Despite the title, Hen is NOT Hentai. It does have sex, strong language, yuri, and other elements that might make you think "Hentai."
Chizuru Yoshida is not your typical high schooler and she's all too aware of it! She has a talent with getting what she wants from her male lovers and often comes across as cold and manipulative...
In truth, despite her experiences with guys, she has never been in love. That's until the fateful arrival of newly-transferred student, Azumi Yamada, at her school. It was love at first sight for Chizuru—indeed an unexpected turn of events for the story's vixen!
Not only was she in love but with all things another girl. Chizuru goes through a brief stage of anger and denial and tries to convince herself that she couldn't possibly be attracted to such a simple-looking, shy, and naive girl! To her despair she finds herself constantly thinking of Azumi, so she finally resolves to become friends with her, but it's not too long when she starts to push things along with Azumi...
As much as I like the artwork, the story and characters are nothing special. At the beginning, it all makes sense but progressively,the situation with Chizuru becomes more unrealistic. There is suspense, but only a very small amount. So personally, reading this was only enjoyable because of the artwork. It is more of a shoujo-ai than a yuri, but there are some sex scenes, both heterosexual and lesbian.
The strong point of Hen is the surprise that the main character has when she falls in love with another girl. You get a sense for how her mind works and the stops and starts it goes through as her instincts act on their own, which is something that not every mangaka can capture successfully. It tells you that the mangaka knows a thing or two about the human brain and it makes you wonder how much personal exposure he might have to gay culture.
I like that many of the panels are dedicated to simple changes in facial expression, or reactions to a strange comment
from someone else. It's a nice touch and it makes this series feel more like an anime than a manga.
There are some low points: there's a lot of sex in this manga, too much for a 16 year old character like the protagonist, and the ending is rushed. Eventually, the side story between two males kind of takes over the romance between the two lead female characters.
The first half of Hen is superb. The other half makes me want to throw up.
Chapter 1 to chapter 56 deserves an 8 or maybe even a 9.
Chapter 57 to 60 is a 1.
Remaining chapters are a 4 or 3.
Overall, despite how much I hated the almost forty chapters, I loved the first half of the manga enough that I couldn't lower the score below a 7.
If you read a few chapters and want to keep reading for whatever the slightest reason, I'd suggest reading up to chapter 56 and stop there.
You will want to keep going but trust me, don't. Don't ruin its
wonderfulness and become disappointed by the ending by reading on past chapter 56. It's almost as if the mangaka just gave up on the original story and drew random crap to drag the manga on longer.
I'm not the type that gives review but upon seeing the current rating of this kinda forced me to write this review.
Hen is one of many under-rated yuri genre manga. Reading this decades after it was release was really a struggle at first because the art much different to current manga arts now a days but it is really worth it. Don't let the title mislead you. For me, what they meant by "HEN" was "weird".
The story is deeper that it appears to be. It shows different views of relationships straight, bisexual, or gay. Daily life of people going through emotional / character change.
I think this could also classify as a 'slice of life' as well.
As I've said before, the art is not that grand nor trending as the one now a days but considering the time it was published and the materials and tools available. I think it was great and you can actually adapt to it in due time.
I like how each of the character was introduced and how the author was able to build each one without ruining the main plot. At first some of them are like a homohomo/npc characters but it's fun on how they was able to support the main characters in later part of the manga.
As you can see on my scores, I really enjoyed this manga. I don't like long ready but it's too good once it hits you. There are some part that I find funny especially the characters expressions and sometimes over reaction to stuff. LOL
It's awesome and I think this manga deserved a higher rating than it currently have! I hope you can enjoy this as much as I did.
Hiroya Oku is an alchemist of storytelling. He closely studies theories behind storytelling in every popular media, imbibes them, and somehow transforms them into a truly original story that no one has ever seen before.