definitely rises to levels of mega-awesomeness!
- How? By focusing on Urd, a mysterious stranger and Hildís attempt to collect an artifact of which will forever change the lives of the Morisato household.
- Urdís CMOA include her sudden appearance to protect her severely injured sister, resulting in the incineration of both the big bad and a good chunk of the surrounding countryside. Or perhaps itís the unabashed way she enters the demon realm, tells everyone to FO, then destroys half the palace after breaking free of Hildís demonic control (still arguably not their biggest fight in the book).
- Not awesome enough? Did I mention she's doing it to recover whatís left of her loverís soul?
- Too physical? Not enough CMOHW? Well then perhaps when she stands against the dark ocean winds alone searching for her lost love; or when she falls through the heavens holding him tightly; or perhaps the moment when she places only half of the stone on his body, praying he finds the one true sea.
- Are you made of iron!!? Alright, then how about when she reveals the meaning of the symbols on the gravestone, or when we learn of the meaning of the books title? . Iím not even going to discuss the building of the seaside residence , or her final ride into the mountains on horseback.
- Urdís love interest isnít too shabby himself considering he almost burns himself to death trying to save Skuld (bonus marks because she hates him). And later when he turns away in the heat of battle to make the Heroic Sacrifice. Which is difficult given that heís being actively hunted by both demons and Valkyries when not being mistaken for the deity Fudo-Myoo. At several points his existence also proves that (at least beyond Belldandyís sight) bad things CAN happen to bad people; though arguably Hild proves this even more effectively later in the story.
- And what about Belldandy? Is she not already awesome enough for you!? Then how about when she breaks the bindings holding her as a horde of demons attempt to overwhelm her; in turn bringing down the better part of a mountain on a particularly deserving big bad, or when she streaks through the skies to catch a fellow goddess just before sheís consumed by Hildís forces. Or when she pours her heart out to Keiichi on the eve of battle, telling him the truth about she and Urdís shared past. Several of Belldandy and Keiichiís talks also qualify as CMOHW.
- And Keiichi? Does he just sit this one out? Not really considering he (1) battles several demons single-handedly during the course of the book, despite the slight disadvantage of being human; (2) puts himself through a wall in order to defend the family from further attacks (more Original Flavour than it sounds); (3) is pretty much the only thing holding Belldandy, Urd and Skuld together during large chunks of the book; (4) builds the fearsome racing bike used in the climatic highway chase against the Sinkansen . On the night of the big outdoor party, he also speaks to someone who is probably the goddesses father.
- True Iíve left out any mention of the bookís humor and the CMOA of Skuld, Lind, or Peorth as well as the gratifying contributions of Tamiya, Otaki, Megumi and Mara in the story Ė or even arguably what the book is really all about but hey Ė you get the idea.