Volume 22 of Oh My Goddess! is quite a lot of fun, and also provides some nice insights into Urd. Urd’s relationship with her mother Hild is… interesting, and the resolution fits neatly with Chapter 89 Another Me .
Chapter 136 Let’s Make a Deal starts with the explanation for Urd refusing to join the demons: her identity as a goddess is too important to her and Urd refuses to give that up. Peorth does accept this but isn’t above a few verbal jabs at Urd’s expense . It also turns out that only Hild can unlock the curse as the demon realms OS  is sealed with her personal password.
Instead Hild is willing to break the curse on Peorth in return for an unspecified favour from Urd. Keiichi points out the obvious trap here  to Hild’s apparent displeasure but Belldandy manages to protect him. Hild then explains that her word is a contract, and that her contracts are always kept. There is a nice call back to Chapter 1 The Number You Have Dialled Is Incorrect  here with the image of Hild discussing the scope of the possible contracts, and the commensurate price.
Of course the nature, and price, for Hild’s contracts is considerably more disturbing than Belldandy or Peorth’s contracts.
Once Urd agrees with the caveat that she’ll do nothing unbecoming to a goddess , the deal is on. The chapter ends with a couple of short character bits – Urd and Skuld, Belldandy and Hild – that I won’t spoil.
I will note that Hild seems to be becoming somewhat fond of Keiichi which might be a big mistake on her part later.
Chapter 137 Sister Act is the core of the ritual to break the curse on Peorth. It begins with Hild singing the demonic part and Urd balancing both the demon and goddess parts. However as the power needed to complete the ritual increases Belldandy, and then Skuld, join in to support their sister in matching Hild’s power.
The chapters of Oh My Goddess are often weighted towards stories but supported by Fujishima’s beautiful artwork.
This chapter is the reverse. It is mostly visual with the progress of the ritual almost incidental.
It isn’t the sort of chapter I would want as a regular diet in Oh My Goddess!, but once in a while a chapter like this is just glorious. This chapter resonates with the scene of Urd, Belldandy, and Skuld singing in harmony in the Oh My Goddess! movie, and it is beautifully done.
Chapter 138 Maybe…? completes the ritual, restoring Peorth, and it is then Hild’s opportunity to ask for her favour: that Urd call her “Mama Dear”. This is a poignant, and quite sad, moment in the story: Urd is afraid to love her mother, afraid that if she does she will tip towards the demon side and lose her goddess nature. There are hints, particularly from Belldandy, that this isn’t quite right but Urd isn’t ready to face this test yet.
Ominously Hild chooses to defer collecting her favour…
The chapter ends with a gag at Velsper’s expense. Although it isn’t clearly stated Hild messes with him, er, her before departing.
Chapter 139 Wicked Game is the start of another Mara tale, only with Hild showing up with a voluntarily reduced power level. This alters Hild’s Stripperific appearance into something much younger and also, thankfully, much more modestly dressed.
Basically Mara has come up with a teapot shaped device that can trap the goddesses. The only problem is that the goddess has to kiss the spout. Hot water and rubbing the side of the teapot will release anyone trapped inside . Hild also has a solution for the teapot issue
After being savagely beaten at Uno for TV channel access  she leaves the room to find a beautiful bunch of roses, and promptly disappears when she kisses them.
Chapter 140 Morisato Residence, Rooms to Let continues the caper with mini-Hild , mini-Mara, and the teapot with the illusion of whatever you desire most. In turn Skuld, Urd, and Chihiro fall for it, and Keiichi is falling towards an illusion of Belldandy as the chapter ends. Keiichi is starting to resist a bit though .
I have to say that this chapter, and the one before it, do feel like setting up the punchline of a long joke. They are amusing enough in their own ways, but need the next chapter to be complete.
Chapter 141 Sparkle in Her Eyes delivers the punchline. Actually it delivers a couple before getting very silly indeed. The first is that Belldandy loves life as it is, so she actually sees the teapot.
The second is Belldandy washing the teapot in hot water which overloads it. Mayhem and hilarity ensues, but the bit with Velsper having a “neko beam” is silly beyond belief.
After the fairly serious story of dealing with Hild to restore Peorth, chapters 139 – 141 are light relief filled with sight gags. These chapters are amusing enough, but not really more than that.
I do wonder why Peorth hasn’t returned to Yggdrasil yet though.
Overall Volume 22 is one of the better volumes of Oh My Goddess! I was initially worried about the introduction of Hild, but Fujishima uses it effectively to provide some interesting insights into Urd’s characters. The volume also builds nicely on established continuity, and has some moments of pure glory that need to be seen.
 Literally as Peorth’s voice balloons are shown stabbing Urd in the back. Now that I think about it, should that be graphically rather than literally? Both? 🙂
 Chapter 1 is, obviously, in Volume 1.
 One of the things I usually like about Oh My Goddess! is that, for the most part, the characters are reasonably intelligent and genre savvy. This caveat on Urd’s part is a nice example of that.
 See chapters 128 and 129 in Volume 20