So, being that today is Valentine’s Day, it seems apropos to have a review of a romantic comedy that’s also genre. In this case, it’s the most recent adaptation of the long running romantic comedy manga “Ah! My Goddess”. Well, the first season anyway.
Cast, Crew & Other Stuff
Aya Hisakawa as Skuld
Kikuko Inoue as Belldandy
Masami Kikuchi as Keiichi Morisato
Yumi Touma as Urd
Ikue Ohtani as Sora Hasegawa
Issei Futamata as Ohtaki-senpai
Kiyoyuki Yanada as Toraichi Tamiya
Mamiko Noto as Sayoko Mishima
Nobuo Tobita as Toshiyuki Aoshima
Urara Takano as Marller
Yuriko Fuchizaki as Megumi Morisato
Keiichi Morisato is a student at Nihama Institute of Technology (which from what I recall is made up). He’s a member of the school’s automotive club, and he’s genuinely nice person (as opposed to a Nice Guy). His only real problems is he’s got a big streak of bad luck. This changes (sort of), when his call is re-directed to the Goddess Help Line, where Belldandy, (a Goddess) grants him one wish, as a reward for his kindness and generosity. His choice, “Gee, I wish I had a girlfriend just like you.” Hilarity and romance ensue.
It’s a romantic comedy anime with, for once, no major love triangle. We essentially get it established by about episode 3 of a 26 episode show that Keiichi loves Belldandy, and the feeling is mutual. From that point on, most of the “drama” in the episodes is related to Belldandy and Keiichi trying to have romantic moments together, and having to contend with various interruptions – particularly once Belldandy’s sisters, Urd and Skuld move in with the two.
It helps that Keiichi isn’t particularly spineless – most of the time when he’s trying to have a romantic interlude with Belldandy, things fall flat not because of lack of courage on Keiichi’s part, but because of some sort of interference and interruption.
Frankly, towards the middle of the series, Keiichi ends up holding the “Spineless ball” a few times, and Belldandy ends up holding the “Naive Ball”. Those circumstances are confined to their episodes, but it’s still a little annoying. Skuld can also get really annoying when she’s really trying to get between Keiichi and Belldandy (not because she’s in love with Keiichi, but because she’s the overprotective younger sister).
Also, this series is definitely guilty of misusing Norse Mythology (in Norse Mythology, Urd, Skuld, and Belldandy were more of the Maiden, Mother & Crone archtypes).
Nudity & Violence Notes
No nudity. No violence. There are 2 attempted rapes, but the attempts fail and the rapists get their comeuppance.
Originality: It’s an adaptation of a very long running manga – though it compresses things more than a bit. 4 out of 6.
Acting: The acting is generally good. It helps that most of the cast are reprising their roles from the OVA series from the 90s. 5 out of 6.
Animation: The animation is pretty good for most of the series, though like most 26 episode series, there’s a bit of a quality drop towards the middle of the series (which makes sense, because they’re saving money for the conclusion of the series). 4 out of 6.
Production: The music is pretty good, though I actually like the interior music instead of the OP and ED. The sound design is generally solid as well. 4 out of 6.
Story: The show is mostly episodic, but there are enough little bits carried on throughout the show that if you stick around for the whole thing, you’ll feel somewhat rewarded. 4 out of 6.
Emotional Response: I have to admit – I’ve got a romantic streak. This series successfully appeals to that streak by having a romantic relationship that doesn’t feel particularly abusive – either with the main female love interest beating on the male lead, or with the male lead *ahem* leading on multiple female love interests. 6 out of 6.
Overall: This is one of my favorite romantic comedy anime series, and I’d say it’s a good pick for a Valentine’s Day anime. 6 out of 6.
In Total, Ah! My Goddess Season 1 gets 33 out of 42.