Oh My Goddess! Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: C
  • Packaging Rating: A+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Dark Horse
  • MSRP: 10.95
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 1-59307-387-9
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Oh My Goddess! Vol. #01

By Megan Lavey     January 19, 2006
Release Date: October 01, 2005


Oh My Goddess! Vol.#01
© Dark Horse


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kosuke Fujishima
Translated by:Dana Lewis, Alan Gleason and Toren Smith
Adapted by:

What They Say
Here's where it all begins! Alone in his dorm on a Saturday night, Nekomi Tech's Keiichi Morisato dials a wrong number that will change his life forever - reaching the Goddess Technical Help Line. Granted one wish by the charming young goddess Belldandy - a wish for anything in the world - Keiichi wishes she would stay with him always! How is his mysterious new "exchange student" companion going to be received on the N.I.T. campus? A little too well for normal life to ever return...

The Review
After making the transition to the smaller, unflipped format with vol. 21, Dark Horse goes back and starts re-releasing this popular series in the original format as well.

Packaging
This volume uses the cover for the Oh! My Goddess Complete books that came out in Japan recently. The artwork is a bit deceiving, because it's a beautiful picture of Belldandy done up in Fujishima's latest style of drawing her. The blacks and rich hues of Belldandy's costume really make this cover stand out. The series logo in English is across the top and in the original Japanese on the left. The back has a smaller portrait of the earlier Belldandy and Keisuke. It's fun to flip the book back and forth and see how much Belldandy has changed since the series first came out. Two extras grace this book - the first being another installment of letters answered by Carl Horn and the second an editor's commentary on the volume. This one goes a step further than the commentaries done on the Del Rey volumes and you can tell this is really a labor of love. One thing that does stand out is the reproduction of the colored artwork. Dark Horse forgoes using glossy pages for these and that is fine. In fact, the colors appear to be richer and integrated a bit more seamlessly into the rest of the book than with glossy pages. They look fantastic.

Artwork:
If I had started this series from the beginning, I probably would had dropped it. Kosuke Fujishima's early artwork is extremely rough, especially compared to his later material. Even from the first chapter in this volume to the last, there is an evolving art style that is a lot rougher than the elegance of some of the later volumes. One thing that did jump out at me was all of the detail that Fujishima crammed into these panels. Every little thing had great detail in it, and seeing that matched with the editor's commentary makes the rough art a bit easier to swallow.?

Text:
I've never had any problems with Dark Horse's translations. This volume appears to match the original version.

Content (may contain spoilers):
Keiichi Morisato is a freshman at Nekomi Tech who has been roped into babysitting the dorm one Saturday night while his buddies are out getting into trouble. He receives a phone call for one of his friends, who's at work. But when Keiichi tries to call that friend to give him the message, he reaches the Goddess Technical Help Line instead. He tries to hang up, but instead he winds up with Belldandy - a real-live goddess!

Belldandy tells Keiichi that he has one wish and he can have anything that he wants. Keiichi decides that all he wants is her! This causes a magical contract to come into being between the two and Belldandy and she is now technically his.?

Along with Belldandy comes a set of challenges that Keiichi has never had to face before. From being kicked out of his dorm to dealing with insane otaku, Keiichi has to find him and Belldandy a new home and keep her from being pawed over by his friends! Keiichi integrates Belldandy into his life, step by step, by managing to get her enrolled into Nekomi Tech as an exchange student - incurring the wrath of several professors and Belldandy's self-proclaimed rival, Sayoko. Belldandy proves to be just as adept in handling Keiichi's younger sister, Megumi, and the treats from Sayoko as she is brewing tea, cooking and cleaning.

Comments
When I started reading manga, the only books I could ever find were Ranma 1/2 and Oh! My Goddess. Both were out of my price range, though I made sure to save money for Ranma. When I got older, I swapped to collecting Oh! My Goddess. In the middle of writing up my review for the first volume of the flipped version, word was released about the unflipped version. I immediately sold my books and waited like a child anticipating Christmas.

This version does not disappoint. The story is just as enjoyable as it was the first time I started reading it, after watching the anime OVAs. Oh! My Goddess is very much the combination of "I Dream of Jeannie" and the classing Ugly Ducking fairytale with Belldandy coming to grant ordinary Keiichi his wish and then remaining by his side when he wishes for her to do so.?

But Belldandy isn't a pushover either, which is why I like her a lot. She's not thrilled about remaining by Keiichi's side at first, but since she has no say in the matter, she makes the best of difficult circumstances. Her tendency to see the best in everyone comes to light early as she bonds quickly with Keiichi. She holds her own against the otaku leering at her and she is pretty forceful when she wants to be.

Meanwhile, Keiichi isn't a total wimp and I think he regrets the wish just a little bit when he realizes what situation he put Belldandy in. He's easily pushed around, but he's also very intelligent. It's easy to see why Keiichi and Belldandy work well together as a couple and this volume takes care a lot of the necessary foundation of this relationship - meeting, moving in with each other, introducing Belldandy to Nekomi and Keiichi's friends and introducing her to Megumi.

The side characters are great and part of the series charm. Tamiya and Otaki are hilarious and the characters are put to good use when Otaki enlists Bellandy and Keiichi's aid in helping to snag a girl. Keiichi's sister, Megumi, is just cool and she has the bravado that her brother lacks. She's very confidence and self-assured, yet looks up to her older brother despite his ineptness. Sayoko is the classic rival, who's very unsure of herself despite her popularity. It's fun to see her take on Belldandy and lose to Belldandy's inherent charm.

Oh! My Goddess is a story that's enjoyable for many people, teenage on up through older adults. It's a classic story of friendship, finding out what your heart's desire is and falling in love - not to mention cool stuff about auto racing. With this new release, it definitely should be on the top of many people's list of titles to pick up.

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