Ah! My Goddess

Ah! My GoddessType: TV Series + DVD Specials*
Episode Count: 24 + 2*
Genre: Fantasy / Comedy / Drama
Vintage: 2005

Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 24 Sep 2006

Grade: B

*This series originally aired with 25 episodes – 24 plus a recap halfway through. A two episode mini story arc which never appeared on television was added at the end for the DVD release. Omitted for the DVD release was the recap episode.

If you’re already a fan of the OVA, you already know that you need to see this, and that you’ll like it.

Plot Summary
Keiichi Morisato is an unlucky guy. A very unlucky guy. Up in Heaven, where goddesses keep track of these sorts of things, they decide that poor Keiichi is qualified to receive a house call from a goddess, granting him one wish to help turn his life around and be a happier person. Keiichi is confused by the sudden appearance of a goddess in his room, and without having any time to collect his thoughts, wishes that Belldandy, the one who has answered his unplanned call from the Goddess Help Line, would stay by his side forever.

The Review
Ah! My Goddess is a simple series, and you don’t need to have seen the OVA in order to enjoy it. The TV incarnation starts over from the beginning, so complete newbies to the title won’t be in the dark. I have read only the very very beginning of the original manga, and this version of the Ah! My Goddess story seems to stick closer to the source than the OVA, at least early on. In any case, no previous knowledge is required.

The first third or so of the series is dedicated to familiarizing the viewer with the dynamics of Belldandy and Keiichi’s relationship, as well as introducing the side characters. The main cast isn’t complete until nearly halfway through, when Belldandy’s younger sister Skuld is introduced at last.

There isn’t really much that needs explaining for Ah! My Goddess. The series follows a very simple formula, and chances are that if you already know what to expect, you’ll enjoy the series. I only have two minor criticisms of this show, but they don’t really affect it negatively. Since I was already an AMG fan going into this series, it would have taken quite a lot to make me not enjoy it. First was the finale of the series. It was not at all what I was expecting (in itself not a bad thing – it could have been faithful to the manga storyline, though I don’t know since I have not read that much of the manga), and seemed almost anticlimactic to everything that had gone before. I can say that maybe I was subconsciously comparing it to the OVA, as that and this TV version do have two very different finales. The other thing that was disappointing to me was how little of the secondary characters we saw after halfway through the series. I was just hoping for some more development on their parts, but that never really happened.

Thankfully, this season of Ah! My Goddess was successful enough in Japan that it paved the way for a second season (and possibly more) which I am looking forward to as they reach the American shores. This series is one of the flagship titles in the “fantasy romantic comedy” genre, and anyone who enjoys those types of stories should find Ah! My Goddess to their liking.

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