Ah! My Goddess TV Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: MVM Entertainment
  • MSRP: ┬£19.99
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ah! My Goddess

Ah! My Goddess TV Vol. #2

By Bryan Morton     July 24, 2007
Release Date: April 16, 2007


Ah! My Goddess TV Vol. #2
© MVM Entertainment


What They Say
Keiichi's life with Belldandy becomes a little more complicated with the instroduction of Megumi, Keiichi's little sister. She wants to help Belldandy get closer to her brother, and ends up sending them on a romantic date. Unfortunately, Keiichi's wish has thrown a few bugs into Heaven's computer, and the System Force crashes!

Belldandy's older sister Urd comes down from On High to fix the problem, but she decides it would be more fun to fix Keiichi instead. What will happen when she convinces Keiichi that the only way to fix the system is for him to kiss Belldandy?

Episodes Comprise
6 - Ah! A Blessing in Every Bargain?
7 - Ah! Where to Confess One's Love?
8 - Ah! Can you Pass the Love Test with Those Low Scores?
9 - Ah! The Queen and the Goddess' Secret
10 - Ah! Can the Auto Club Triumph?

The Review!
Life together continues for Keiichi and Belldandy, and while there's no realistic prospect of them ever reaching first base, it's not for lack of desire on either side or lack of effort from those around them to try and prod things along. Balldandy's elder sister has even come down from heaven to help " and with methods that would make most people wish she hadn't bothered. There's definitely some fun to be had along the way, though...

Audio:
Audio for this release is provided in Japanese and English 2.0 stereo " I listened to the Japanese track for this review. The soundtrack is clear, with dialogue being easy to pick out over the background effects, and good use is made of the soundstage to give direction to speech. There were no obvious encoding problems.

Video:
Video is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, and after the disappointing quality of the OVA's release is a joy to watch. The quality of the animation is high, with good use of colour and detail to give a very vibrant feel to the series. The encoding does justice to the source material, too, with no noticeable problems to spoil one very good-looking release.

Packaging:
No packaging was provided with our review copy.

Menu:
A flurry of feathers brings the main menu into view, with an image of the three goddesses taking centre stage and a series of clips from the show drifting past in bubbles. Submenus are provided for Setup and Extras - these are each static screens, with Belldandy featuring on the Setup menu. Options are also provided for Play All and for direct access to each episode.

Extras:
Not as many extras this time around, sadly. Along with a clean version of the closing credits, the original Japanese versions of both the opening and closing sequences are provided, and that's your lot.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Three days to payday, and 500 yen to spend - meaning the chances of eating well for the next few days aren't looking good for Keiichi and Belldandy, especially since the fridge is already empty. Belldandy may not be able to conjure up food, but she can conjure up good fortune. Allegedly. No sooner has she finished incanting her spell, though, than Keiichi's little sister Megumi arrives at the door, and Keiichi immediately has some explaining to do. At least she brought food with her. Keiichi's not at all keen on the idea of Megumi moving herself in - it's hard enough for him to get frisky with Belldandy when no-one else is around, thank you - so finding his little sister an apartment of her own soon becomes Keiichi's top priority. But with Megumi's skewed expectations, that's easier said than done - especially when the most likely apartment seems to be haunted...

Megumi seems to have a small dose of brother-worship going on, which Keiichi could well do without " hence his desire to get his little sister her own apartment as quickly as possible, despite there being a distinct feeling she had no intention of staying anywhere but with her brother. As ever, nothing is as simple as it seems, and along the way to Megumi gaining independence there are minor problems like poltergeist to deal with (actually, an Earth Spirit 3rd Class who looks suspiciously like Gan-chan from the Mini-Goddess series in his natural form). What, you expected a serious story from this series!?

Episode 7 almost provides one, with Belldandy learning about the White Day tradition of giving a gift to the man in your life. She's still very naïve about life on Earth, and a series of misunderstandings and some deliberately bad advice from Mishima soon leads her into trouble. While it's possibly the most romantic episode on the disc, though, there are still a lot of laughs to be had from the way things play out, from the way Belldandy deals with unwanted attention to her complete cluelessness about how to deal with Keiichi on the day.

This volume also sees the arrival of Belldandy's elder sister, Urd " she's a mischievous and extremely well-proportioned goddess with a determination to see her sister & Keiichi properly get together, by fair means or foul. There's nothing she won't stoop to in her efforts to ignite some passion between the two of them, and the way it's done ramps the comedy up another notch and created some great slapstick scenes. Of course, the chances of her plans ever succeeding are essentially zero (as are the odd of Keichii and Belldandy ever getting it on on-screen, I suspect), but that doesn't harm the enjoyment you get from seeing her try. Full marks for effort.

The remaining episodes see Mishima and campus casanova Aoshima both trying to find out more about Belldandy's origins " they've both figured out that there's something unusual about her and are both determined to get to the bottom of it, although for very different reasons " while Belldandy's well-hidden competitive streak comes to the fore when the future of the Auto Club depends on her and Keiichi winning a race against the Four Wheels Club, who are quite happy to use underhand methods to try and ensure their victory.

The lack of romantic progress between Keiichi and Belldandy is always going to be the big frustration with Ah! My Goddess, but given that refusing to resolve a relationship seems to be an essential feature of stories like this, it's not really surprising " just something to get used to. The comedy aspect offsets that well, though " the five episodes here are never less than entertaining, and the arrival of Urd and her over-the-top interference in everyone else's affairs just makes things even more enjoyable.

In summary:
More of the same from Ah! My Goddess, in some ways " plenty of comedy, a little bit of romance, and endless frustration at the lack of directness on the parts of both Keiichi and Belldandy. That's all part of the experience, of course, and Urd's arrival adds a new level of slapstick and scheming " she's definitely a great character. All told, these episodes are never less than enjoyable, and in places are very good indeed " and that makes for a release that's well worth watching.

Features
Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 2.0,English Subtitles,Clean Closing Sequence,Japanese Opening & Closing Sequences

Review Equipment
Toshiba 37X3030DB 37" widescreen HDTV; Pioneer DV-626D DVD player; Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.

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