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Ah! My Goddess

a.k.a. Aa! Megami-sama

amg-1
Genre: Romance
Company: Kodansha
Format: 5 OVA
Dates: 2/21/1993 to 5/17/1994

Keiichi is a hapless college student left to baby-sit his dorm. Rather than dying from starvation, he picks up the phone to order take-out. Instead of noodles, however, he is granted one wish by a beautiful goddess! Thinking this to be a prank by his dorm mates, he wishes that the goddess Belldandy be his girlfriend for eternity. Problems arise out of a human cohabiting with a goddess, and the two must work through these obstacles to observe a love that was fated from childhood.

summary by Kain

 

Reviewed: 05/24/2004 by
Grade: 82% av-Kain

Highs: Beautiful artwork; wonderfully expressive supporting characters; catchy opening and ending themes

Lows: Too short; Keiichi and Belldandy are bland compared to supporting cast

Ahh, what a sweet, albeit short, shounen anime! Fujishima Kosuke’s artwork is absolutely beautiful, and his use of vivid colors make this pure bubblegum eyecandy. The story is linear, and yet not as predictable as one would think; the explanation for Keiichi and Belldandy’s love took me by surprise.

Belldandy’s sisters, Urd and Skuld, are what make this anime go. If only had Keiichi and Belldandy been infused with as much personality as these two. Voiced to perfection by Hisakawa Aya, Skuld is an emotional fireball that is a welcome counterweight to Belldandy.

Did I mention it was too short? This five-part OVA leaves out a lot of character development from the manga. Each episode seems a tad fragmented, and doesn’t meld into the story as I would have liked. Keiichi is also a pure Tenchi clone. Put him next to Ryohko and I wouldn’t be able to tell the two apart.

While not for everyone, this is a good one to pick up one’s spirits after watching, say, Grave of the Fireflies. If you’re in the mood for an anime that absolutely exudes sugary sweetness, look no further.

 

Reviewed: 04/01/2004 by
Grade: 69% av-Keitaro

Highs: Fascinating characters; great art; music

Lows: Too short; story moves too quickly; nothing new is offered

After hearing so many great things about this anime, I was excited and all geared to watch something that I hoped would be one of my favorites. Unfortunately, behind all of the hype is an anime that has been done so many times before… and better, too.

The problems are not with the art and music. The character designs are imaginative and fit the characters’ personalities very well. Also, the voice acting is topnotch. Yet it wasn’t the art that let me down; it was the story that did.

My biggest gripe was how underdeveloped the characters were. We hardly get to know them at all. Had there been more to the story, the impact on the story would likely have been much greater, but the five-part OVA went by way too fast. Basically, Ah! My Goddess has a great concept going for it, but the execution wasn’t there. This anime just didn’t draw me in the way it should have. What needed to be done was to slow down the story and give it a little more of a chance to unravel. I had the feeling a lot of material was cut out to shorten the length of the series. Not to mention that Belldandy is incredibly boring; the high points are scenes mostly with Urd and Skuld, Belldandy’s much more entertaining sisters.

Ah! My Goddess is not terrible, and if you are a fan of the genre you should definitely watch it. Before you grab this one, however, check out Love Hina, Hand Maid May, and Tenchi Muyo! first. Ah! My Goddess just doesn’t live up to its name.

 

Reviewed: 09/01/2003 by
Grade: 71% av-Eek

Highs: Solid art; Belldandy and Keiichi make a great couple; Inoue Kikuko 

Lows: Much too short; undeveloped cast of characters

I cannot help but admit that I like Ah! My Goddess; it is such a cute romance anime with so much going for it. However, what prevents me from loving this series is the number of flaws that I find in the actual execution.

Despite packing on some years, this series boasts some great artwork that still looks good even to this day. Such vivid and detailed art will probably catch most people’s attention right from the start and will surprise many when they realize how old it actually is. All of that fancy art helps bring Belldandy and Keiichi’s relationship that much more to life, and if anything, the couple can be said to have one of the more heartwarmingly romantic relationships in anime. I found a charming tenderness being shared between both characters and believe part of that has to do with Belldandy’s seiyuu, who is none other than Inoue Kikuko. She breathes life into Belldandy with her remarkable voice, and I find it hard to imagine any other female seiyuu being able to play the part as well as she did.

Despite all of that, Ah! My Goddess is excessively short; if ever an anime needed to be longer, it was this series. There is potential that was never explored or given a chance to see the light of day. By the end, nine months had passed since Keiichi and Belldandy met one another in the first episode, but we are offered only mere glimpses into what all happened in that time. Only five OVA episodes also create yet another problem: undeveloped characters. Throughout most of the series, we are provided very little background; the last episode is ten minutes longer than all of the rest because those final minutes finally provide some solid information on both Belldandy and Keiichi. However, this tactic of tacking on some last-minute character development for the main characters at the end seems cheap at best because the secondary characters have none, leaving them as measly shells.

It is such a shame; Ah! My Goddess could have been so much more had it had more time to expand. But like a caged bird, this series is flying nowhere fast. Its true beauty will never get a chance to shine… at least not on the small screen. While this short series is still quite enjoyable, there are better examples of romance anime available.

 

Reviewed: 04/04/2005 by
Grade: 65% av-Liegenschonheit

Highs: Bright and beautiful artwork   

Lows: Bland and forgettable characters; barely any plot  

Shortly after I became interested in anime, I began to hear people rave on about Ah! My Goddess. My interest piqued, I went out and spent my hard-earned money on the OVAs, hoping for the same fascinating, amazing anime experience I was promised. I was sorely disappointed. Only five short episodes long, this anime can be summed up in just one word: bland.

At first glance, Ah! My Goddess could have been something special. With brilliant, vivid coloring and some very beautiful artwork, this anime is fairly consistent in delivering high quality visuals. The seiyuu, though hampered by dull dialogue, deliver very good performances, especially Inoue Kikuko as Belldandy.

Unfortunately, whatever potential this anime possessed was curtailed by the sheer mediocrity of its characters and plot. Though some of the secondary characters breathe a bit of life into some of the scenes, Ah! My Goddess was regularly bogged down by two very stilted and unexpressive main characters. Although shy and gentle, these characters instead seem dull and lifeless, which makes their later melodramatic outbursts seem over-the-top and unbelievable. The plot and storyline are also problematic, as this anime tries to cram nine months worth of living into five episodes which, with the exception of the last two, are spread far apart chronologically. Not only does this make for a disjointed viewing experience, it also leaves the viewer with the impression that the characters simply never grow or evolve over time.

Though this anime is not completely bereft of charm, the premise of “Ordinary Boy meets Magical Girl” has been recycled countless times and is hardly original. Still, if romance is your genre of choice and you can overlook the very vanilla characters, this anime may still be palatable.

 

 

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