Gestalt Vol. #03 -

Manga Review

Mania Grade: C

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  • Art Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translation Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 16 and Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 978-1421526928
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Gestalt

Gestalt Vol. #03

Gestalt Vol. #03 Review

By Kate O'Neil     April 12, 2010
Release Date: October 20, 2009

Gestalt Vol. #03
© Viz Media

Under attack from every angle, the party’s biggest challenge comes from within their own group, hidden inside Olivier himself.  

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Yun Kouga
Translation: Christine Schilling
Adaptation: Christine Schilling

What They Say
The quest for a man's soul, the battle for his heart, the war for a world. R to L (Japanese Style). Suzu uses everything she's got to drive her sisters away and increase her powers. Meanwhile, Olivier seeks a weapon to use against evil pursuers--and himself, if "Black Olivier" comes through again. How did this terrible fate befall Olivier, and what effect will his protective measures have on both him and his companions? Is the secret history of Gestalt somehow mirrored in the present? Time will tell, but not before Ouri gets another chance to mop the floor with some persistent enemies! In the legendary past the gods battled for supremacy and cast out the demon god whose name cannot be spoken. Banished to Earth, the demon found refuge on the mysterious and dangerous island known only as "G."

The Review!

This volume begins with Suzu finishing her fight against her sisters.  The triplets are hard to tell apart and the battle is a confusing blast of magic vs. magic, complete with hit points counting down in the panels.  Suzu tries to hold her own, while Ouri confronts brother Soushi with the usual tactic of summoning an overpowered creature from another dimension.
In the meantime, Father Messiah sends out the ninja-like Sakata to retrieve Olivier, and two more siblings have appeared to carry on with the contest.  To compound matters further, the troubled Olivier has been behaving oddly.  His dark alter-ego resurfaces and holds Olivier hostage, toying with Ouri and the others before doing the unthinkable and attacking himself.  With the deadly poison working it’s way up his arms, Ouri is forced into a horrible position in which she has to hurt the one she loves in order to save him.  
The event drives the party apart.  Olivier remains under the care of Suzu and Sakata, who seems to have reluctantly fallen into the same situation as Suzu, and is now part of the group.  Ouri has abandoned the group, filled with guilt and self loathing.  She falls in with a band of thieves and takes part in some soul-cleansing wonton destruction.  While she’s busy mentally and physically beating herself up, the others wonder if Ouri is ever going to come back.  Shazan tries to track her down and finds himself tailed by two of Ouri’s siblings.  
Interspersed between the regular chapters are a bunch of comedic side stories called “Gestalt Theater.”  They consist of a fan-service-filled beach story, a cosplay session (with Ouri dressed as Sailor Moon, and Suzu as Darkstalker’s Morrigan), and a Christmas aside, which even the cast (sans Ouri) agree is pointless.  A comment during the beach side story says the editor was the driving force for the addition of the lighthearted side stories, probably to distract from the darker turn of events in this recent volume.
In Summary
The story evens back out during this volume.  There is less jumping around, and the contest between the siblings is continuing at a fast pace.  The art evens out as well, with fewer strange-looking panels of Ouri and the others.  The side stories are still distracting and the leads seem to be no closer to their goal, but now they are facing a huge setback.  Some elements still don’t gel well, and the RPG statistics are becoming more out of place. The decidedly darker edge to this volume seems promising – if there are long standing consequences to all that has happened to Olivier.  


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