The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Ah! My Goddess

Title: Ah! My Goddess aka Oh My Goddess! aka Ah! Megami-sama
Company: AIC/Oh My Goddess Production Committee
Genre: Romance/Comedy
Format: 26 episodes
Dates: 1 Jan 2005 – 07 Jul 2005

Synopsis: Morisato Keiichi is your average college student – poor, hungry, and unfortunate. One day his luck takes a turn for the better, when a wrong number connects him to the Goddess Relief Office. A beautiful woman named Belldandy appears before him, claiming to be a Goddess and promising one wish. His wish? That she would be his girlfriend forever! Struck suddenly with reality, an unknown force guides Keiichi and Belldandy away from anything that could separate them. Yet when that force suddenly disappears and strange disasters begin to occur and try to break them apart, the time may come for them to decide whether to accept fate or create their own destiny.

The Highlights
Animation: Improved quality; same beautiful artwork.
Story: Different from original; more focus on action and fantasy.
Ending: Trails off…

Eight years after viewing the original OVA of Oh My Goddess! I was excited to view another adventure in the world created by Fujishima-san. I was partially expecting a continuance of the original story; however, the television series Ah! My Goddess is a different take on the same basic story and characters. There is more emphasis on the fantasy world of the Goddesses and the action that entails rather than a complete focus of the romance between Belldandy and Keiichi. In some aspects the TV series was better – in others worse.

Of course the series is stand alone, yet I feel that fans of Oh My Goddess! will have seen the original prior to this 2005 production. Spanning 26 episodes, the television series allowed for further development of characters, including side characters such as the other Goddesses, Urd and Skuld. However, this costs the viewers side episodes that have little relevance to the main story. Not that those episodes aren’t enjoyable in the fashion you’d expect of the Oh My Goddess! genre, but it detaches from the romance, a key element as far as I’m concerned.

Twelve years after the original OVA series, there are obvious improvements in the quality of animation. Character designs and concepts remain the same, but they have been digitally enhanced. While the animation does not disappoint, the music proves to be satisfactory. Ending and opening themes are done decently, but do not stand out in reference to other anime. Thankfully, most of the seiyuu cast returns to make an outstanding performance that adds to the magic of Ah! My Goddess.

The differences in the plot stuck out like a sore thumb, to which I had mixed feelings. The energy of the seiyuu cast and both minor and major characters brings the same emotions of the OVAs. Yet in regards to the romance that got me involved with the series, there is far less emphasis on the relationship between Belldandy and Keiichi, who ends up being far more timid and resistant to his developing relationship with his Goddess. The timeless laughs and sticky situations are obviously still there, but they don’t develop quite as well. The ending is also a disappointment, because the last episode is merely another side story. While this led to a second television series being created shortly after, my hopes for it are miniscule.

Both fans of the original Oh My Goddess! and those who have no experience with it will be entertained by the heart-warming comedy and romance. But if you’re expecting further development with Belldandy and Keiichi’s relationship, then you’ll be sorely disappointed.

The Rating: 7

Reviewed by: Godai

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