One Pound Gospel 3Posted: April 17, 2009
The announcement that Viz is going to release Rumiko Takahashi’s new series simultaneously with the weekly Japanese chapters has caused me to break out a celebratory volume of One Pound Gospel. And if that weren’t enough to celebrate, apparently Inu-Yasha is being released in a VizBig edition starting at the end of the year, which is as good a reason as any for me to start it.
Anyway. One Pound Gospel continues to deliver exactly what you would expect from it, which is sort of its charm. The first story is about Kosaku trying to lose weight and Sister Angela giving him a string with a hair in it tied around his finger in order to get him to keep his resolve. Kosaku, of course, assumes it’s Sister Angela’s hair. To keep things interesting, there’s also a little kid staying at the gym who gets to stay in Tokyo and train to be a boxer only if he can land a punch on Kosaku (there are no real ulterior motives for this, he has to land a punch on the strongest guy). This is a pretty typical Takahashi gag where things keep interfering whenever the kid throws a punch. The last punch is pretty awesome, though, if only because this series is never serious.
The second story is about Kosaku getting all wound up about an eight-round match. He makes Sister Angela promise they can spend Christmas together if he wins, so he trains extra-hard for it. Amusingly, Kosaku bonds with his opponent as the only person that will eat the opponent’s (apparently terrible) cooking. Their friendship was pretty neat, actually. A complication comes into play just before the match when the Mother Superior finds out the opponent has a gigantic Virgin Mary tattooed on his chest and says Kosaku can’t spend Christmas with Sister Angela if he hits the Virgin Mary. So no body blows.
The last story is about a girl that looks like Lum who comes to stay with Kosaku, very much to his chagrin, when her boyfriend kicks her out for over-eating. But her story isn’t quite what she thinks it is, or what anyone else thinks it is. Sister Angela gets the wrong idea about Kosaku and the girl, the girl’s boyfriend is jealous and turns out to be Kosaku’s next opponent… you see where this is going.
The stories are once again quite charming and subtle, but they are of a particularly mature and definitely acquired Takahashi taste. If you liked the first volume, you’ll probably like all of them, but if you read it hoping something more would develop as the series went on… well, that just doesn’t happen.