Hana Suzuki is a manga heroine I can relate to: she chose her high school purely because it was close enough that she could sleep later in the mornings. She thinks nothing of consuming a fridge full of cheesecakes in one sitting. So much does she love her creature comforts that she actually hesitates when the totally hot (and rich!) Izumi Oda invites her to join the school’s hocky club-a club made up entirely of cute boys. Luckily for Hana, the club doesn’t have enough members to actually play any other team (plus, their grasp of hockey is sketchy at best). Since Oda is the school chairman’s grandson, the school turns a blind eye while the hockey club pretends to travel to games and lounges around at hotels (and Oda’s swanky country estate). Soon Hana has all treats she can eat, plus the adoration of her own personal posse. Will she fall for Oda, who’s hiding a serious crush behind his prickly behavior? Will the school ever make the hockey club…play hockey?
My Heavenly Hockey Club is a set-up so ridiculous that it shouldn’t work, but it does. I laughed hysterically at demented chibi-Hana, Oda’s wildlife-infested house (a bear ends up following them home and playing goalie), and the aftermath of the above-mentioned cheesecake consumption. A lot of the credit goes to Del Rey’s expert translation, which showcases Morinaga’s wacky humor. You’ll actually learn something about Japanese food, thanks to Hana’s insatiable hunger, so you can say with a straight face that My Heavenly Hockey Club is totally educational. I swear!
My Heavenly Hockey Club, vol. 1
By Ai Morinaga
Del Rey, 2007