Choujuu Densetsu Gestalt Vol 1

Choujuu Densetsu Gestalt (Choujuu Densetsu Geshutaruto) or Super Legend Gestalt is the only (or at most, one of the extremely few) shounen series by Kouga Yun, the mangaka of Loveless, and one of the best artists and authors around. (in my not so professional opinion)

Firstly, it’s a really really old series, it was originally published in 1995. It’s also quite starkly different from her other series. This is, firstly, shounen in every sense of the word, instead of the usual shounen-ai, shoujo, drama or romance things that she authors. Secondly, Gestalt is in an RPG style – the characters have their own species, levels, mana, health etc stats, and attacks like spells are used, with the spell effect, countereffects, requirements, mana and level etc stated. This, if anything, makes it awesomely cool. It also adds to the feel of being more involved with the characters, like a true RPG game, and decreasing the over-fantasy feel. Sometimes I feel like I can actually dictate the spells and things the characters do. Also, if you like nitty gritty details, like me, you’d appreciate all the spell specs and things.

Seeing as I’ve only read maybe less than half of Volume 1, I don’t know too much about what is going on. What’s more it’s in Japanese, and my Japanese… is okay but not too great. 8D Even though I’ve been studying it for close to three years.

Anyway. Being a shounen series, so far I haven’t seen any bishounen or hot guys (seeing as they would just probably elicit comments of ‘OMG GHEY D:’ from all the immature guys; just like with Gundam 00 ED 2 Friends: just because there happen to be 4 hot guys all being unbearably hot and sweet and emofest-ing does not make them gay. That was, by the way, a total digression.) but there are tons of pretty girls. Who I can appreciate, because I’m quite agreeable to a lot of things. The girls are really quite attractive without being slutty or indecent or exposing or seeming to expose anything. Which is very good, because it shows Kouga Yun’s technique and skill in conveying fanservice-ness subtly. There are no bust/panty shots, and Gestalt is entirely completely decent.

For a 1995 manga, the art style is amazingly modern. It looks like it has been drawn in 1999 or something, not 1995. The style she drew Earthian in is still present, but there are hints of her future style of Loveless. The art, being Kouga Yun art, is obviously really good. The effort put into screentonings and artwork is very evident. Her signature loose, natural style is already very much established. Art is only compromised on in comedic scenes, to achieve a lighter-hearted effect.

The characters’ designs are not really unique, but they’re certainly interesting, especially the costumes. They’re at least not stereotypical. I can’t say too much about this because I obviously haven’t read too much of Gestalt yet.

Story-wise, the premise is really interesting. The god Gestalt, along with 7 other gods (that’s what I can make out – honestly I’m not too sure, I was running on low caffeine levels while reading this D: The font used for that particular bit is really hard to read.) created the Earth, with 3 continents and 7 oceans. Apparently there’s an island called G, full name Gestalt (obviously) but it’s a forbidden word to say – if you say it, you get cursed very badly. This girl Ouri, who pops up in front of Olivier asking him to accept her as a ‘gift’ of some sorts, (bad translation! D:) who cannot talk for the first chapter or so, is from Gestalt (I predict) and she’s amazingly good at magic, and a sorcerer. There’s Messiah, the head of some order or another, with his… partner? A Dark Elf, called Suzu. Messiah wants Suzu to retrieve Olivier from wherever he is, and prevent him from going to Gestalt, but Suzu meets and faces off with Ouri.
(please remember this is what I can make out of the story with my not-so-good-Japanese and low caffeine levels in my blood.)

Okay, that’s a really bad summary of the story so far. I’m sorry. The whole mystery surrounding this island G is intriguing to me, as well as Ouri’s existence. Why Olivier has no choice but to go to G, I would like to know too. There’s also this girl called Soushi, whom this queen-y person is in love with. (same gender pairing!) Being in the introductory stages of Volume 1, obviously a lot of things are left unexplained.

Okay, my brain is obviously not working after my Japanese test today. Scrap this thing. Gestalt is good, go read it. It’s much more comedic and less serious/dark than her usual works, and the entire RPG concept makes it relaxing and un-taxing on the brain to read. If your copy is in English, that is. 8D

Ratings:
Overall: 9/10
Story/Plot: 8.5/10
Flow: 9/10
Art: 9/10 – the cover is simply amazing.
Dialogue: 9/10 – nothing feels/sounds forced or OOC, real and believable. Dialogue is something Kouga Yun excels at.
Characters: 8.5/10

Before you ask, yes, I worship Kouga Yun.
Merits: Interesting premise, good art, interesting/mysterious characters, comedic and non-high-art. Even though I do love high-art, like Loveless (It’s what I would consider a high-art, literary manga) sometimes a good dose of entertainment is needed.
Demerits: Guy characters are ugly and rather boring. Yes, This is rather superficial, but I am a teenage hikikomori otaku girl with needs after all 8D

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~ by Someone in the Universe on April 29, 2008.

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