Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sampling one of the greats: 'Oh, My Goddess!"

Several years ago, I bought and read my last volume of English-language reprints of Kosuke Fujishima's "Oh, My Goddess!"

It wasn't because I'd grown tired of the series--while I thought Fujishima's art was starting to fray a bit around the edges as he was seeming to begin to succumb to the stagnation that seems to hit every comic book artist whose style stops evolving for a long period of time, I still loved the sweet humor and overall story-lines of the books.

No, I abandoned this series, because, within two more releases in the series, Dark Horse Comics went from providing properly translated, flipped versions of the comic, to the slip-shod non-flipped translations that are now the norm in the marketplace. As much as I liked "Oh, My Goddess!", I didn't want to support that move with my patronage.

No matter... Dark Horse and Fujishima didn't need my money, as the series is still going strong and into the 40s as far as the number of reprint books go.

I was going through some archived files, and I found this review from October 2005. I figured I'd repost it. It may be the first in a series of "Oh, My Goddess!" reviews, as I may enjoy my improving eyesight by re-reading those great graphic novels.

And now... re-presenting a review exactly as it first appeared on "Rotten Tomatoes" in 2005...

"Oh, My Godess!" Vol. 17: Traveller
Story and Art: Kosuke Fujishima
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

Kosuke Fujishima's "Oh, My Goddess!" series has ranked among the very best graphic novel series in the world for at least the past decade. His story-telling techniques have continued to evolve, and while I have some personal nitpicks with where his art style is heading, they are exactly nothing but nitpicks. The latest volume in the series shows that this series will be going strong for years to come. The art is gorgeous, the stories are funny and touching, and the characters are as charming as ever.

In "Traveler," the threats faced by mechanic and college student Keiichi and the three goddesses (Belldandy, Skuld, and Urd) that have taken up residence with him in an abandoned temple are not of the reality-shattering variety--they prevented all of time from being unraveled in the previous volume, "Mystery Child"--but instead are on a smaller, more personal scale.

The first half of the book introduces a new continuing cast member--a sentient robot built by Skuld as a companion to Banpei, Skuld's first self-aware robotic creation. Unfortunately, the new robot hates Banpei with a passion.

The second half of the book opens with Belldandy losing her divine powers at a very inopportune moment. The timing becomes even worse when she and Keiichi become stranded at the center of an infinite space generated by another of Skuld's inventions. To make matters worse something is in the space with them....

This second half of "Traveler" is Fujishima's finest effort so far. Keiichi is firmly at center stage, shining like he never has before even while dealing with yet another weird creature that's ended up in his life due to the presence of the goddesses. The flow of the story is perfectly paced and the ending is very satisfying.

No comments:

Post a Comment