Black God Vol. #03 (Mania.com)

By:Matthew Alexander
Review Date: Monday, September 15, 2008
Release Date: Monday, June 30, 2008

Keita gains strength from newfound friends, but will that strength be enough for him to revisit his mother's hometown... and her disappearance?

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist: Dall-Young Lim / Sung-Woo Park
Translated by: Christine Schilling
Adapted by: Christine Schilling

What They Say
When he discovers that all the new faces springing up lately are not enemies but friends, Keita Ibuki receives the guidance (and the goods) from his new allies to take on the evil behind the false alter-egos that have been appearing with alarming frequency. But not only must Keita now face a new enemy with Kuro, he must also revisit the painful memory of his mother and her disappearance when their new quest takes him to his mother's hometown of Okinawa.

The Review
Keita’s life only gets more complicated when another Mototsumitama and his Contractee show up in town. Steiner and his Contractee, Excel, are two seriously powerful opponents. More of the reasons behind the Doppleganger story come forward when Steiner and Excel try to kill Akane right in front of Keita and Kuro. After a short battle in which Kuro gets her ass handed to her, Excel sits down with Keita to explain why they are in Japan killing people. Excel and Steiner belong to one of the European High Mototsumitama families charged with killing ‘Alter Ego’s’ after they encounter their true self. If Alter Egos are allowed to survive, they will disrupt the ‘Coexistence Equilibrium’ and tragedy will befall those around them.

The way Steiner and Excel determine whether a person is an Alter Ego or the Original is by detecting the amount of Tera, or life force, the person gives off. Because of this, they are really confused by Akane. She should be the Alter Ego but she is giving off entirely too much Tera. Combine that with the fact that another Mototsumitama is trying to kidnap Akane and the fact that they are probably the one Steiner and Excel are searching for, and you have a strange alliance formed. In a good storytelling decision, Steiner and Excel appear to be more concerned with solving the mystery of why there are so many Dopplegangers in Japan than wantonly killing any single Alter Ego. This creates a multitude of possibilities for Keita to learn more about his powers from Excel and much more about his position in the Doppleganger incidents of Japan.

Black God is definitely my favorite series to come out in the last year. The art is great, storytelling flows smoothly (aside from all the new terms), and thus far the character development in every volume is nothing short of wonderful. Like the last volume, volume three has a great side story at the end. Akane comes to Keita’s messy apartment, and like a good ‘older sister’ she cleans up everything. When she reaches Keita’s bedroom she begins to rummage through his things until she finds an old game system. She bought it for Keita when they were still young and it makes her really proud that she helped Keita become a game designer. I wish more authors would use this style of storytelling to build up a character’s background. It doesn’t interfere with the story’s overall flow and it makes it much easier to understand the reasons characters do what they do.

Highly recommended.



Mania Grade: A
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Yen Press
MSRP: 10.99
Pages: 192
ISBN: 978-0-7595-2842-0
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Black God