While trying to get my foot in the door to the world of anime collecting, I managed to get a short, 5-episode OAV called Ah! My Goddess. To this day, the series holds a special place in my heart. But is it good?
Ah! My Goddess epitomizes the "magical girlfriend" genre. Keiichi Morisato, while calling around for a restaurant that does take-out, accidentally calls the Goddess Helpline, summoning the first-class Goddess Belldandy to his side. Being rather skeptical about her offer to grant him one wish, Keiichi asks for Belldandy to be by his side forever. And guss what happens? But how will Belldandy's sisters react to the news? Will the sexy Urd find a way to speed up her sister's boring relationship? Will the childish Skuld ever forgive Keiichi for taking her older sister away? And why is Belldandy being recalled back to heaven?
There are two things that make it painfully obvious that the OAV is a quick introduction to the manga. The first is the intro sequence. Many characters that appear in the manga, such as Mara and Banpei, show up without ever being introduced. The second is the plot structure... or lack of one. The first three episodes are dedicated to introducing each of the three Goddesses. Some minor characters are also introduced, such as Sayoko and Megumi, but with little characterization or camera time. This leaves two episodes to introduce and resolve the main conflict of the story (a conflict which doesn't appear in the manga).
So what makes this series good? For one thing, the characters of Keiichi and Belldandy. Keiichi is a good role model for anyone to have. He may not know exactly what's going on, but he tries his best at whatever he has to do, from finding a place to live to winning a motorcycle race to working overtime in order to buy a special gift. Belldandy, being a first-class Goddess, is the epitome of perfection. That doesn't mean that her life is free of problems, but she has that certain attitude that carries her through anything. We might not find that Belldandy in our lives, but who says we can't dream?
The other redeeming factor is that the series sticks to being a love story and avoids the temptation of becoming yet another harem anime. And for a love story, it's a decent one - the kind of thing you can watch with your girl/boyfriend.
Personally, this series made me realize just how powerful anime could be. There were two particular scenes (both with beautiful BGMs) that left me teary-eyed, and one of them was halfway through the 5th episode, which was a cliffhanger for me because I only had the first half at the time. Imagine how I felt while frantically trying to find the last half!
One other piece of information. I saw the dub first before watching the sub. And to my surprise, the dub was good. In fact, I like the dub better, although that could be a personal bias. The dub just has that extra amount of emotion that seems to be lacking in the sub. The fact that the voice actors for Belldandy and Keiichi were married to each other (Juliet Cesario and Scott Simpson) made a huge difference in the way the two characters interacted with each other.
In retrospect, Ah! My Goddess pales in comparison to the other stuff that's out there. But if you're still new to anime, interested in finding out what the manga's about, or just looking for a quick lovestory to enjoy (either by yourself or with your significant other), then check this series out.
AMG is a pretty small five episode series that packs
quite the story. Although the general plot of the story is no different than most
of the other romance titles where a random guy meets a girl in a weird situation
and then fall in love with each other by the first eye contact, AMG does
attempt to add a little unique twist to it. Keiichi is a poor college student
without a girlfriend (haha sound familiar?) and one day this hot Goddess pops
out of nowhere and grant you a wish. so what would you wish for? Our desperate
friend Keiichi here wished that the Goddess stay by his side and accompany him
forever. Lo and behold, his wish gets granted and the story begins.
the name of the Goddess, is indeed a babe (many in the anime will agree.) The
only problem with Belldandy is that she has no unique personality. She is like
the perfect sweet pretty mature woman that I'm sure many of us are tired of looking
at in an anime. While Belldandy's sisters were introduced and compensated a little
for the lack of characteristics, this series failed to stand out among the common
romance titles. A beach episode and a compete-for-girl episode is no shocker in
a bland anime like this one. The series does provide little comedy but not nearly
as much as magnifique titles such as Love Hina and Chobits. Overall,
this anime is almost a short and cheap version of Onegai Teacher. The ending
is predictable and overused (I paused during the climax to refill my orange juice),
and overall a bad conclusion. Maybe it is a bad idea to try to fit a romance series
into a mere 5 episodes. And finally, what truly saved AMG's score is the
music. The OP song is very catchy went along with the OP animation.
Belldandy is a babe. Only 5 episodes for fans who can't wait. Good music
Too common for fans looking for something new. Belldandy has no unique character.
Final Words: If you haven't seen Onegai Teacher yet, grab a
copy of that instead.
Oh My Goddess! OVA is a nice little series, that I didn't
think I'd like as much as I did. The animation was above par. But the characters,
and storyline, although amusing at times, has been done...and re-done...and then
With most short length OVA's, the story isn't given enough
time to develop, or is so jammed with elements, that it's a bit confusing at times.
This OVA, does neither really. It's a cute, (I don't like using that word to describe
things, but that's what this series is...cute), little tale of romance, with the
typical comic relief from the secondary characters, and some teary-eyed moments.
All in all enjoyable.
Animation - 4 stars
- 3 1/2 stars
Overall - 4 stars...You may not love this series, but
you will like it.
A short segment from a much longer manga, this sweet, pleasant
little romantic comedy establishes the circumstances by which a hapless young
man gets himself a goddess for a girlfriend. While the basic elements of the show
are handled with care, and all the characters have their own charms, it's also
an incredibly bland piece of work. It's true that the cosmic interference is plenty
of fun and Belldandy's sisters stir things up upon their appearances, but the
romance that is the fundamental basis for the whole series is completely uninteresting.
Keiichi is the nice, but hesitant boy we've seen a hundred times, and brings nothing
new into play. Belldandy is appealing, but so completely subservient and passive,
it's slightly disturbing. There is little depth, and less development, even taking
into consideration the short length of the OAV.
of the best parts of the show is the outstanding, detailed design work, which
the animation keeps up with very nicely. Since the OAV is meant to feature highlights
of the manga, the show is episodic with little continuity. Despite the large part
played by the heavenly powers, they're treated like a normal bureaucracy and aren't
really very hostile. This leaves the dynamics of the romance to push things forward,
and it just doesn't work. Though cute and inventive and very nice to look at,
there is little of "Oh My Goddess" that's really exceeds mediocrity.
Why does everyone like this series so much? Belldandy is emotionless,
and just has a weird inherent kindness that reminds you of that perfect disposition
a god would have, so okay well portrayed there in that aspect, but still emotionless.
They never have a reason for their love, Keiichi isn't contemptible which is only
to be expected, but he definitely isn't especially wonderful charismatic or kind.
This series doesn't do it for me, you want Romance, go read a book for gods sake.
Got a problem in life? Then dial the Goddess Service Hotline
(I wish I can) and that's what Keiichi Morisato 'mistakenly' did. Voila! in seconds,
a Goddess appeared from no where and was ready to grant him one wish, no matter
what it was. Our guy, being short, has no girlfriends (what lame excuse not to
have one), and so he chose her, the Goddess AKA Belldandy to be with him forever.
What a smart guy, indeed, he got kicked out of the dorm because of her presence.
While AMG may not be as flashy and dramatic as, say Love Hina, it
still held a special radiance around it. For starters, don't make this 'goddess'
thingy offends you, if it does, this show is sweet and rather encouraging. The
animation is top-notch and although there is nothing 'original' in the characters'
design, they still have enough charm in them to keep them going forever. Watch
this for a pure reflection of the loving feelings with some comedy thrown at times,
and I guarantee that you are going to like it.