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Oh My Goddess! Vol. 1

Creators: Keisuke Fujishima
New Type USA magazine, January 2006

No, your mind isn't playing tricks on you - after releasing 21 volumes of Keisuke Fujishima's perennial manga classic Oh My Goddess, Dark Horse has decided to start over with Volume 1. Except they haven't. You see, after 11 years of distributing manga, Dark Horse has decided to follow the lead of other publishers and release OMG unflipped, or in right-to-left format. All future books in the series (starting with Volume 22 in December) will be unflipped, and in addition, Dark Horse will be re-releasing the earlier volumes of the series in original format, with one right-to-left volume coming out every two months. So this isn't the first OMG manga in America, but it's the first unflipped one. Got all that? Good.

If you've never gotten around to reading Oh My Goddess, now' s the perfect opportunity to start collecting. It's the story of Keiichi Morisato, a mild-mannered college student who misdials a phone number and ends up summoning the beautiful goddess Belldandy into his dilapidated men's dormitory. Bell is here to grant Keiichi a wish, Keiichi wishes that a girl like her could be with him forever, and the rest is history. The (still ongoing) series eventually gets pretty serious, but this volume covers the duo's mostly comedic adventures as Keiichi tries to fit Bell into his poor college-student life. This is one of Japan's best-known manga and anime for good reason - it somehow manages to be funny, witty and touching at the same time, and reading it warms your heart in a way few other comics can. And Carl Gustav Horn's translation notes in the back are a cut above - they're fun to read even outside the context of the manga. (Kevin Gifford)

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