Hybrid x Heart is an unfortunate case of “what you see is what you get” when it comes to titillating manga. It features fantastic art and incredibly detailed costumes, but its overarching narrative is as flat as its protagonists’ chests are inflated. While there’s nothing wrong with the fanservice that runs rampant throughout the first volume, there’s nothing else going on to make you turn the page for more.
The story follows Hida Kizuna, who’s got a special skill. He can help space warriors in armor called Hybrid Heart Gears (HHGs) store up additional energy in battle simply by touching them and getting them all hot and bothered. This keeps him close to the girls in HHG armor, as he’s got to be around to make sure they and their mecha are in fighting condition.
What follows draws too much from Evangelion without borrowing anything that made that series interesting. Most of the action consists of Kizuna groping and making out with the girls he works alongside to share or reset their powers. If you’re looking for fanservice, it delivers with page after page of the goods, as well as some of the hardest working clothing in manga. Struggling to conceal nipples in some of the most contorted ways possible, it may be the strongest and stretchiest fabric in the manga universe.
Aside from titillation, though, there’s little to keep readers around for the next volume. Slick illustrations and attractive characters aside, if you’re looking for something that simultaneously excites and engages, there are far better series (with mecha, to boot) to turn to.
publisher: Yen Press
story: Masamune Kuji
Art: Riku Ayakawa