Ah! My Goddess: Flights of Fancy Vol. #2 (also w/box) - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: TV PG
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98/39.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ah! My Goddess

Ah! My Goddess: Flights of Fancy Vol. #2 (also w/box)

By Chris Beveridge     August 20, 2007
Release Date: July 10, 2007


Ah! My Goddess: Flights of Fancy Vol. #2 (also w/box)
© ADV Films


What They Say
Just when it looks like smooth sailing for Keiichi and Belldandy, trouble comes along to rock their dream boat! Two lovely ladies arrive on the scene to vie for the affections of one Keiichi Morisato, and they don't seem like the kind to take "no" for an answer.

First, Keiichi gets a mysterious love letter from a beautiful stranger who accidentally unleashes the hound of hell! Then, a new First Class Goddess named Peorth comes to town, and she plans to fulfill all of Keiichi's wishes. How will Keiichi and Belldandy's relationship fare against these challenges? Will Belldandy's jealousy cause a heavenly upheaval?

Contains episodes 5-8.

The Review!
While much of the series is more of the same, it adds in the twist of a new character as Peorth arrives to cause all manner of trouble.

Audio:
This season is little different from the previous one in that it has the two standard tracks associated with it. Both the Japanese and English tracks are done in a stereo mix which comes across well though fairly simple. The show is generally dialogue driven with only some mild moments of ambient sound or use of magic so there isn't a lot of activity for it in general. In listening to both tracks they sound pretty comparable in terms of dialogue placement. We didn't have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in 2006, the transfer for this series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. With solid production values and plenty of light animation scenes, the transfer for this show in general looks very solid and pleasing on the eye. Outside of a couple of areas of noise with some of the characters hair, this is a very clean looking show. The only area that looks bad is during the opening sequences as there is some noticeable blocking going on in the backgrounds. The opening also looks pretty horrible for the font used for the credits, though not anywhere near as bad as the scrolling end credits which are almost unreadable at times.

Packaging:
With a lot of white space and a white keepcase as well, Urd gets to have a cover to herself while her angelic-like incarnation swoops out from behind her. . The logo, with the addition of "Flights of Fancy", is done in silver which looks great against the soft pink shadow around it. The back cover is similar in color and design as the left side features the summary and a few shots of the show. The right side has more shots as well as a breakdown of the discs extras and production information. The technical grid along the bottom has all the pertinent information in an easy to read format as well as including the total number of volumes in the series. No insert or booklet is included with this release.

As is now common among ADV Films titles, the second volume is where you'll find the disc+box variant if they're going to do it. The box for this release is an interesting one for ADV as they haven't done many, if any, like it. Using a plastic slipcover around the box that features feathers on it, it accents the heavy chipboard box itself which is laid out with various images of the goddesses. Peorth and Urd are on the main panels while one of the side panels has the main trio of goddesses together and the other has Keiichi and his sister along with Belldandy. While the slipcover is unusual for and ADV Films release, so is the split box where you take the top three quarters of it off to get to the discs. It looks great overall with lots of detail and colors but that slipcover is easy to damage and will take a fair bit of abuse as more volumes are added.

Menu:
The menu design keeps to the same kind of feeling as it uses a brief clip of animation from the opening with Belldandy holding the bagpipes as petals float by. Having the clouds slowly move by looks great as it goes underneath the larger area where the navigation is. Episodes are selectable from the top while the languages and extras section are quick and easy to access. The disc correctly read our players' language presets and defaulted to Japanese with full subtitles.

Extras:
The second volume of the series has a couple of good extras on it. For dub fans, there's a commentary track by English voice actors for Belldandy and Peorth which runs through a lot of the usual and expected material. The clean opening and closing sequences are included as well here.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Having long ago come to grips with how Ah! My Goddess will play out as a series with it being so closely tied to the manga, I can't really say that the show disappoints me. With a simple approach and a good natured lighthearted charm to it, it doesn't offend and it really doesn't grow much but it does make me smile. It's good clean fun that's wonderfully easy to use to introduce to a lot of people and especially a younger crowd.

The second volume in the Flights of Fancy series does provide something new that hasn't been seen before in that we get a fourth goddess. Keiichi has some of the best and worst luck in the world and this volume just proves it all the more. While he's been lucky enough to have Belldandy as his most chaste girlfriend, he's been saddled with her two sisters that cause copious amounts of trouble. That gets kicked up a notch when he makes a phone call and ends up making a connection to the Earth Help Center and a goddess in need of doing some actual work. Enter Peorth, a combination of all three sisters in a way with a costume that's just too skimpy and likely requires angels to hold it up in places.

Unfortunately for Keiichi, even though he has a contract with Belldandy, there isn't a clause that lets him get out of this one. Even worse is that Peorth and Belldandy seem to have some outstanding issues, or at last Peorth does. When she realizes that there is a serious contract going on between Belldandy and Keiichi, she does her best to either seduce Keiichi away or get him to really wish for what he wants. She's having a difficult time coming to grips with what Belldandy is involved in and that Keiichi is actually as, well, innocent and slow as he is. Even Urd is sympathetic with her for a bit as she's still having a hard time herself believing that the pair are as cute and gooey as they are. Peorth's attempts run about two episodes worth of this volume but she's the kind of character you know isn't going away soon.

As much fun as she is, she doesn't quite dominate this volume as there are other simple tales to tell. Probably the most amusing one is the first in that it deals with a tall blonde. Otaki is half of the amusing pair at the school along with Tamiya that just can't seem to catch a break or have a clue. Otaki is actually closer to having a life than most would suspect as there is a cute and innocent girl he likes who, as luck would have it, actually likes him as well. With a bit of help from Belldandy, there is a comical swift romance that takes place which involves a surprising amount of cosplay. Similar to Keiichi's relationship with Belldandy, there isn't anything really overt here and it's all sweet and silly which really works well for Otaki.

Similar to this is a story wherein Keiichi gets a love note from another student who has some serious interest in him. Though he's all set to turn her down and move on with his life, the young woman just won't let it go since her interest in him has to do with the occult. She can't help but believe that someone like him is possessed and she wants to perform an exorcism on him. Amusingly enough, the others let her go ahead with this since they can't believe she'll actually do anything. Belldandy has a bit more of a problem with it since she has some pangs of potential jealousy over the way the young woman deals with Keiichi but all of that takes a back seat when her amateurish incantations just go disastrously wrong. The most priceless moments in this story go to Skuld however as she just completely wigs out when it all goes bad.

In Summary:
The introduction of Peorth into the series gives us something new yet familiar. The addition of another goddess certainly can upset the balance of things, especially as she seems to be a combination of the others both in personality and visuals, but Peorth really does add a bit of excitement and fun to the show since she's unpredictable. She has some cute and sweet moments but she'll also go the distance with some sultry and sexy lingerie when she intends to seduce away Keiichi. Combined with a pair of fun standalone stories, this installment of the franchise really does provide more of the same but it's good clean fun that for some reason still manages to entertain me after all these years. Fans of the series will certainly like the introduction of Peorth and the way she's able to mildly shake things up for everyone.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles, Commentary with Eileen Stevens (Belldandy) and Juliet Cesario (Peorth), Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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