Ah! My Goddess TV Vol. #5 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: TV PG
  • 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. #5

By Bryan Morton     October 23, 2007
Release Date: October 01, 2007


Ah! My Goddess TV Vol. #5
© MVM Entertainment


What They Say
For the Morisato household, it is a time of change. First Belldandy has a change of attitude, from perfectly innocent to the perfect opposite. A little magic accident gives Keiichi's gender a change of its own. Urd has some changes in store when she walks away from her job in an attempt to save her sister's life. She has her powers revoked, and she turns to "the Devil in Miss Urd" to get them back.

Episodes Comprise
19 - Ah! Please Don't Look at Me Like That!?
20 - Ah! If You're a Real Man, Save the Goddess?
21 - Ah! What Wouldn't I Give for an Angel With White Wings?!
22 - Ah! The Devil's Whisper Coming from an Urn?

The Review!
For anyone who’s been waiting impatiently for Keiichi and Belldandy to get it on, this volume finally delivers. Sort of. Meanwhile, Urd’s lost her goddess license, and Marller’s latest plan doesn’t work out quite as she expected it to…

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 the Belldandy and Keiichi with their crash helments 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:
Another volume with not many extras on offer - another screenshot gallery and a line-art gallery are all you get.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
The lack of any real progress between him and Belldandy is beginning to get to Keiichi - and he's not the only one. In fact, the only person who seems happy with the way things are going (or not, as the case may be) is Skuld. Once again, Urd takes it upon herself to try and move things along - but when Skuld finds out she's up to something, she takes her own steps to ruin Urd's plans. They don't quite have the desired effect, though, as Belldandy suddenly becomes a lot more forward with Keiichi.

Later, Marller's braves the underworld in search of a legendary urn, which she hopes will be of use in getting her own back on Urd & the others. She manages to retrieve it, too - although not without having to make an effort - and sets about unleashing its power on an unsuspecting city. The first evidence that something's wrong: a string of bad luck, seemingly affecting everyone Keiichi knows. Usually it falls to Urd to deal with Marller's plans, but since her operating license has been temporarily revoked by the Almighty, she's stuck on the sidelines – and the lack of magic leaves her open to temptation. If getting her magic back means turning to the Darkside, so be it - the Lord of Terror has an opening…

A firm emphasis on comedy this volume, with all sorts of mayhem from Keiichi being turned into a woman (and suiting a school uniform scarily well), to Belldandy becoming a bit of a harlot and Urd facing the lure of her demonic side. There are a few serious moments thrown in for good measure, but they’re on the sidelines of all the fun. The problem is that, while all that comedy is certainly enjoyable to watch – I don’t think anyone could call these episodes bad, by any stretch of the imagination - they just don’t really advance the main event (the Keiichi / Belldandy relationship) by all that much.

The best moments here belong to Urd, who gets a lot of the attention through a look at her past and some of the consequences that’s having on her present. Let’s just say that she’s susceptible to the lure of evil in episode 22 for a reason. She’s probably got the most personality out of the three goddesses, so having her be the focus of the show for pretty much two full episodes is no bad thing – her mayhem pulls attention away from the fact that nothing’s really happening between the lovebirds (that isn’t prompted by magical influences, anyway), and her antics are enjoyable to watch, whereas Skuld’s are just annoying. There’s just something about her whole driven-by-jealousy attitude that rubs me up the wrong way.

Unlike most discs, where each story more-or-less stands on its own, this disc ends on a clear cliffhanger, with Marller being close to achieving her goal of ruining Belldandy’s day – although her plan still isn’t playing out quite how she’d like it to, she’ll take whatever victories she can get. It’s a good place to leave the story, as for once I’m now quite eager to get my hands on the next volume to see what happens next, which isn’t a feeling I’ve had about the previous volumes. I do enjoy Ah! My Goddess, but while it always brings a smile to my face, it does also have a few niggling faults that stop it from being a must-see release.

In summary:
More of the same from Ah! My Goddess in a lot of ways, then, but the disc is saved by a heavy serving of Urd and her antics, and some good comedy moments that almost make you forget that Keiichi and Belldandy still aren’t making any romantic progress. No matter how much you realise that they never will, it’s still a frustration that they don’t just get on with it – but these things were sent to try us. Overall, plenty here to enjoy, despite the failings, and if you’ve enjoyed the previous volumes then this one won’t disappoint either.

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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