Ah! My Goddess TV Vol. #6 - 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: 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. #6

By Bryan Morton     December 03, 2007
Release Date: December 03, 2007


Ah! My Goddess TV Vol. #6
© MVM Entertainment


What They Say
Belldandy and Keiichi are caught up in the battle over the Earth's Fate when The Lord of Terror suddenly takes over Urd! The Lord of Terror summons the Demon gate, and woe to us all if she opens it! The world will be overrun by demons.

The Valkyrie, Lind, is sent from heaven to execute The Lord of Terror by any means necessary and whatever host body it happens to be using. Belldandy in turn is given the holy flute to summon the mighty Midgard Serpent to fight, but The Lord of Terror can jump from one body into another, therefore escaping peril. Will she be able to take up arms against her sister Urd, or Skuld, or even Keiichi?

Episodes Comprise
23 - Ah! The Savior of the World Arrives with the Sound of the Flute?
24 - Ah! Always By My Side
25 - Ah! Urd's Little Romance
26 - Ah! Is My Heart Pounding Because I'm a Grownup?

The Review!
Ah! My Goddess’s first season draws to a close, with more of a whimper than anything else as the show is still steering clear of doing anything that might annoy fans of the franchise. The end result is okay as far as it goes, but somehow lacking…

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 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:
Art galleries are the order of the day again – three this time, one each for production artwork, cover artwork from the Japanese DVD release, and screenshots from this release.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Urd's awakening as the Lord of Terror leads to problems in heaven, as the resulting power surge crashes the Yggdrasil system and leaves heaven open to attack by demonic forces. Belldandy's aware of what that could mean, so takes it upon herself to break the seal on her own powers - an act that could cost her more than just her Goddess license - and try to deal with the problem herself. Urd, meanwhile, is enjoying tormenting Keiichi and Marller, and plotting to unleash the Ultimate Destruction Program - a way of releasing the demon hordes upon Earth. Activating the Program involves unleashing a very specific amount of chaos first - Belldandy's determined that Urd's not going to get the chance to do that, but she hadn't counted on the Lord of Terror's deviousness...

It’s not often that Ah! My Goddess does anything that could truly be life-threatening for some of the characters, but that’s what we get here, and it’s done really well. While it’s not really what the series is “designed” for, if you like, the two episodes that deal with the Lord of Terror are almost action stories. Perhaps I’d just reached my tolerance limit for romantic comedy, but this story pushed all the right buttons with me – and there was enough humour dropped into the mix to make sure that it didn’t feel too out-of-place compared to the rest of the series.

The final two episodes take the opportunity to take a slightly different look at Urd and Skuld, with Urd taking on the form of a young girl in one and having to deal with a young boy who quickly falls in love with her, and Skuld becoming a full-grown woman in the other and discovering that her feelings for Keiichi aren’t just grounded in jealousy.

The Skuld episode is probably the better of the two – I haven’t really liked the way that Skuld was portrayed in this series (too much of a spoilt brat), but her episode here finally begins to address that and brings her personality more into line with the image I had in my head of her from past exposure to the A!MG universe. Her “date” with Keiichi provides some good moments of fun, while also giving her a few touching little scenes that show that while she’s still a little girl, she’s maybe beginning to grow up on the inside.

Urd’s episode is almost the opposite of that – she’s just a big kid at heart anyway (bottle of sake notwithstanding), and her chance to be a little kid and play with other little kids is something she seizes with both hands, as she knows it isn’t going to last for long. The story here is enjoyable enough, but didn’t grab me quite as well as the other episodes on the disc did.

If you’re looking for any of the fringe characters to get a decent run out, this isn’t the disc for you – Marller features briefly in the first episode, but most this release is all about Keiichi and the three goddesses. As the final disc in the season, that’s appropriate enough, but it does limit things a bit.

Of course, while it’s the final disc in the season, it’s not the final disc in the series, as 2nd season Flights of Fancy will be arriving in the UK in January, courtesy of ADV That means I can’t really criticise for the lack of any Belldandy / Keiichi resolution (which has never going to happen, anyway), or the way the season didn’t end on a real high but instead almost petered out with the Urd & Skuld stories – there’s no need to do anything really special when you’re not done yet. In a way, that’s Ah! My Goddess’ biggest failing – it’ll never be done, really. While I do enjoy the series, I’m also used to my anime eventually coming to an end, and we don’t get that here.

In summary:
As another disc in a long-running series, this volume of Ah! My Goddess delivers exactly what you’d expect from it, with the added bonus of some real action as the Lord of Terror is dealt with. From that point of view, it’s perfectly enjoyable and, if you’ve enjoyed what you’ve seen so far, it’s well worth picking up. I can’t help but feel that I’d enjoy it more if there was an end in sight, though – and as yet, there isn’t.

Features
Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 2.0,English Subtitles,Japanese Cover Art Gallery,Production 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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