Oh My Goddess! Vol. #22 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, June 05, 2006
Release Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Translated by:Dana Lewis and Lea Herandez
What They Say
After her demonic mother Hild lays down the condition for changing Peorth back to normal, Urd tells Mom that she can go back to Hell, but Urd sure isn't coming along. Hild's counteroffer promises to combine the magic-circle powers of herself, Belldandy, Skuld and Urd to restore Peorth, in exchange for a promise for Urd to do ... well, she'll tell Urd after the ritual! But has Peorth started a trend for tinyness? Things take a sudden turn for the chibi when both Hild and a certain blonde demon demonstrate great evil comes in small packages!
The mother-daughter rivalry continues as Hild and Urd square off - with Peorth's fate as a full-grown goddess hanging on by a precarious thread.
Urd fans will be extremely happy with this cover, as it features a shot of her reclining in a very sexy pose with the series original logo going down one side and the English logo across the top. This cover is simply gorgeous, with a rich color palette that really shows off the intricate detail of the character. The back features a small portrait of Skuld, hair done up in pigtails and wearing a bathing suit. The only extra here is more letters to Dark Horse about the series, but they give a unique perspective into how it's being handled.
This is the part of Oh! My Goddess where I feel the artwork is best. The beginning of the series is too alien-like while the latest chapters out of Japan just don't look as pretty to me as these chapters do. We get a small version of Peorth, which is absolutely cute, and also Hild, Urd's mother. Urd definitely takes after her mother, and both women look so alike that they're almost too similar. This book has a lot of still moments, leading to some great portraits of Belldandy, Urd and Hild
Another top-notch translation from Dark Horse that's free from spelling and grammar errors.
Content (may contain spoilers)
The search for Peorth's cure continues on, though in her eyes, everything seems deadlocked as Urd refuses to give into Hild's demands that Urd fully gives into her demon side and come back to Hell with her.
Finally, Hild manages to extract a favor from Urd in order to restore Peorth to normal. Despite everyone else (except Belldandy's) worries, Urd tentatively goes along with it and agrees to help her mother with the ritual to restore Peorth. But Hild's not going to let this go easily for Urd, and it becomes a real test to see how well Urd can stand up to her mother.
But with Peorth back to normal, Hild reveals the cost of doing the task - the simple recitation of "Mama, dear" by Urd. This, however, does not come without significant consequences for Urd, one that could result in destroying her character as we know it.
When things still don't go Hild's way, she teams up with Mara. In an adventure that looks like it belongs in the Mini-Goddesses anime, the two of them ensnare the Morisato household - completely with a new freeloader - in a spell that causes everyone to be overwhelmed by what they desire the most.
I love Urd's mother. The best thing about the Hild arc is that she's truly bringing out the best in all of the characters - especially Belldandy. In the past few volumes, while I still like the character, she wasn't as feisty as she originally was at the beginning of the series. Here, she kicks much butt, as Hild tries to attack Keiichi and Belldandy counters with the opposite attack. The fierce "don't mess with me" glare that Belldandy gives Hild is something that hasn't been seen in her character in a long time, and I'm glad to see it here now.
The more I see of Hild, the more I like her. It's hilarious to see how much Urd is like Hild - especially when it comes to teasing Belldandy and Keiichi about their relationship! And as for Velsper - who started the entire mess by cursing Peorth - well...it looks like the consequences of his turning into a cat go far beyond losing his demonhood.
The second story, regarding the adventures of chibi-sized Hild and Mara, is just hilarious and is a great bit of slapstick comedy as everyone gives into their deepest desires and gets sucked into a container of Mara's. The very last panel in the book is hilarious, as everyone except Belldandy endeavor to do their very best to make sure that Chihiro forgets everything that she just saw happen here.
Overall, the volume is both funny and poignant, with good sisterly moments among the goddessess and some fantastic character development for Urd. Having Hild around forces Urd to reveal certain aspects of her personality, which shows us why she acts the way that she does. It's helped to develop her into a more-rounded character, and one that I really like a lot more now.
Mania Grade: A
Art Rating: A+
Packaging Rating: A+
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Dark Horse
Orientation: Right to Left