For this week, let’s take a foray into the world of sci-fi by looking at Hiroyuki Utatane and Toshiya Takeda’s Seraphic Feather. As with most sci-fi stories, the world is expansive as well as the story, but there is a clear focus on three main characters, and through this the plot is weaved. One is that of Sunao Oumi: a young man who works on a human colony on the moon in memory of his dear friend Kei. He is also considered a “paranormal” which, in this case, refers to him being able to move things with his mind. He’s the guy in the story that is a blatant reader-insert character meaning that he doesn’t know why half the things happening around him are unfolding the way they are and that he seems to want things to go back into a more normal pace once shit starts hitting the fan.
Then we have Apep Heidemann who is, for all intents and purposes, playing the role of the fallen god in this story. Angel wings and all. He is what I assume is a scientist however he is preforming illegal experiments under the guise of aiding the U.N. (the government of the comic). And what kind of sci-fi would it be if there weren’t aliens thrown in there? Yes, Apep is studying the power hidden behind the organic-looking flesh mounds dubbed “starships” and their emblem stones—their power transmission systems. Needless to say, Apep’s all about keeping the stones to himself and becoming even more powerful.
Finally, we follow in the shadows of the beautiful assassin, Attim M-Zak, who is taking care of the ditzy and horridly cliché Kei Heidemann. She works for the U.N. And is the closest thing to a strong female character in the series. She also suffers from some form of amnesia that falls under the “plot-important” kind.
Now, I realize that this jumble of characters and plots seems terribly confusing and I apologize, but this is what it is like to experience Seraphic Feather. Your mind works hard to piece together snippets of a story that sounds oh-so promising and characters that could be interesting if the plot wasn’t so ADD but, you never get there. I’ll put it like this: when the summary on the back cover of the manga explains the plot more clearly than actually reading the manga, you have a problem.
For example, let’s take a look at the character relations and for your sake I’ll narrow it down to the ones I’ve already mentioned. So, Sunao knows Kei from his childhood. She was an older girl he looked up to , but then she moved to the moon and supposedly died. The Kei under Attim’s care is the same girl in looks (in that she has miraculously refrained from aging) but has a completely different personality and doesn’t remember Sunao at all. Apep is Kei’s brother-in-law that looks more and more like Sunao as the series progresses. And Attim remembers Sunao from somewhere but doesn’t know where. It might not sound too bad written out like this but in the comic it’s like a visual one-two punch. One plot twist after another without giving the reader time to process any of them is not really the best way to tell a tale. Especially when the twist don’t seem to have any impact on the story besides being an eternal cock-tease.
But hey, let’s not worry about things like plot and character. No, there is a message that the authors want to get out and despite my complaints they get this message out well.
Boobs. Girls have them and wow, boobs.
Yes, it was hard for me to take this story seriously at all because it is an unlisted soft-core hentai. Every time a woman is on the page she is posed in a provocative way, getting her clothes torn off, or dressed in a completely revealing way. I don’t care what people wanna wear—that’s their right—but it’s obvious to the point of a headache that this is just fap material for sci-fi nerds. Personally, that’s why I think the plot is
so…disjointed. It’s rushing to get through the plot to get to more boobs which leads me to ask, why not just write a hentai? There’s no shame in that. There’s no law saying hentai can’t have a story. Just don’t push this off and claim that it’s simply a 16+ manga. And frankly, it’s rather insulting to see every woman have huge breasts, blushing at every comment a man makes, and (in the case of Apep’s assistant, Fawn Iris) just being there to be sex objects.
In a way, I’m glad that this series did not finish printing: as much as I weep for the epic tale of space technology and war that could have been, I would loath to sit through more volumes of “Space Tits” hoping for a plot that had no way to pull itself together.