I’m starting up another manga this week, with a fantasy romantic-comedy manga from the 80s, which is still ongoing.
Title: Oh My Goddess, Volume 1
Story & Art by Kosuke Fujishima
Translation and English Adaptation by Dana Kewls, Alan Gleason, and Toren Smith
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Keiichi Morisato is a generally swell guy. One day, when minding the phone at his dorm, as his dorm-mates are too cheap to buy an answering machine and because this is the 80s, he gets a visit from the goddess Belldandy, who grants him one wish. When Keiichi wishes Belldandy would stay with him always, hilarity ensues.
The characterization for not only Keiichi and Belldandy, but also the manga’s supporting cast, is very well written.
I think I’ve found something more obtrusively 80s than Miami Vice. No, there’s no cocaine or pastel clothing, but between the clothing, hair styles, and technology, I couldn’t see a way to make it more 80s.
Originality: Oh My Goddess owes a lot to old sitcoms like I Dream of Jeanne and Bewitched. 3/6
Artwork: Fujishima’s art in these early volumes is kind of rough, particularly for people. 3/6
Story: This volume is basically a bunch of sitcom vignettes, setting up the environment where we’ll be spending the rest of the series. 3/6
Characterization: See the high point. 5/6
Emotional Response: This isn’t belly laugh funny, but more slight chuckle funny. 4/6
Overall: Oh My Goddess is one of the best works in the “Magical Girlfriend” sub-genre of romantic comedy anime and manga, and for good reasons. This is a bit of a rough start, but there’s plenty of room for improvement, and there are seeds here of better things ahead. 5/6
In total, Oh My Goddess, Volume 1 gets 29/42.