Mania Grade: C+
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- Art Rating: B-
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Text/Translation Rating: A-
- Age Rating: 13 and Up
- Released By: Viz Media
- MSRP: 9.99
Gestalt Vol. #04
Gestalt Vol. #04 Manga Review
By Kate O'Neil
May 04, 2010
Release Date: December 15, 2009
Gestalt Vol. #04
© Viz Media
The members of the party have regrouped, only to find themselves returning to where they started in their quest for answers.
Writer/Artist: Yun Kouga
Translation: Christine Schilling
Adaptation: Christine Schilling
What They Say
Olivier continues his roundabout trek to G, accompanied by Suzu and Sakata. Along the way they meet an old man who offers to aid Olivier in exchange for tutoring his daughter Roxanne. The girl turns out to be much more than she seems, with hidden powers and a history with Ouri as well.
With all the various plots starting to come together, Olivier and his friends head back to Salsaroa for some answers - but the real game is just beginning!
Father Olivier, Suzu and Sakata have become the guests of an eccentric old man who might be able to help Olivier regain his severed limbs. There’s something unsettling about he and his daughter, and soon their true intentions are revealed.
Ouri sets out to rejoin her companions after her self-imposed exile into self-abuse and angst. She meets up with Shazan and the two siblings who have been mooching off him. Ouri is quick to dismiss them as a non-threat, like most of her brothers and sisters, and keeps them occupied with some more of her summoned creatures.
Shazan and Ouri hurry to the mansion where the others are staying and rescue them from their trouble. The real mastermind behind the horrible scheme within is a stronger adversary than Ouri expected and will most likely continue to cause trouble for the group.
This volume piles on new characters and new plot lines without mercy for the reader. The good news is that the RPG hit points and other trappings of its game-like background are gone. There are no fourth-wall breaking side stories, although Ouri still likes to play narrator.
The group has its share of new challenges, including a strange curse on Ouri that takes the form of a baby. The siblings are still trying to win the mysterious and dangerous game that Ouri’s family is playing, and are still falling by the wayside. Ouri’s feelings for Olivier are still causing her trouble, but she seems to have found new resolve to stick by him. She’s also still talking to the “other presence” that only she can hear.
Olivier finally realizes that he can’t continue without knowing more about his own past and his dangerous dark side. The group sets out, back towards the starting point, to ask Father Messiah some important questions. Upon their arrival, the good Father decides his wayward son must be put in his place, and he’s determined not to let Olivier out of his sight again.
With the removal of the distracting side stories and a more tightly focused plot, this volume rises above the quality of its predecessors. Gestalt’s strength still lies in character drama, rather than messy fighting sequences, and there’s still a jump-cut quality to many of the scenes, shifting suddenly without much background art to tip off location. The sudden detour and change of plans at the end of the volume add to the increasing number of conflicts, all of which will, hopefully, be resolved over time. What part these new characters will play in the story will have to wait till Vol. #5.