Final Exam (Oh My Goddess! #3) ★★★★☆ (Manga Monday)

finalexam (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Final Exam
Series: Oh My Goddess! #3
Author: Kosuke Fujishima
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 152
Format: Paper edition

 

 

Synopsis:

Various chapter stories usually with comedic overtones. Belldandy is crowned Queen of Nekomi Tech. Belldandy and Kei go on a date only to have it ruined by Urd and Sayoko. Megumi invites the motor club over and Urd has them play a magical game of Life.Kei has to take exams but ends up with a brainless double that gets dressed up like a girl taking it for him. Finally, Sayoko’s cousin attends the Tech and tries to make moves on Belldandy with rather predictable results.

 

My Thoughts:

This was a very humorous volume. What stood out to me was the dinner date between Kei and Bell where both Sayoko AND Urd interfere. Sayoko to try to steal Kei from Bell. Ok, an aside here. I still don’t understand why Sayoko is SO determined to steal Kei. It makes for a great ongoing plot point but I really do have to turn my brain off to accept it. Urd interferes because she’s on a mission to get Kei and Bell together conjugally. And yes, conjugally is a real word, I looked it up to make sure! So, during this dinner date Sayoko is trying to be a third wheel and Urd sees it. Urd enchants a roasted turkey to life and it jumps off the serving cart and begins running at and attacking Sayoko. I just about died laughing.

Of course, things aren’t quite so funny when Sayoko’s sleazy cousin shows up and tries to force Belldandy to abandon Kei and be his girlfriend. It had real stalker/rape vibes and while it was shown as something bad, the fact that a character was acting like this at all was a reminder that I was reading something from almost 30 years ago. I don’t remember this type of thing being an ongoing issue in future volumes but I’ll definitely be more aware of it now.

On to the art!

belldandy1

This is a very simple and clean piece of art but at the same time it really expresses everything I like about Belldandy. It’s obvious she’s no ordinary girl, as evinced by her sitting on top of a power pole. At the same time her femininity is in no way compromised. The long flowing hair, the simple shoes, the dress with the sash and apron, the small smile. It all comes together to show a beautiful woman who is extraordinary but not a sexpot. I think that Fujishima did an excellent job of creating beauty without salaciousness. * thumbs up *

★★★★☆

bookstooge

 

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Leader of the Pack (Oh My Goddess! #2) ★★★★☆ (Manga Monday)

leaderofthepack (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & Tumblr by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Leader of the Pack
Series: Oh My Goddess! #2
Author: Kosuke Fujishima
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 152
Format: Paper Copy

 

Synopsis:

Now life as a couple for Kei and Belldandy begins. They have to find a house/apartment for Megumi, stop Sayoko from trying to steal Kei to drive Bell away from Nekomi Tech, win a bet against another racing club with Bell as the the prize, deal with the System Force not working and no longer trying to keep Kei and Bell together and if ALL those things weren’t enough, Family Problems.

Yep, Belldandy’s older sister Urd is tired of watching Kei fumble around, so she comes to Earth to seduce him to give him the confidence to go all the way with Bell. She breaks a few rules and hence gets her goddess license curtailed and ends up having to live with Bell and Kei.

It doesn’t appear that Kei will EVER get to be alone with Belldandy.

 

My Thoughts:

Cute. That’s probably the best word to describe this volume. I did notice the chapter breaks in this volume, as each chapter was titled. Definitely showing its magazine roots. No over arching plot really, just adventures of the week type things. It works for now.

Sayoko is really setting herself up to be a rival to Bell and yet we as the readers know that she simply can’t BE a rival since she’s only human. She does show a few flashes of humanity so we do know she’s not just a complete witch.

Kei is pretty spineless. His senpais make up a rule book for the beach and one of the rules is that he can’t go into where the girls are staying, so he can’t visit Belldandy. IT’S A MADE UP RULE!!!! Sigh, but he doesn’t break it, nor does he show enough intelligence to work around it, until the very end of the stay. Eh, it just shows why he didn’t have a girlfriend in the beginning and gives LOTS of room for character growth.

Bell is pretty and shows touches of jealousy, love and anger whenever the situation needs it, IF Kei is involved. In some ways she’s just as oblivious and naive as Kei, even while being a goddess.

AMG-Complete-V01-C012-250

What ever guy wants, a beautiful woman to be concerned about him

We find out that Bell has family and Urd comes to visit. Without being salacious, Urd is just plain wicked hot. But she’s a liar and doesn’t think about the consequences of her actions, so you know she’ll be providing some good comic relief. Also, her interest in Kei is really non-existent, so no family love triangle drama. Thank goodness for that!!!

★★★★☆

bookstooge

 

Wrong Number (Oh My Goddess! #1) ★★★★☆ (Manga Monday)

omg1 (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & Tumblr by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Wrong Number
Series: Oh My Goddess! #1
Author: Kosuke Fujishima
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 160
Format: Paper copy

 

Synopsis:

Keiichi Morisato dials the wrong number from his dorm room and ends up on the Goddess Hotline. Thinking it is a joke by his seniors, he wishes that the young woman who appears before him be his girlfriend forever. Belldandy is a real goddess and Keiichi’s wish comes true. He and Bell are now part and parcel.

This leads to many hijinks, as the Ultimate Power does whatever it has to to keep them together.

Belldandy becomes a student at Nekomi Tech, where Keiichi is learning to become a mechanic/engineer/something. Suddenly, Keiichi has gone from Zero to Hero with the beautiful Belldandy at his side. Sadly, it’s not all fun and games as jealously rears it head.

But between Keiichi just being a nice guy and Belldandy actually loving him and being a goddess, they’ll work things out. But can Keiichi keep everyone from finding out that Bell is a goddess? And when the book ends, his little sister has just moved in with them.

 

My Thoughts:

This was just pure fun. It was light and fluffy and romantic and pretty much what every single guy wants to happen to him. Back in the day, this hit my romantic spot right on target, as I was short, thought I was a really nice guy and knew a couple of young ladies who I thought were goddesses.

Now, being married for just under a decade, this was still just as fun. I laughed out loud several times. Being written by a guy, about a guy, I think this will appeal to males more? It is really tough to tell though. I’d certainly recommend at least reading this book to check out if you like the over-arching idea.

The art is a little rough, but in the kind of way that gives it character and uniqueness, not in a slap-dash kind of way where it seems the manga-ka was drunk that day and couldn’t be bothered. The piece I’ve included here is a great representative of the art style for this volume. Bell and Kei sitting on the roof of their temple/home. I’m going to try to include a sample from each volume so you can see the evolution of the art style as Fujishima grows more into his role as a mature manga-ka.

omg

I LIKE black and white manga. It just works for me.

It is episodic. This was written chapter by chapter and released in a weekly or monthly magazine in Japan. Darkhorse just published the chapters in one book and there aren’t clear dividing lines at all between chapters. In fact, there aren’t chapters at all. Which can make it feel almost whiplash’y as you jump from one adventure straight into another. But hang on and you’ll have a good time. A lot of info is thrown at you, such as Keiichi being at a tech school, having a sister, etc, etc, but it is never overwhelming. Belldandy is the bell of the manga and she always takes center stage.

I am really glad this was so fun.

★★★★☆

bookstooge

 

The Midden

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

Title: The Midden

Series: —–

Author: Tom Sharpe

Rating: 1 of 5 Stars

Genre: Satire

Pages: 352

Format: Kindle Digital edition

 

Synopsis:

A rich, spoiled boy gets involved with drug runners who want him to frame his uncle, who is a judge. Spoiled boy runs off, gets drugged, and somehow gets involved in small town politics.

A corrupt police chief, a woman who doesn’t want the burden of taking care of her ancestral home and a various cast of inept and bumbling idiots all come together for a finale of death, fire and explosions. Not to mention a Black Mass where hordes of children are to be sacrificed.

 

My Thoughts:

On the surface, this should have been as funny as Riotous Assembly. However, while it was just as biting and satirical, it came across as bitter and angry without the humor. In fact, this left me in a completely foul mood for about 24hrs.

When a book affects me like that, I drop the author like a hot potato.

star10full-custom

Riotous Assembly (Piemburg #1)

16cb5a8c0c5809bdcdb40dc21c1bbb14This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. blogspot.wordpress.com by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Riotous Assembly

Series: Piemburg #1

Author: Tom Sharpe

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Historical, Humor

Pages: 258

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

Synopsis:

The misadventures of the Afrikaaner Van Heerden, head of the police force in Piemburg, South Africa, as he investigates the killing of a Zulu cook by the local (socially) ruling British matron.

Along the way there are police ambushes, latex fetishists, hand to paw combat with a doberman, hangings and a play by the local madhouse which ends with the shooting of some artillery that blows up.

Madcap

 

My Thoughts:

A bit of context was necessary before I got very far into this. Sharpe was in South Africa during apartheid and was a very vocal opponent of it. Eventually he was deported for his writings against it. Once you have that in mind you realize that what you are reading is not a raging rascist going for the humor angle, but a satirist at his most biting.

This was hilarious. I was wheezing in several places and my wife had to ask me if I was ok. I was more than ok in fact.

Every character was incompetent, looking out for themselves and bumbling. It made for some serious misadventures. One such was when one police underling is told to guard the gate and he takes an elephant gun with him. He hides in a bunker, it is dusk and some other plainclothes policemen are coming onsite. He starts shooting, they start shooting, armoured cars get involved and in the end 21 policeman are dead and the underling is desperately trying to figure out how he can spin it so it isn’t his fault. That sums up this book.

There was a lot of crassness involved [anything to do with latex fetishists seems to go that way] and some unnecessary sexual details. Other than that, this was an uproariously fun read.

star40full

Yotsuba&! #13 (Manga)

9facaa0e53d1e497531c79a733bb7cfdThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Yotsuba&! #13

Series: Yotsuba&!

Author/Artist: Kiyohiko Azuma

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Slice of Life manga

Pages: 224

Format: Paperback edition

 

Synopsis:

Yotsuba decides what she wants to be when she grows up. A baker. Or maybe an Udon Noodle maker. Or maybe a housewife. It can be hard to make decisions sometimes.

Then Grandma comes to visit. Yotsuba has been a good girl [well, except for that time with the blue paint] so she knows Grandma is bringing her a souvenir. Grandma brought her kiwi’s? That’s not what Yotsuba wanted! Sometimes it is hard to have a Grandma.

 

My Thoughts:

It has been 2 YEARS since the last volume. I have to admit, I was expecting more. This was good, mind you, but it wasn’t funny like the previous volumes. The Grandma, while very laid back, was drawn so severely that it kind of detracted from the overall feeling I was hoping to get.

I am wondering if Azuma, the artist, is letting this slide? It kind of felt like the fire had gone out in this volume.