Ah! My Goddess TV Vol. #3 - 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: 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 TV Vol. #3

By Bryan Morton     September 13, 2007
Release Date: June 18, 2007


Ah! My Goddess TV Vol. #3
© MVM Entertainment


What They Say
Dial a Goddess!

Keiichi has enough trouble being close to Belldandy when they're alone, but with her sisters in the picture, he's out of luck. Skuld is Belldandy's bratty younger sister, and keeping Keiichi from monopolizing any goddesses is her number one goal.

The Campus Queen hasn't given up on breaking up the two lovebirds either, and she's got an edge with her new friend, Mara. Let's just say that Mara is something of a devil - literally.

Episodes Comprise
11 - Ah! The Demon Arrives and Wreaks Havoc!?
12 - Ah! Choosing Between the Goddess and a Queen?
13 - Ah! Who Does Big Sister Belong To?
14 - Ah! Teaching a Lesson Called Competition?

The Review!
It's becoming more and more obvious to everyone that Belldandy and Keiichi are becoming inseperable " obvious to everyone but the two loverbirds themselves, at least. But that doesn't mean that it's not worth trying, especially when you're harbouring a serious grudge against the goddess. Enter mischievous demon Marller, who's determined to cause problems for Belldandy...

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 Belldandy and Marller 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:
No too much by way of extras this time out " just two image galleries, one of production lineart and another of screenshots from the show.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Keiichi just can't seem to keep the women away " he may have settled into his little sort-of-relationship with Belldandy, but still others keep turning up to spoil his fun. In the case of Demon First Class Marller, there are practical reasons for this " as well as having a score to settle the Belldandy and Urd for sealing her away inside a thrash metal CD (imagine listening to that for the rest of eternity), the general good vibes and happiness that the lovebirds are broadcasting is causing serious issues of balance that a demon just can't let slide " and so when the auto club senpais inadvertently release Marller from her shiny-disc prison, all bets are off. with Belldandy being more than capable of looking after herself, Marller needs to find an easier target to stand a chance of getting to her. Like Keiichi, for example..?

Later, another problem caused by Belldandy's continued presence on Earth raises its head - this time, a growing number of bugs in the Yggdrasil system that threaten to wreak real havoc if they're allowed to go unsquashed. As it is, Urd's already having problems with holy horses and Keiichi magically appearing in her bath. The solution comes in the form of Belldandy's tech-savvy little sister, Skuld, who arrives on Earth complete with bug-squishing mallet and a slew of other debugging tools - and she firmly believes that the bugs are all Keiichi's fault. Belldandy's heart has become unstable, and as far as Skuld's concerned the only permanent fix is for her sister to abandon her contract and return to Heaven...

While neither of this volume's new arrivals are looking to get their hands on Keiichi for themselves, they're both determined to get him as far away from Belldandy as possible " and for much the same reasons: they're just too damn happy together, and it's causing problems for both demons and gods. I remember Skuld as being one of my favourite characters back in the OVA days, but whether by passage of time or just having her characterised in a different way this time around, I'm not so sure any more, as now she comes across more as a spoilt child looking to get her own way than anything else. Bug-squishing aside, Skuld clearly adores her big sister and would quite happily monopolised her time if she could " and a lot of her efforts to get Keiichi away from Belldandy now flow from her not being able to spend that time with her on Earth. The Yggdrasil bugs are just a convenient excuse. There's some fun to be had with Skuld's antics " especially her over-the-top inventions, even if the idea of them isn't all that original " but it's hardly the highlight of this disc.

That honour goes to Marller (or Mara, depending on whether you take the spelling from the packaging or the subtitles), who truly is a demon in both name and nature and has an almost endless supply of schemes to separate Keiichi and Belldandy. She doesn't really come across as truly evil " Urd's been known to get up to just as much mischief " but it's the purposes her scheming is put to that mark her out as the bad gal of the piece. She's a lot of fun to watch, and a character I'd definitely hope to see more of as the series goes on.

The last episode on this disc features an invention battle between the little sisters (Megumi and Skuld) to see whose tech skills are greatest. It's a fun little episode, but nothing that really contributes much to the story, such that it is. As filler between the Keiichi / Belldandy stories it works well, but that's about all there is to it.

In summary:
As before, this volume doesn't do anything to radically change the Ah! My Goddess setup " even the arrival of the new characters doesn't really shake things up that much. What it does do is provide another 4 episodes of light-hearted comedy with a sugar-coating, that should easily be able to keep most people entertained for an hour or so & leave them with a good feeling inside, and that works for me.

Features
Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 2.0,English Subtitles,Line Art Gallery,Screenshot Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba 37X3030DB 37" widescreen HDTV; Sony PS3 Blu-ray player (via HDMI, upscaled to 1080p); Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.

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