According to legend, many years ago, a powerful god named Gestalt was banished to Earth and sealed in an island known only as ‘G’. Determined to find the truth behind these rumours, priest Father Olivier decides to leave his order and travel to G, but when he gains a travelling companion in the form of sorceress Ohri, it is only the first step in becoming embroiled in a more complicated adventure.
During my time with the Loveless manga, I happened to stumble upon an advert for another series by the same creator- Gestalt. Although said series was some twelve years old, I was immediately drawn in by the character designs, but there was just one tiny problem- no English version of the manga existed. In a strange turn of events, however, a two episode OVA based on the manga had somehow made it as far as a UK release, and so ultimately I had to settle for that instead.
As expected, a mere hour of content doesn’t really provide much opportunity for anything in the way of story and character development, so instead one has to settle for more of a brief diversion. Told in the style of a tongue-in-cheek RPG with more than a hint of harem, Gestalt starts out as Olivier and Ohri’s journey to G, but quickly gets distracted by the tale of an evil queen and sorcerer who are trying to usurp a kingdom (this would presumably have been the first arc of the manga). There are also hints of a larger plot involving a tournament between sorcerers and the truth behind Ohri’s magical powers, but with no time to do much with these elements, you just have to accept what’s presented to you and not worry too much about answers or explanations that are never going to arrive.
Despite being the centre of the plot and inexplicably attractive to the various women he meets, Olivier himself is not a particularly interesting character- like so many other leads, he has enough destined power to keep him safe throughout the story, but little in the way of personality. Sadly, the limited duration of this OVA means that the rest of the cast is similarly one-dimensional, with only Ohri bucking the trend. With her light-hearted exterior concealing her dangerous ‘true self’, it seems clear that there are mysteries in her past just waiting to be uncovered, but as mentioned above, you shouldn’t expect any answers other than the ones you deduce yourself from the evidence given.
Thanks to Yun Kouga’s talent for producing attractive character designs, Gestalt is in good hands visually, with OVA production values and good source material somewhat compensating for the fact that it was produced over a decade ago. In contrast, however, the music is largely forgettable.
Like so many similar OVAs and series, Gestalt was clearly meant to be a taster that hooked you into the original manga, but unfortunately for the English-speaking community, that manga isn’t available. Nonetheless, if you’re a Yun Kouga fan or just out for an amusing spin on fantasy RPG clichés, there are worse ways to spend an hour.