Ah! My Goddess TV Vol. #4 - Mania.com

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  • 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. #4

By Bryan Morton     September 28, 2007
Release Date: August 06, 2007

Ah! My Goddess TV Vol. #4
© MVM Entertainment

What They Say
Programmed for love!

The days never grow long at the Morisato residence, where Skuld builds a robot to protect Belldandy from Keiichi's hesitant advances. Unfortunately, when the robot itself falls in love with everyone's favorite goddess, it won't let anyone near her.

Then the gang heads to the beach for summer break, and Urd pulls out two of her favorite things: swimsuits and love schemes. Keiichi gets a mission: if he can't kiss Belldandy on the moonlit beach, he won't be able to be with her forever!

Episodes Comprise
15 " Ah! A Heart Stolen by a Goddess?
16 " Ah! Misfortune Arrives and the Tea-Stalk Stands Upright?
17 " Ah! What do Talent and Hard Work Have to Do With It?
18 " Ah! Confess Your Love Under the Moon?

The Review!
While Marller continues her efforts to bring misfortune on Keiichi and Belldandy, and Skuld continues her efforts to keep her big sister to herself, Keiichi tries to work up the courage to tell Belldandy how he feels about her. It would be a lot easier if the rest of the gang would ever give them five minutes of peace and quiet " but where would the fun in that be..?

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 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.

No packaging was provided with our review copy.

A flurry of feathers brings the main menu into view, with an image the three goddesses in their swimsuits 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.

Another volume with not many extras on offer " another screenshot gallery and a clean version of the ending sequence are all you get.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Four more episodes of comic mayhem from Keiichi and the girls, with a little bit of sappy romance thrown in for good measure " this time around, Skuld's latest robotic invention falls in love with Belldandy " and has the firepower needed to make sure no-one else can get close to his new love; Marller resorts to even more underhand methods than usual in her efforts to bring misfortune on Belldandy & Keiichi; Hasegawa suffers from a bad case of nerves when the boys enter her into an all-girls go-kart race; and Megumi tries to help the course of true love along by sending Keiichi and Belldandy on an all-expenses paid holiday, but sadly Skuld and Urd find a way to tag along.

While you can't really argue that Skuld's quite the genius, if I was her boss I'd be having harsh words about quality control " if I caused as many inadvertent explosions and other mishaps as her robots do, I'd either be unemployed or divorced, depending on what got blown up. Her latest creation, the Big Sister Helper Robot Banpei RX, at least limits himself to just using so much power that nothing else in the shrine works, and having him fall in love with Belldandy is a fun little diversion. He hangs around once that little glitch has been dealt with, becoming the gang's new full-time bodyguard " his methods of dealing with Marller are especially appropriate.

The best comedy on the disc comes from episode 16, though, which sees Marller possessing Megumi's body and unleashing a demon of misfortune on Keiichi, leading to him ending up in all sorts of compromising situations. With each mishap Belldandy's temper gets close to breaking point (you can't tell this by looking a her, but if you look at what's going on around her you'll see what I mean), and each time Marller's thwarted when Keiichi's able to find a lucky way to save himself. Great fun, and the only real laugh-a-moment episode here.

Anyone still holding out hope of a public confession of love by our lead lovebirds will really appreciate the final episode on the disc " being a beach episode, it also throws a certain amount of fanservice in there, but the real point is to give Belldandy and Keiichi some space to tell each other how they feel, and even with Skuld and Urd in the way (Urd trying to egg them on in her usual over-the-top way, Skuld trying to make sure Keiichi doesn't steal her beloved big sis from her) they do get enough time together to get things off their chests. Ish. Sort of.

If there's anything wrong with this disc, it's that it's just more of the same of what we've had on the previous three. On one level there's nothing wrong with that " all the stories here are perfectly enjoyable, and if you've enjoyed the series so far you won't feel you've wasted your time with these episodes " but part of me's always hoping for something a little different from Ah! My Goddess, and this disc doesn't really provide that.

In summary:
I still enjoy Ah! My Goddess, but there's a "more of the same" feel about this disc that did spoil the experience just a little. There are still some great moments of comedy & romance here, though, and overall there's no reason to pass on this volume if you've enjoyed the rest of the series before now. Nothing spectacular, then, but still an enjoyable series.

Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 2.0,English Subtitles,Clean Closing Sequence,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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