This is review for the second printing of Oh My Goddess! Volume Four.

Oh My Goddess! Volume Four
Written by: Kosuke Fujishima
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Dark Horse Manga
Release Date: February 20, 2007

I believe I’m finally in a point in the Oh My Goddess! manga that I’ve gotten past the material that was used as the basis for the Oh My Goddess! OVA series. So now I’m finally seeing stories and characters that I am completely unfamiliar with.

One of the big changes in Volume Four is the introduction of the character Mara. Mara is a demon who wants to separate Keiichi and Belldandy, and is introduced when one of the characters purchases a possessed CD and tries to play it on a record player. Most of this volume focuses on Mara and the plans the demon tries to carry out in order to make Keiichi and Belldandy miserable.

Since I like music in addition to manga and anime, I found the music references included in this volume to be rather amusing. Lines like “That’s right, Mara! It’s a double disc set!” and “They’re a 2-CD set, you know… not available on LP or cassette” made me chuckle a little bit. While the LP and cassette references do date the story a little bit, I still found these lines of dialogue to be humorous.

The end of this volume includes another “Letters to the Enchantress” section, and it focuses on two themes: attempting to create a timeline for the series up to this point and breaking down what the characters’ names mean in Japanese. There is plenty of commentary sprinkled in by editor Carl Gustav Horn, which helps to explain some of the observations that are made.

Instead of Horn’s usual editor’s commentary, there is an interview with manga author Kosuke Fujishima from Animerica that’s included. Horn makes it clear that Dark Horse Manga has acquired the necessary permission to republish the interview. Personally, I enjoyed reading the interview, and I feel that I could get a sense of who Fujishima is as both a manga artist and as a person.

My 15-year-old daughter also read this volume, and thought it was the strangest volume of Oh My Goddess! that she’s read so far. Personally, I don’t think it’s that much stranger than the previous three volumes of the series. Everything that happens, as well as the new characters and concepts that are introduced, fit right in with the tone and feel that Fujishima has already set for the story. If you’ve read and enjoyed Oh My Goddess! up to this point, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with Volume Four.

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