien girl is crushed by her comments, and I gotta say, it’s hard not to feel bad. Especially how the rest of the chapter has Hina psychotically trying to kill the thief. Kazuya discovers that the girl is an alien, he gives her some bland advice and then she moves in with them, although Hina and the thief don’t know their real identities.
Next story is about a SPACE NINJA. Kazuya finds out her identity, Hina tries to destroy her, blah blah blah. I thought the ninja (named Ooba) had a scar on her face, but it was just a poorly-drawn strand of hair. Huh. Also, she moves in, with only Kazuya knowing her real identity.
Another chapter, another alien girl, another occasion Hina has to freak out, another scene with Kazuya… make it stop.
It doesn’t. This time, it’s a missing space girl. She has an insatiable hunger, but it’s so underplayed that there’s no laughs warranted.
I notice that this manga doesn’t do well on focus. Or anything. Focus, however, is very weak. Hina and Kazuya are both constants, but each time a girl appears, in the next story, she’s not mentioned, nor does she appear. The last two stories in the first volume actually have the others, but they’re shoved aside for a cat-girl that’s cat-sized. Fortunately, she has no panty-flashes.
So Hina is insane (plus, her annoying “shock” noise is “HINYAAAA!”). Kazuya is an excuse for the reader to put himself (in some cases, herself) in his place. And the mom? Well, she’s fine with her son living with a ton of girls. As long as she gets to add “sa” at the end of her sentences!
This is something I’ve never been able to understand. Yes, changing dialogue drastically can ruin a manga. But if you’re going to translate for Americans, then have it make sense! Having the mom go “sa” all the time, it just seems pointless. It’s probably a dialect thing, but they never explain it in the manga! Apparently, it’s to put more expression on words, but that means nothing in the states! It makes the mom a ridiculous character.
Now, the manga panty-flashes all the human-like girls. However, as a foolish move, the artist drew them all with the same body features. I hate Eiken, but I will admit that he at least gave the girls varying breast sizes. In fact, none of the girls in the manga have the lift in the front. It comes of as the girls being childlike, and thus, really creepy.
Lemme explain what makes a harem manga work. First, there has to be a reason for the girls to like him, outside of “good advice” or “he saw my panties”. Dokkoida’s protagonist is a very nice guy. Very pleasant. His kindness really comes through and it feels genuine. But Kazuya feels like he just says things he read in a life-building book. Generic advice sprouts from his mouth, and girls fall for it.
Second, the guy has to like or notice at least one girl. This isn’t always true, but it does prevent him from becoming dull and tired. In AI Yori Aoshi, although I loathe it, at least the male likes his kitchen-wife. And that’s what she is. She’s downtrodden. I preferred Tina, but whatever. Kazuya never notices women at all. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think women should exist as sex objects. But if you’re going to insert butt shots and changing scenes, why stop there? Why not have him acknowledge the fact that he has five “attractive” girls living in his house?
Third, and this is important, MAKE HIM LIVE MOSTLY ALONE. Midori Days did this, Is This A Zombie? did this, and if you need an older female character peeking in, make it a sister or an aunt, not a mom. It’s every guy’s dream! Five girls and his mom? What more could someone want? I’m not in favor of making the parents “overseas” or something, but a manga like this could use it sometimes.
Finally, draw each woman differently. Since all the women in this manga have the same qualities physically, there’s no choice. He gets what he gets and he can’t get upset. Again, even Eiken did this. Not just bust sizes, but heights and weights. Kirika was tall and a bit meaty (not just in the chest), while others were short and flat. Variation is the key.
Guardian Hearts is neither sexy nor funny. I don’t understand why people like this manga. It’s run-of-the-mill, and when it’s not, it’s offensive. But at least there’s dialogue-sa. Yep. At least there’s that. Sa.
Overall Opinion: Urusei Yatsura. Get that. Not this.
Rating: One alien out of six. The cat girl could be kinda funny at times. Or once.