Review by: Ai Kano
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Rumiko Takahashi
Genre: Graphic Novel
MSRP: $9.99 US
Rating: T+ (Older Teen)
Release Date: Available Now
A second helping of one of the most engaging and beloved manga series to make a return.
Nothing has changed my mind about One-Pound Gospel even having read it before a long while back in Japan. In fact, I didn’t even change the A+ grade because much like the first volume, this second volume of the re-release of One-Pound Gospel is just as equally good as the first volume. Then again, this is no surprise since this is the same author that brought us gems such as InuYasha and Ranma ½.
This second volume is told through two chapters sliced up in bite-sized parts but these two big chapters have one common theme among them and that is that gluttonous boxing hopeful Kosaku Hatanaka still can’t stop overeating and that his fondness for the very cute Sister Angela is growing at an almost uncomfortable level for the young novice nun. One thing that remains consistent is that the boxing is handled well and the humor that made the first volume so enjoyable is still quite evident in this one.
In the first chapter of this volume, an opponent from Kosaku’s past resurfaces to go up against him again but this time in a different weight class division. You see, four years ago when Kosaku was but a Featherweight hopeful as a Class B student contender, he was matched up against a rising pro who thought the fight would be over in seconds. This handsome young man named Matsuzaka even turns down regulation head gear thinking he was going to beat Kosaku seconds after the fight starts. Yet Matsuzaka underestimated Kosaku’s love for food and since a steak dinner was the incentive to win the hungry Kosaku ends up knocking out his opponent and something else.
Now, Kosaku receives a challenge from a fighter named Matsuzaka who just so happens to be the same pro he defeated four years ago. Aside from working in his family restaurant, Matsuzaka seems like a pleasant enough fellow but deep down inside he holds a deep resentment towards Kosaku. To make matters worse, Kosaku’s insatiable appetite is upsetting to his challenger how rushes to gain weight as well. Meanwhile, Coach has had enough of Kosaku’s inability to keep a diet and walks out on him when he needs him. In the end, Kosaku takes on Matsuzaka in a fight that is one of the highlights of this volume.
The second chapter is, by far, one of the most interesting chapters in this series. With a fight coming up, Kosaku finds his thoughts somewhere else. Having caught a glimpse of a very pretty girl in a swimsuit, Kosaku pursues her only to find out that the girl was really Sister Angela sans her habit. Determined to have her as his girl friend, Kosaku makes his feeling known to her only to be shot down by not only Sister Angela but Mother Abbess who sees this as one of many trials a young novice nun must go through.
Then Kosaku makes matters worst by making Sister Angela a most startling offer that has her rethinking her life in the service of the Lord. On top of this, Kosaku’s opponent is a man who might look tough but has a yellow streak that has him cowering at the very thought of stepping on to the boxing ring. Here we have Kosaku with Sister Angela on the line and his opponent is too frightened to face him as a boxer.
One-Pound Gospel, Volume 2 is just as enjoyable as opening the first volume and that’s saying a lot about Takahashi’s ability to tell a story with characters you will come to care about deeply. She also knows how to tell a good love story and there’s a connection between Kosaku and Sister Angela that becomes more evident in the last chapter of this volume. In short, the story continues and it is still a good one worthy of following.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Kosaku’s feeling for Sister Angela can no longer be contained and he makes a request that has the lovely Sister questioning her commitment to the Order. This second volume contains two very long chapters with two humorous and likeable storylines. Rumiko Takahashi certainly knows how to tell a humorous and interesting story.
It’s hard not to love Takahashi’s recognizable art that doesn’t seem to change from volume to volume.
A second round of One-Pound Gospel is just as deliciously as the first round with the relationship between Sister Angela and Kosaku growing even deeper. The two huge chapters are just so endearing you can’t help but keep smiling from start to finish.