Manga Review: “Oh My Goddess!” Volume 10

Article first published as Manga Review: ‘Oh My Goddess!’ Volume 10 by Kosuke Fujishima on Blogcritics.

Oh My Goddess! Volume 10 is a manga with the story and art by Kosuke Fujishima, and it was published in North America by Dark Horse Manga. This review is for the second printing f this volume, which was released in 2008. There isn’t a rating printed anywhere on this volume, but after reading it, I would recommend Oh My Goddess! to manga readers who are 12 or 13 years of age and older.

Keiichi Morisato, a first year student at the Nekomi Institute of Technology, is the main character of Oh My Goddess! One day, he manages to accidentally dial the number for the Goddess Relief Office, and a goddess named Belldandy appears before him. Belldandy is able to grant one wish to Keiichi, and he wishes for Belldandy to stay with him forever.

Belldandy’s sisters Urd and Skuld come to live with Belldandy and Keiichi. With those two around, there’s never a dull moment! Over the course of the series, other characters are introduced who try to break up Keiichi and Belldandy.

The first story arc in Volume 10 sees Keiichi’s younger sister, Megumi, coming to him for help. The baseball club is trying to take over the practice field from the softball club. The captain of the baseball club challenges the softball club to a game; Urd ups the stakes to say that the winner of game takes over the losing team. Since the softball club only has four members, Megumi recruits Keiichi, the goddesses, and some other friends to fill out the team. This one chapter story was an amusing read, and I think the one chapter was fine for the story that was being told. If Fujishima had tried to extend this out beyond one chapter, then the elements that make it an amusing read could have worn thin rather quickly.

The next story, which also lasts for one chapter, sees Megumi bringing a puppy to Keiichi and the goddesses. The puppy followed her home, but Megumi lives in an apartment complex that doesn’t allow pets. At first, Keiichi is against taking in the puppy at all. However, he relents to letting the puppy stay until a new home can be found for it. I thought this turned out to be a really sweet story. Not only does the reader learn why Keiichi is against having the puppy, but the reader gets to see a small glimpse of Keiichi’s childhood.

The remainder of this volume focuses on the demon Mara and her latest scheme to try to destroy the goddesses. She tricks Keiichi and the goddesses into going to a hot springs, in order to get something from Urd that Mara needs in order to launch her actual plan. Mara succeeds in starting her plan; however, the goddesses don’t figure out what’s going on until right near the end of the volume, so this storyline isn’t resolved. If you want to find out how this plot progresses, you have to read Volume 11.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Volume 10. It has the right mix of humor, drama, and schemes to keep the reader interested in what’s going on. It’s nice to see at this point in the story that nothing feels rehashed yet, and the stories are interesting enough to keep the reader wanting to come back and read more.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Oh My Goddess! Volume 10 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Lone Wolf and Cub” Omnibus Volume One

Article first published as Manga Review: Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Volume One by Kazuo Koike on Blogcritics.

Lone Wolf & Cub Omnibus Volume One is a manga written by Kazuo Koike and illustrated by Goseki Kojima. This omnibus release collects the first three volumes of the series into one volume that spans a little over 700 pages in length. Dark Horse Manga has the North American distribution rights for the series, and this omnibus edition was released in 2013. There isn’t a rating published anywhere on this volume; however, after reading it, I would recommend Lone Wolf & Cub to manga readers who are 16 or 17 years of age and older.

The “lone wolf” character is Ogami Itto, who served as the Shogun’s executioner during the Edo period. The “cub” is his young son, Daigoro. After Ogami’s wife gave birth to Daigoro, she and the rest of the household are murdered; however, Daigoro’s life is spared. After Ogami is framed for wishing death on the Shogun, he is branded as a traitor and has to forfeit his post. Ogami, along with little Daigoro, travel as ronin and become known as Lone Wolf & Cub. Ogami vows to avenge the death of his wife and his own disgrace.

The first omnibus follows Ogami and Daigoro on their travels. To make money during their travels, Ogami takes on assassination jobs. Because of these jobs, he often finds himself is dangerous and precarious situations. But at the end of the each job, Ogami finds ways to get himself and Daigoro out of those situations so they can continue on their journey for vengeance.

The tone of Lone Wolf & Cub is rather dark, and at times, it can even be intense. There is a lot of action that takes place, and there’s also quite a bit of violence and blood included in the action. There is also a few panels in this omnibus that include female nudity, with some of those being scenes of women being raped. It’s these elements of violence that nudity that made me decide that this series is more appropriate for older teens and adults. Lone Wolf & Cub is not a manga series for the faint of heart.

But even with all that violence, there is still a compelling and fascinating story being told. Ogami is a well-developed character, and the reader finds that they’re cheering for him to succeed. It also helps that his son, Daigoro, looks so adorable. Even though Ogami may be an assassin, he’s still a good guy and a caring father; this is especially evident by how he makes sure Daigoro is taken of and that his needs are being met.

Lone Wolf & Cub was originally published in the 1970s. However, the art style used for this series doesn’t look “dated”; in fact, I didn’t know it was a series from the 1970s until I did some research. From what I’ve read, it appears that Lone Wolf & Cub is a manga series that has held up well over the years, both with its story and its art. It’s no wonder that this series has been held in such high esteem as it has over the years.

Lone Wolf & Cub has a good story, but it’s definitely on the intense side. If you like stories about ninja and samurai and don’t have any problems with the intensity with the violence and action in this series, then you will probably enjoy it. However, if you like ninja and samurai stories, but want a story that’s less intense, then you should probably stick with Naruto.

I wrote this review after reading a pre-release digital copy of Lone Wolf & Cub Omnibus Volume One that I acquired through the NetGalley.com website.

Manga Review: “Oh My Goddess!” Volume Nine

Article first published as Manga Review: Oh My Goddess! Volume Nine by Kosuke Fujishima on Blogcritics.

Oh My Goddess! Volume Nine is a manga with the story and art by Kosuke Fujishima, and it was published in North America by Dark Horse Manga. This review is for the second printing of this volume, which was released in 2008. There isn’t a rating printed anywhere on this volume, but after reading it, I would recommend Oh My Goddess! to manga readers who are 12 or 13 years of age and older.


The main character of Oh My Goddess! is Keiichi Morisato, a first year student at the Nekomi Institute of Technology. One day, he accidentally dials the Goddess Relief Office, and a goddess named Belldandy appears before him. She is able to grant one wish to Keiichi, and he wishes for Belldandy to stay with him forever.

Unfortunately, Keiichi and Belldandy aren’t alone for very long. Keiichi’s sister Megumi starts going to Keiichi’s school and is nearby, and Belldandy’s sisters Urd and Skuld move in with Keiichi and Belldandy. Urd tries to use various tricks and potions to get Belldandy and Keiichi closer together, while Skuld doesn’t want them to be a couple. Over the course of the series, other people try to break up Keiichi and Belldandy.

The first story arc in Volume Nine focuses on the small ninja that the demon Mara has ordered to cause trouble for Belldandy and Keiichi. One of the ninja was introduced right near the end of Volume Eight, and this story continues that story thread. This story ends up progressing and ending in a way that I’ve come to expect from the other stories where Mara has tried to interfere with Belldandy. Unfortunately, I didn’t like this story quite as much as the other stories that featured Mara as the main antagonist.

The next story sees Urd and Skuld being summoned back to the Heavenly Realm, leaving Belldandy and Keiichi by themselves temporarily. Belladandy falls ill, and Keiichi tries to figure out how to take care of a sick goddess. I found this story to be very amusing, especially when Keiichi is unable to decipher the code for Urd’s potions and takes them in order to figure out what each one does.

Urd gets a major storyline after she returns to Earth. Her ex-boyfriend, the Plum Tree Spirit, makes an unexpected appearance on Earth and tries to win her back after he was the one who had dumped her; unfortunately, the Plum Tree Spirit has a hidden agenda for this reunion. Thanks to the Plum Tree Spirit’s bad singing and his character traits, this ended up being my favorite story arc to appear in Volume Nine.

In the next story, Keiichi unexpectedly finds himself in charge of the N.I.T. Motor Club, and discovers there’s a race that the two regular officers had wanted the club to participate in. With help from the other club members and Belldandy, Keiichi is able to make all of the arrangements and get everything ready for the race. While this was an enjoyable enough story arc, I didn’t think it was quite as strong as the story with the Plum Tree Spirit or the story about Belldandy becoming ill.

The final story arc in Volume Nine sees a young woman named Shiho Sakakibara approaching Keiichi, saying she can sense that he has been possessed, and insists that she can drive the spirits out of him. The young woman won’t take no for an answer, and her efforts to help Keiichi have humorous results. This was another story arc in Volume Nine that was a lot of fun to read.

Overall, Volume Nine of Oh My Goddess! is an enjoyable read. I’m looking forward to reading Volume 10 to see what happens next for Keiichi and Belldandy.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Oh My Goddess! Volume Nine that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Oh My Goddess!” Volume Eight

Article first published as Manga Review: Oh My Goddess! Volume Eight by Kosuke Fujishima on Blogcritics.

Oh My Goddess! Volume Eight is a manga with the story and art by Kosuke Fujishima, and it was published in North America by Dark Horse Manga. This review is for the second printing of this volume, which was released in 2008. There isn’t a rating printed anywhere on this volume, but after reading it, I would recommend Oh My Goddess! to manga readers who are 12 or 13 years of age and older.


I had some very interesting timing when it came to reading this particular volume of Oh My Goddess! About an hour after I checked out this manga volume from the library, I learned about the passing of Toren Smith, who had served as a translator for the Oh My Goddess! manga series; his name even appears as a translator in this particular volume.

The first story in this volume has Keiichi, the Motor Club, and the goddesses going to an old fashioned mountain resort owned by Keiichi’s grandfather. When they get there, they meet a character named Chieko Honda; she was named after an anime voice actress, who ended up voicing this character when this story was adapted for the anime. Ms. Honda passed away after a battle with cancer about a couple of weeks before I read this volume of Oh My Goddess!

Unfortunately, Aoshima makes an appearance in the next storyline. I’m personally not a fan of this character, and think that in the long run, he really doesn’t add much to the overall story. It turns out a young woman Keiichi knows is in love with Aoshima and wants to learn how to cook so she can make a bento for him. Belldandy takes the young woman under her wing, while Aoshima misunderstands the situation and tries to take advantage of the situation because of his misunderstanding.

Urd tries to meddle with Keiichi and Belldandy’s relationship, while Skuld wants to interfere in Urd’s plans. This storyline takes place at the beach, and it gave me a chuckle when Skuld’s invention is obviously named after the manga and anime series, Blue Submarine No. 6.

The final story sees Mara making another return to the series, this time bringing along a ninja master named Kodama. Fortunately, this character is nowhere near as annoying as the god named Senbei that Mara unleashed in Volume Seven.

Once again, this volume only includes the “Letters to the Enchantress” section; this time, only one page is devoted to any letters, while the remaining four pages are devoted to fan art. I miss Carl Horn’s commentary, but I suspect this is something that won’t be appearing in any more volumes of Oh My Goddess!

Oh My Goddess! is still an entertaining read, and I hope the series continues to be enjoyable as I continue progressing through it.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Oh My Goddess! Volume Eight that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Dark Horse’s Announcements at Sakura-Con

Dark Horse made several announcements during the company’s Sakura-Con panel:

The company will be releasing Hideki Mori and Kazuo Koike’s New Lone Wolf and Club manga, as well as KEI’s Hatsune Miku: Unofficial Hatsune Mix manga.

The company has been approved to release Volume 14 of Eiji Ohtsuka and Hosui Yamazaki’s The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service manga, and that it will be released in December 2013.

The company also revealed that it will be making Kosuke Fujishima’s Oh My Goddess! manga and Hiroaki Samura’s Blade of the Immortal manga available on Dark Horse Digital starting in April 2013.

Manga Review: “Oh My Goddess!” Volume Seven

Article first published as Manga Review: Oh My Goddess! Volume Seven by Kosuke Fujishima on Blogcritics.

Oh My Goddess! Volume Seven is a manga with the story and art by Kosuke Fujishima, and it was published in North America by Dark Horse Manga. This review is for the second printing of this volume, which was released in 2007. There isn’t a rating printed anywhere on this volume, but after reading it, I would recommend Oh My Goddess! to manga readers who are 12 or 13 years of age and older.


Oh My Goddess! is a manga series about a loser named Keiichi Morisato, who accidentally contacts the Goddess Relief Office when he’s trying to get in touch with one of his dormmates. The goddess Belldandy ends up staying with Keiichi, and the manga follows their developing relationship and the various obstacles that try to get in the way.

During the series, Belldandy’s two sisters, Urd and Skuld, also come to Earth and end up staying with Keiichi and Belldandy. Urd has a bit of a mischievous and “evil” streak, while Skuld has a lot of technological know-how and likes to build things.

This volume has a strong emphasis on Skuld, through mishaps she inadvertently causes through her inventions. First, Skuld knocks over a love potion that Urd created, and creates a device to clean up the spilled potion. After returning the potion to its container, Skuld thinks it looks a little low. Skuld attempts to “fix” the potion, but this ends up causing problems.

Later in the volume, Skuld creates Mini-Banpei RX, a robot that is supposed to help protect them from Mara, a demon trying to cause trouble for Belldandy. When Belldandy makes a booster circuit for the robot, the robot falls in love with her. Hijinks ensue for Keiichi and the others.

Speaking of Mara, she makes an appearance in this volume. She unleashes Senbei, a god trapped in a soda bottle who is the god of poverty and disaster. Mara attempts to use Senbei to bring unhappiness to Belldandy. Unfortunately, I thought Senbei came across as a rather annoying character, especially through the style of his dialogue. I really hope this is a character that I’ll never have to see again in Oh My Goddess!

Unfortunately, a character who had all but disappeared for the past couple of volumes is a major player in one of the storylines in this volume. That character would be Sayoko, the wealthy woman who is trying to get Keiichi for herself in order to make Belldandy unhappy. I had been so glad when Sayoko has disappeared, because I find her to be a rather annoying character who, in my opinion, really doesn’t add a whole lot to the series overall. I can at least console myself with the fact that she only appears in one story in this volume.

This volume only includes one letter in the “Letters to the Enchantress” section, which serves as a lead-in to the fan art that is included at the end of the volume. I have to say that I really miss reading Carl Horn’s commentary that appeared in the earlier volumes of the series. Not only were they entertaining to read, but they really helped to explain the context of some of the things that are seen in the series that would have made sense to readers who read this content back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but could potentially go over the heads of readers who are seeing this material for the first time.

At this point in Oh My Goddess!, the concept doesn’t feel like it’s gotten stale, and it feels like the overall story is still progressing. Hopefully, I’ll still be able to make these kinds of statements by the time I reach Volume 40 of the series.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Oh My Goddess! Volume Seven that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Manga Review: “Oh My Goddess!” Volume Six

Article first published as Manga Review: Oh My Goddess! Volume Six by Kosuke Fujishima on Blogcritics.

Oh My Goddess! Volume Six is a manga with the story and art by Kosuke Fujishima, and it was published in North America by Dark Horse Manga. This review is for the second printing of this volume, which was released in 2007. There isn’t a rating printed anywhere on this volume, but after reading it, I would recommend Oh My Goddess! to manga readers who are 12 or 13 years of age and older.


This volume begins with Urd still under the control of the Lord of Terror. Together, they launch the Ultimate Destruction Program. In order to combat this threat, Belldandy has broken a seal that was placed on her. Belldandy and Skuld are also given a vaccine to delete the Ultimate Destruction Program. Quite a bit of the story in this volume focuses on the Ultimate Destruction Program, and the various attempts that are made to get rid of it.

This volume also sees Skuld meeting Keiichi’s sister, Megumi. Both girls are mechanically inclined, and a rivalry develops. The school’s motor club enters the two girls in a robot competition, where they must both build a robot and have their robot grab the most drums before the competition ends.

The last story in this volume shows what happens to the three goddesses in the aftermath of the havoc wreaked by the Ultimate Destruction Program. There’s a very sweet section near the end that focuses on Urd.

Since this volume focused so much on the Ultimate Destruction Program, it meant that characters like Sayoko and her cousin Toshiyuki do not appear anywhere in the story. Personally, I’m not too terribly heartbroken about not seeing them. In some respects, I hope I hardly have to see these characters again, because I don’t think they work as long-term obstacles to come between Belldandy and Keiichi. At this point, I really wouldn’t mind if they quietly disappeared from the series.

This volume has another “Letters to the Enchantress” section, as well as four pages of fan art. I’m disappointed to no longer see the editor’s notes that appeared in some of the very early volumes of Oh My Goddess! These notes helped me to better understand some of the cultural references that appear in the story, as well as giving a perspective of what Japan was like at the time that particular volume was originally written. Not only were Carol Horn’s notes helpful, they were also entertaining to read.

Overall, I really enjoyed this volume of Oh My Goddess! In my opinion, it was probably one of the strongest volumes at this point after the first volume. If you’ve read the previous volumes of Oh My Goddess! and enjoyed them, I suspect you’ll also enjoy reading Volume Six.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Oh My Goddess! Volume Six that I checked out through the King County Library System.