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Page 12 - Review 3 ANIMEfringe: June 2000 - Page 13 Page 14 - Review 5

Oh My Goddess!: The Adventures of the Mini-Goddesses

Review by: Adam "OMEGA" Arnold

See Urd. See Urd Sub-divide. Sub-divide, Urd, Sub-divide.

For the first time, Kosuke Fujishima's four-panel tie-in manga shorts, which spun off a TV series, are reprinted in a wonderful softcover collection for only USD$9.95. What makes the book unique is its odd shape, which is over an inch smaller width-wise than typical Dark Horse Comics' trade paper backs. Opening up the glossy-cover book, featuring the gang on top of a octopus, reveals a hilarious trip through the chibi-world of the Goddesses.

Not only does the chibi-world come alive, but the graphic novel, Oh My Goddess!: The Adventures of the Mini-Goddesses, comes complete with the Stormwrack Baseball story, the Goddess Fantastic Band story, and a host of other shorts featuring the key characters from Kosuke Fujishima's romantic comedy Oh My Goddess!. There is even an Oh My Cartoonist!: Special Road Trip Edition short featuring Kikuko Inogashira (pseudonym), the voice actress of Belldandy, as she touches food displays and finds they tend to be real (you have to see it for yourself, it's a riot).

The original Japanese release of The Adventures of Mini-Goddesses in the handy "petite" size! [ISBN: 4-16-330025-0 (AF)] sported off-set panels with a rough English translation on the side so that the volume could be used as a teaching aid. Likewise, with the English version, the artwork has been mirrored from the original, as is standard practice with virtually all domestic translated manga, and the actual panels have been given all the special treatment a normal release gets. This means Dana Lewis and Toren Smith have re-translated the shorts, thus making them into standard English, and all the panels have been re-lettered in English and the artwork touched up.

On each page, the four-panel stories appear in vertical columns, with dotted side bars. A few pages have the original titles featuring Urd that appeared in a few of the Dark Horse comics. Best of all, the stories that appeared for a full year in Previews magazine are reprinted, in order, with 23 pages of previously unpublished stories.

Overall, Dark Horse and Studio Proteus have finally created a collection that successfully rivals the original Japanese release. Although with all the plusses, there are a few minuses. The title lettering used in the volume is the same lettering used in the individual printings of the stories. This means that some titles have bullets while others do not, and the titles vary in font and size.

Another rough spot in the book appears with the four page Ninja Rat story. The first two pages of this section are original to this volume, but lack titles, while the next two pages are reprints of the last two adventures published in English separately. This is strange, because one of the titles for this short is ‘We've put the band on hold.' Yet, the Goddess Fantastic band story starts just after this very story and runs to the end of the book. For this reason, it is understandable to end the book on a high note with the hilarious band story, but the Ninja Rat story title could have been renamed to help the book flow better at this point.

On a personal note, I hold the Mini-Adventures in very high regard because I once managed a web site dedicated to them. I took it down when this very volume was announced, because I wanted people to experience this book as it was meant to be. Aside from my anal nitpicking comments, this is an excellent volume that no fan's bookshelf should be without.

Review Info File
Title:
Oh My Goddess!: The Adventures of the Mini-Goddesses
Format:
Softcover
Black & White
88 pages
$9.95
ISBN: 1-56971-421-5
Production:
Kosuke Fujishima
Dana Lewis
Toren Smith
Susie Lee
PC Orz
Tom Orzechowski
L. Lois Buhalis
Dark Horse Comics
Rating:
A
Comments:
This is one of those rare books that a fan should not be without.

Page 12 - Review 3 ANIMEfringe: June 2000 - Page 13 Page 14 - Review 5
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