Ah! My Goddess: Flights of Fancy

Title: Ah! My Goddess: Flights of Fancy aka Aa Megami-sama: Sorezore no Tsubasa
Genre: Romance/Drama
Company: AIC/Kodansha
Format: 22 episodes
Date: 6 Apr 2006 – 15 Sep 2006

Synopsis: Keiichi Morisato’s life has not changed ever since Belldandy sprang out from a mirror to meet him a year ago. Despite the daily squabbling of Belldandy’s sisters Urd and Skuld, both her and Keiichi are living peacefully… until a new threat emerges that threatens their promise to be together forever.

The Highlights
What’s new to offer: Nothing much, truthfully.
Ishida Yoko: One delightful opening song not to be missed.
Story: Fluffier than ever with more clichéd gags and filler episodes.
New characters: More like new plot devices.

Following the debut of its OVA over 14 years ago and its prequel TV series just a year before, Flights of Fancy won’t surprise many that it offers little past more of Keiichi and Belldandy’s romantic escapades. Those expecting something new will be disappointed, since nothing has really changed since the last series. Skuld still assembles useless contraptions, Urd still makes shady drugs and lazes in front of her television and Belldandy is still the devoted partner to the klutzy yet honest Keiichi. One good thing is that there are new characters joining in the crowded cast.

New characters grace Flights of Fancy, which helps breathe new air into the dull premises. Characters such as Peorth, Hild and Troubadour stir new troubles for the Morisato residence but frankly they are mere plot devices. Little emphasis is given to their characterization and they serve as little more than a way to drive up the development between Belldandy and Keiichi. Urd and Skuld also stumble into new situations but these episodes are either too forgettable or too shallow to actually develop their characters. What ensues for the main cast after the introduction of the new characters is just more of the fluffy adventure that have been done so many times before.

However, Flights of Fancy is not necessarily all bad. The animation is by far the most polished and crisp of the franchise. Furthermore, Ishida Yoko’s “Shiawase no Iro” is an enchanting opening song with a Scottish twist, fit for the theme of the series. Inoue Kikuko, whose career was catapulted after her brilliant work in the original OVA, reprises her role again and maintains a graceful consistency as Belldandy from start to finish.

Though most of the episodes are dull and formulaic, in the last quarter of the series things get more interesting. It finally becomes more riveting and funnier towards the end of the series but it is a little too late to turn the tide of an otherwise boring series. Furthermore, although it is more absorbing in the final burst to the end, the show is really following a tried-and-tested formula that will be obvious to those who have watched the OVA and prequel.

I first embarked on Flights of Fancy without any high expectations and rightfully so; it ended the way I thought it would. To sum up what the series is about, it is fundamentally just a stretched-out version of the original OVA. For those who are not familiar with the Ah! My Goddess franchise, I will recommend watching the OVA instead, at least before deciding to watch this. I find the OVA more memorable than this series, even though it is not as pretty as Flights of Fancy, which is more for the ‘Sunday morning fixes’ type rather than the discerning viewers. For those who seek to pass the time with a fluffy romance, then Flights of Fancy is one of your candidates.

The Rating: 5
5/10

Reviewed by: AC

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