Saturday, February 4, 2012

Anime Review No. 21, "Oh My Goddess" (OVA) Part 1/2

 Hi, I'm the Eclectic Dude and I review it for the lolz.

So, to kick off this month of themed reviews, I am going over a favorite of mine-"Ah My Goddess" or "Oh My Goddess" depending on the interpretation. This anime series stretches back to the Fall of 1988, as a manga made by Kosuke Fujishima. In 1993-94, AIC (one of my favorite studio for anime), under director Hiroaki Goda, made a 5 episode OVA entitled "Oh My Goddess". The basic premise revolves around the relationship between the two leads, Keiichi Morisato (college sophomore) and  Belldandy (goddess from Heaven).

Now, I am doing this OVA review in 2 parts as the series was done in 2 DVDs by AnimEigo, the same company that released Otaku No Video (subject of my first ever review). Part I will be over Episodes 1-3, while Part II covers Episodes 4-5. 

Episode 1, titled Moonlight and Cherry Blossoms, starts off the OVA on a good point, with a pretty good opening song. It introduces Keiichi Morisato, a average college sophomore guy. He is essentially an Everyman, generally good and likeable, but has flaws. He meets Belldandy through a weird situation-he was trying to call take-out, but instead called the Goddess Help Line. Belldandy answers his call, by passing through a mirror (...the fudge?).  Anyway, Belldandy is a pure goddess, almost like a Yamato Nadeshiko (the Japanese ideal for women). She can grant only one wish, Keiichi decides on wishing that she be his girlfriend forever, on a whim no less. Nonetheless, the wish is granted and their relationship is bound by a 'Ultimate Force' contract. Of course, this lead to Keiichi and Belldandy being thrown of Keiichi's dorm (which was males only) out onto the streets. They resolve to find a place to live, and after some searching, find an abandoned temple. They then set to repair it. Some days later, Megumi (Keiichi's younger sister) shows up to spend a week or so living with the couple while she tries to find her own place to stay. Overall, a very well-done episode which lays down the exposition and gets down to business.

Episode 2, titled Midsummer's Night Dream, takes place 5 months later. It is summertime and life is good for our lovely couple. This episode introduces us to Urd, Belldandy's older sister (who pops out of an adult video Keiichi got in the mail-awkward). She is rather a smexy seductress with a bit of a trickster streak to her. Her aim is to get Keiichi and Belldandy as Keiichi is a bit of a wimp when it comes to romance (an understandable sentiment).
So, Keiichi and Belldandy go on a trip to the beach, and the episode turns into a 'Beach/Summer Vacation' episode (though surprisingly not much fanservice as expected, but I'm not complaining much). Keiichi tries to 'get it on' with Belldandy and fails epically. Not to knock him for trying, but it stresses that since taking on this contract, there will be obstacles to their relationship, especially since its a human-goddess relationship. Even when Urd intervenes with a love potion, it only leads to a fatal misunderstanding. But, the two resolve this. Though, Urd is forced to stay on Earth due to the fact she slacked off her job to intervene in the couple's affairs. She decides to live with Keiichi and Belldandy, much to Belldandy's delight and Keiichi's chagrin.  A pretty good episode, builds on the first episode. 

Episode 3, titled Burning Hearts on the Road, pretty much follows a similar formula to the first two. It introduces us to Skuld, the younger sister of Belldandy and Urd. She comes down to earth via magical transport, which ends up being straight out of the bathtub when Keiichi was taking a bath-awkward moment eh?). Shes comes across as annoying brat who has impressive mechanical skills and lover of gadgets and machines. She is also a tad overprotective  of Belldandy, as she was lonely up in Heaven and can't quite understand why Belldandy would be in a relationship with a 'loser' like Keiichi.
Of course, the obstacle to the couple is a college drag race, with Keiichi's auto club going up against Aoshima's (rich prick) own racing team, with a wager involving Belldandy. Of course, Keiichi and his team win regardless, egged on by Belldandy's own encouragement and despite all odds against them. It is a really good fist-pumping moment as Keiichi overcomes this obstacle.

So, three pretty solid episodes in, and this story is very well-done. But, what will happen in the finale in last two episodes? Will Belldandy and Keiichi get it through all obstacles?
Find out in Part II, posted tomorrow.

The Eclectic Dude 

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