Oh My Goddess Colors

June 9, 2009

I reviewed this for this week’s Manga Minis column at Manga Recon, you can check out my review over there. I talk about how it’s a good introduction to the series, which is very true.

I’m glad this finally came out.  I’m not sure why I bought it, I wasn’t originally planning to.  I think the delays that took two years to resolve built pressure that eventually made me feel obligated to purchase it.  I’m glad I did.  I like the idea that it collects four chapters spotlighting each of the four goddesses, but I was disappointed that Belldandy’s chapter was the very first chapter of Oh My Goddess (there are plenty of other good Belldandy chapters, though maybe they are all involved in major plotlines), and the Peorth chapter was from the volume I just read.  I like Peorth, but she was definitely a character that got better with age.  I’m not sure when this book came out in Japan, but perhaps it was before Peorth got a lot of story time.  That Urd chapter is probably one of my favorites in the series though, and the Skuld chapter is essentially just like it.

And… that introduction.  THAT INTRODUCTION.  It was short, but I was absolutely dying.  It compared the structure of the series to an old Fujiko Fujio series, talked about how Love Hina is a more interesting series, calls attention to plot holes, and uses the absolute most unflattering descriptions in the world to summarize the series (Great Moments in the Plot of OMG: Volume 8: Keiichi tells Belldandy “I love you,” except he accidentally sorta-says it to Skuld instead.  Volume 24: Keiichi looked as if he was going to kiss Belldandy on the cheek.  Volume 30: Keiichi successfully borrowed an umbrella from a love hotel.).  Plus, the opening page appropriately showed the change in Belldandy’s character design over the years.  It was awesome.

EDIT:  The review from Manga Recon, since that site went down –

Let’s let Oh My Goddess! Colors sum up the series for us: “An amusing inhuman dependent roommate moves in, the sisters come along as well, and then, together with their wacky friends in town, all sorts of wacky situations take place! One after another!” Also: “The story of Oh My Goddess! revolves around the relationship between Belldandy and Keiichi Morisato… that goes nowhere. Devoid of any actual developments between the two, it’s a romance that sort of wanders aimlessly through thirty-plus volumes, like a derelict.”

And so you have it, Oh My Goddess! is sort of the father of modern harem series, but significantly more charming than that makes it sound. This book was created to celebrate the longevity of the series in Japan—I believe the 20th anniversary was last year—but also serves as a great guide for anyone who feels daunted by the series’ length and strange US release history. After a hilarious eight-page introduction, the bulk of the book contains four colorized best-of chapters, one spotlighting each of the four goddesses. In the back, it has an encyclopedia with just about every item and person from the first 30 volumes and a guide (including summaries) for every chapter in the series. The material in the back has the benefit of the Carl Gustav Horn touch, so expect the entries to be of the same quality as the end notes in The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service.

It’s everything you could possibly want to know about Oh My Goddess!. Don’t expect any new chapters if you’re an old fan, but it does work as a wonderful look at the best parts of the series, and is probably the best place to start if you wanted to know if Oh My Goddess! is for you.

Oh My Goddess! Colors is available now.

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