Manga of the Month: Heavenly Delusion

Heavenly Delusion by Masakazu Ishiguro

Heavenly Delusion introduces us to a devastated Japan. After “The Collapse,” modern civilization as we know it was destroyed and much of the population perished. I was pulled in by the intriguing, mysterious dystopian landscape which they let wash over you instead of trying to frontload the story with a lot of explanation.

Tokio and other kids are part of a facility that completely encloses them from the hellish outside world. One day she gets a strange message and her friend makes a prediction that someone with Tokio’s face will come to rescue her. The children in this facility come off as ordinary teens going to school, joking around, and awakening to new feelings. But other things are odd, there are secrets here; off limits areas, a lack of information, and you get the distinct feeling that some of them know more than others.

In a parallel story, Kiruko and Maru are wanderers of the dystopian wasteland seeking two people Kiruko carries photos of and the nebulous “heaven,” the final words of a friend. Kiruko is supposed to be Maru’s bodyguard on this journey but their rapport is more of that of friends or siblings, and Maru does his fair share of defending against threats. Their easy manner contrasts nicely as they encounter survivors, monsters, and their own internal struggles along their perilous journey.

What has happened to the world? Who is Kiruko? Why do Maru and Tokio have the same face? Where did the monsters come from? When will this rescue occur? How does Maru know how to fight the monsters? Heavenly Delusion leaves me contemplating so many questions after each chapter I read. The story has layers upon layers, both in terms of the plot and the interior lives of the characters that keeps me turning the pages.

Heavenly Delusion feels like a classic sci-fi story with the added bonus of Ishiguro’s off-kilter characters.



The Speakeasy #147: Vinland Saga, Bocchi the Rock, Witch Hat Atelier, + More

This month is a grab bag of things we’ve been watching and reading:

  • The Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Genius Young Lady
  • Bocchi the Rock
  • Vinland Saga S2
  • Witch Hat Atelier
  • Bonus: Toradora Vtuber rewatch

The Type-Moon (Moment) Minute

  • FGO Tales of Chaldean Heavy Industries

Join us on Discord!

Manga of the Month: Skip and Loafer

Skip and Loafer by Misaki Takamatsu

Mitsumi has moved from a small town to Tokyo to live with her aunt and start a new chapter of her school life. She has grand ambitions of becoming a public servant (and mayor of her hometown someday)! Only come to find out, she is a bit less astute than one might imagine. She get hopelessly lost on the first day of school, pukes on a teacher after her opening ceremonies speech, but befriends a handsome slacker along the way and thus her new school life full of missteps begins.

I honestly picked up Skip and Loafer because the girl’s face on the cover made me laugh (and sums up the character perfectly btw). It just got better from there. The series balances the things you expect from a school comedy (navigating friendships, low-stakes misunderstandings, budding romance) with a willingness to show how flawed everyone is. Mitsumi has the classic can-do, nothings-gonna-get-me-down attitude of a shojo lead (despite running in a seinen magazine), but all her intelligence is in book smarts. In contrast, she lacks self-awareness, making for a protagonist who feels normal but not average. That robustness of character extends to every member of the cast and is what makes Skip and Loafer comedy gold while also being incredibly endearing.

It has been sometime since a school life story really captured me, but Takamatsu has given the genre a fresh twist with a heroine who is earnest and well-intentioned but also an overconfident blockhead.