Everything is Oll Korrect!

An eclectic bibliophile's journal…

Tag: Fujishima Kosuke

Oh, My Goddess! v. 48 (75 Books LXVIII)

Fujishima Kosuke’s Oh, My Goddess!, a series approximately as old as I am, has finished; Dark Horse published the last volume earlier this year. I was a relative latecomer to the comic, picking it up only in 2007, I believe, when it was already approaching twenty years old. I was able to blow through most of it that had been published up to that point fairly quickly, since someone must have dumped the first twenty volumes or so at a local Half Price Books. I had to pick them up a few at a time, since I didn’t have that much spare cash in college, and also had to figure out what order Dark Horse’s initially unnumbered volumes ought to be read in. Still, the best way to read OMG is probably to marathon several volumes at once, take a break, read several more, and so on.

That isn’t to say that the series is bad, but rather, it’s very uneven. There were some story arcs that I enjoyed, but several others I was happy to just skim through quickly and get to the next good part. Generally, the best story arcs were the least ambitious, and Fujishima did much better at more-or-less slice of life material than action or large narratives.

Which shouldn’t be surprising, really. Our hero, Keiichi, is very much an everyman character, but a very likable one, and he’s an everyman who, by chance (or fate, I suppose) gets to star in the platonic ideal of nerd wish-fulfillment stories when the beautiful, traditionally feminine goddess Belldandy shows up and starts living with him. Comedy ensues, new characters come and go, we have our occasional dramatic moments while exploring this character or that’s backstory, and so on. My favourite moments, though – the ones I remember best – tend to be relatively simple things. For example, Keiichi deciding to buy a nice ring for Belldandy, killing himself for a couple weeks working lousy part-time jobs to get the money for it, then going to buy it once he has the exact amount he needs only to realise that he forgot to account for sales tax. Another: Keiichi goes to apply for graduation from college, only to be told that he’s not eligible because he didn’t get any credit hours for a second foreign language, so he’ll need to stay a little longer; this one’s a favourite because almost the exact same thing happened to me when I applied for graduation.

So when Fujishima got more ambitious, as I mentioned when talking about volumes forty-seven and forty-one, I lost interest fairly quickly. Unfortunately, this final story arc took years to resolve, and by the time it finished I’d nearly forgotten how it started. If you’re wondering why I’m being a bit vague, that’s why, and it’s the peril of long-running, serialised stories – I simply forget plot points over time, and I don’t want to go back and re-read things that, in this case, I didn’t enjoy much the first time around.

Getting to the ending, it’s fine. It’s roughly what I expected, though I would’ve thought that we would see more appearances of characters from throughout the comic’s run, or at least some of the main ones. Fujishima seems to enjoy hamming it up, and honestly I would’ve liked to see some of these guys who, in real-time, we haven’t seen in years.

Regardless, I’m just glad that the series finally got its happy ending. Perhaps I should go back and re-read some of the early volumes soon……

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Oh My Goddess! v. 47 (75 Books – XXVII)

This series is going to end with a whimper, isn’t it?

I’ve been down on Oh My Goddess for a long time now; the series basically lost me way back in volume 41, and I’ve basically just been stewing in a fairly mediocre arc for three years waiting for it to end already. Things have improved somewhat in the last couple volumes, I suppose; Fujishima Kosuke is better at drawing motorcycle racing than he is any other sort of action, and the character art is still nice enough. The end is also in sight – this is the penultimate volume, and after two decades and change it does feel like the story’s wrapping up. Encouragingly, with this action-oriented story arc done the final volume should go back to a type of storytelling that Fujishima’s good at.

At least, I’m hopeful. Once it’s over, or perhaps shortly before the final volume, I may need to go back and re-read some of the early volumes, because it’s been so long since I’ve read anything interesting from the series that I’ve started to wonder why I liked it so much to begin with.

Blowing through forty-some volumes of graphic novels would also be a good way to lock up this seventy-five books project, but maybe that would be cheating……

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Oh, My Goddess! Vol. 41 – Kinda Sucks

Okay, “sucks” may be a bit strong, but Fujishima Kosuke’s Oh, My Goddess! volume 41… it’s still not very good. Neither were the last couple volumes.

I hate saying that, too, because I’ve really loved this franchise since I started reading in 2009. Nowhere near its 1994 American debut, but still longer than any other comic I follow (a couple webcomics excepted). The series’ basic premise, a young man living with a beautiful goddess, is pretty blatant wish-fulfillment fiction, but the characters are likable enough that I can forgive it that. There have been some slow points in the over twenty years and forty volumes of publication, of course, but coming in late to the party has allowed me to just rush through those rough patches quickly, and dwell more on the highlights.

I think that’s the key to why this current “Hell takeover” story arc beats me down so much. Most of it bores me, but I can’t just skim through it, and with a few months between releases I’ve had to just stew in it, hoping Fujishima wraps it up in the next volume and moves on to a style of storytelling he’s good at.…

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