GUARDIAN ANGEL GETTEN
Mamotte Shugo Getten!, “Please Protect (Me), Guardian Getten!” • Minene Sakurano • Gutsoon! Entertainment (2002–2004) • Enix (Monthly Shônen Gangan, 1996–2000) • 4 volumes, suspended (11 volumes in Japan) • Shônen, Fantasy, Romantic Comedy • 13+ (mild seual situations)
Poorly drawn rip-off of Oh My Goddess! Tasuke, a fourteen-year-old boy who lives alone, accidentally summons Guardian Angel Getten (i.e., Belldandy), a Chinese moon spirit who lives with him and protects him from harm. Getten’s rival, Guardian Angel Nitten (i.e., Urd), soon shows up as well and tries to put the moves on Tasuke, causing magical chaos at home and at school. Getten’s primary character trait is prim-and-proper incomprehension of everything.
GUNDAM THE ORIGIN
Kidô Senshi Gundam the Origin, “Mobile Warrior Gundam: The Origin” ( THE ORIGIN) • Yoshikazu Yasuhiko (story and art), Hajime Yatate & Yoshiyuki Tomino (original story), Kunio Okawara (mechanical design) • Viz (2002–2004) • Kadokawa Shoten (Gundam Ace, 2001–ongoing) • 12 issues, suspended (14+ volumes in Japan, ongoing) • Science Fiction, Mecha, Adventure • 13+ (mild language, violence)
Not so much a retelling of the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime series as a fleshed-out reinterpretation by the show’s character designer and animation director, who also happens to be a superstar manga artist in his own right. For fans of classic Gundam, it really doesn’t get any better than this, as the legendary Yasuhiko retraces the journey of surly antihero Amuro Ray and the stray warship White Base through the chaos of the One Year War. The characters are expressive and convincing, the action is gritty and physical, and the sci-fi world setting is realized in more concrete detail than the anime ever managed. Although the series is still ongoing in Japan, the U.S. release petered out after twelve issues in a hybrid format resembling a hundred-page comic book, and was never collected into standard small-sized graphic novels.