For the longest time, I completely ignored this peculiar PC Engine shoot 'em up and its similarly titled (not to mention similarly odd) companion, Hany on the Road. Why? Honestly, it's because I found the protagonist of this pair of games--who looks to me like a condom with eyes and arms--to be on the wrong side of the creepy line.
As for what prompted me to have a change of heart and to give them the attention they deserve: Why, it was the art that graced the covers of their instruction manuals, of course.
I'm not sure which piece of cover art I prefer between Hany in the Sky and Hany on the Road, to tell you the truth. Although I consider both to be wonderfully creative, I'm tempted to give the nod to Hany in the Sky's cover illustration (below) due to its cotton-candy cloudscape.
Are the interior pages of Hany in the Sky's instruction manual similarly delicious? Overall, I'd have to answer in the negative, although things start off delectably enough.
For instance, there's the left-hand page below, which replaces the typical series of images warning boys and girls to not abuse their HuCards and such with images of ... actually, I'm not sure what the images on the page in question are supposed to depict. Regardless, I like them quite a bit.
Next up: A four-page comic that I'm guessing clues in readers to this game's completely wacky backstory. Again, I have no idea what's going on in the panels below, but who really cares when they're illustrated as well as these are?
From here on out, things are decidedly less appealing, at least in my humble opinion. Sure, an interesting drawing pops up here and there, but for the most part it's all screenshots and text.
That said, I do have a soft spot for the little professor dude included in the page above. Is he the same Buddha-like character who sells you weapon upgrades and other items during the game? I have a feeling he is.
Mr. Buddha Dude makes a return appearance in the page below--along with a slew of screenshots and text, of course. You know, I wonder if all of this would be a smidge more thrilling if I actually understood Japanese? (My guess: Nah.)
The next few pages of Hany in the Sky's manual are devoted to showing off (barely) a few of this shmup's stages and enemies. Again, it's all a bit ho-hum, but it could be worse, I guess. Still, I wish we got to see a bit more of Mr. Buddha Dude (or even the condom-y main character).
That's where the main part of this particular instruction manual ends, surprisingly enough (what, no illustrations of the game's bosses?), although things continue on for a few more pages in order to shine a light on the "FACE Scramble Club." (FYI: FACE is the developer and publisher of Hany in the Sky.)
I don't know about you, but I'm devastated that I missed out on the opportunity to win (or is it buy?) the "Kooler Bag" shown in the page below. All kidding aside, I probably would have loved to have owned the blue, FACE-branded sweatshirt (also below), especially if it bore an image of Hany in the Sky's condom-esque protagonist.
See also: 'Manual Stimulation: Hany on the Road (PC Engine)'