Oh My Goddess 13
May 1, 2010
Kosuke Fujishima – Dark Horse – 2009 – 40+ volumes
I’m very close to lapping myself on this site. Actually, looking back at material I’ve already covered, yes, this will be the last review I write for these old volumes, since the first one I posted was the original volume 14, and the new volume 14 has a lot of (or most of) the same material. Hm. And I was all ready to write up volume 14, too. I read that one first, as soon as I got it, and realized I still had 13 laying around somewhere when I went to put 14 away. Both are good, but 13 has some of the best stories in the series.
There are three stories. The middle story features Sayoko, who’s fallen victim to some sort of Urd parasite that makes her doubt everything, and the plot is that Belldandy has to convince her that she’s really a goddess. Sayoko was never my favorite character, but this story was pretty entertaining, and I loved the lengths that Belldandy and Urd go to in order to convince her. Seeing Belldandy’s goddess transformation, and having her call Holy Bell (was this the first time?) were also treats for me. But even so, this story is the “dud” of the volume. The other two are fantastic and character-driven.
The first one of the volume goes back to Skuld, who is still trying to master her powers. She meets Sentaro, a neighborhood kid, and the two develop a mutual adorable crush. Skuld learns about her powers, love, Sentaro and she get closer, blah blah blah. It sounds sappy, and it is, and in any other series it would probably be boring. But in Oh My Goddess, it’s magical, and it makes me like Skuld, one of my least favorite characters.
It’s also worth pointing out that this volume came out at the same time as 34, which goes back to Sentaro for the first time since this story. To have both of them at once in English is nice, and I’m secretly wishing that the series re-launch was planned specifically for this event.
The last story in the volume introduces a new character, Chihiro, a strong female character who was the founder of the NIT Motorcycle Club. From her, it passed to Tamiya and Otaki, and from them, to Keiichi (and from Keiichi to Sora, but that’s later). Her introduction features a weird bike race between she and Keiichi, which was enjoyable and very much in the spirit of the series, even if I’m not into the motorcycle bits. The last chapter in the volume is still one of my favorites of all time though, and re-reading it is an absolute joy. Chihiro sends Keiichi and the others on a treasure hunt around the campus to find something that Tamiya and Otaki hid years ago. The hunt itself is great, but what they find, and Belldandy’s little talk at the end, is another one of those things that make this series magical. And the fact that such a great chapter is dedicated to a brand-new character also says something about the strength of the writing. It’s weird saying that about Oh My Goddess, but it’s very true. It’s a great series.
For the record, I like the old name of that Chihiro chapter, which I know without even checking was called “Forever Grrls.” There’s a reason that sticks in my memory, but even so, it’s more memorable than… and this one I did have to look up, “Let’s Go Feminine.”
Keep reading the old stuff, for sure, because these teen volumes have some of the best stories. But again, I’m only going to talk about 35+ from here on out. A shame.
Also, don’t look at my old reviews. They’re… old. And terrible. I just did, and I regret it immensely. It’s like a different person, possibly in their teens, wrote them.