Oh My Goddess Vol. #2 (of 2) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, October 09, 2001
Release Date: Tuesday, October 09, 2001

What They Say
Episode 4: Evergreen Holy Night
Keiichi's life finally seems to be getting back to normal (or at least as normal as life gets when you live in a temple with 3 goddesses!). Yes, he does get strange dreams, and yes, Urd and Skuld are a pain, but what the heck - his girlfriend is truly divine! Alas, System Bugs are escaping from the Heavens, upsetting the balance of the Earthly Plane.

Skuld gets on the case, and soon discovers that whenever Belldandy and Keiichi get close, a Bug Exhaust Port is formed. Until the problem is solved, Belldandy and Keiichi can't be together. Then Belldandy gets a Notice of Recall from the Lord. She has to go back to the Heavens, or else!

Episode 5: For the Love of Goddess
You'd think with a goddess as a girlfriend, Keiichi's life would be Heaven, but the fact is, it's coming to resemble the other after-life address. If he even gets close to Belldandy, Bugs escape onto the Earthly Plane and foul up the works. Worse, the Lord has slapped her with a Recall Notice.

In two days, she has to relocate home to Heaven. As the clock ticks down, Belldandy must begin to erase herself from Keiichi's life and memory. And Keiichi? He's working his fingers to the bone so he can buy a ring for Belldandy. A ring that will fulfill a promise... a promise he doesn't remember making!

The Review!
The second and final volume of the Oh My Goddess! OVA series brings the small arc to a satisfying conclusion while leaving plenty of things open for the future. There's a fair bit less comedy in these episodes, but the emotional and dramatic sides to it more than makes up for it.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. After all these years, Belldandy's voice actress continues to be one of my favorites, so listening to it in its original language is a must. This is a pretty decent stereo soundtrack, with the majority of the dialogue coming through the center channel and the left/right making fairly decent use of the music and sound effects. Throughout this track we didn't notice any distortions or dropouts.

The problems I had with the first volume are pretty evident here as well. The main offense continues to be the awful amount of cross coloration. Right from the prologue, when the camera pans up on Belldandy, her entire outfit was alive with rainbows. They continue to show up elsewhere throughout the show in clothes, hair and other foreground objects. Also much like the first disc, your gear is going to show it or not. Our Apex on the 19" TV doesn't show the cross coloration in the beginning sequence at all.

Though still a bit darker than I'd normally like, the cover art for this volume are a bit lighter with the character artwork itself being very light and airy, showing each of the three goddesses with their wings stretched out. The back cover provides an additional piece of animation artwork while giving a good summary for both episodes and the special features. Technical information is also nicely listed along the bottom in an easy to read format. No insert or liner notes were included with this release.

The menus done up for this release came out pretty nice, with animation and music playing while you can make the selections. It also appears that it's based on which language you have selected, as when I changed it to the make your own dub track, there was no music playing in the background. Access times are nice and fast between menus and everything is laid out in a pretty straightforward manner.

The included extras for this disc are basically a repeat of the first volume. A three minute or so video gallery shows some nice cel animation artwork and some other very detailed pieces of artwork. The dub-your-own-show track is included again as well as the continuation of the commentary track that was on the first volume. The couple of places I checked out the commentary track seems to indicate a bit more dead space than the first volume and more of a "let's watch the show and make a few jokes" track. There's still some interesting info in there, but it seems to be a bit less informative than the first disc. The back cover also lists uncaptioned music clips from the opening and closing songs, which I'm translating as textless openings and endings. I was unable to find these.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The two episodes here form one rather nice hour long episode. It's been about nine months since Belldandy arrived and moved in with Keiichi. When stepping outside one morning, Keiichi and Belldandy are surprised to see a lot of snow in the yard, where Urd and Skuld are using magic and technology to have a snowball fight. Keiichi decides to get to work on his latest project and goes to check the streets to see how much snow is there, only to be startled by the complete lack of snow there. Only his residence was snowed.

Fearing that this may show up on the news and he'd have to try and explain (and that Urd would get involved somehow), Keiichi heads off to shovel the snow off the roof while Skuld builds a snow removal device. Keiichi works hard, but ends up stumbling over something and falls off the roof. To his surprise as well as to the surprise of others, the something turns out to be one of the system bugs found in heaven. Now they've found a way down to Earth.

This freaks out Skuld who chases after them, while Belldandy begins to get concerned and ends up receiving a call from the Lord. Apparently there's an "exhaust port" that's been opened when Belldandy and Keiichi get close to each other that allows the bugs to move between locations and cause all kinds of havoc. The Lord informs her that she's being recalled in three days time and that's all there is to it.

Now that they can't be together, and their time is running out, both are unsure on how to proceed. Keiichi's been having flashbacks to his childhood, and opts to take as many jobs as he can for the next couple of days so he can buy her an expensive ring to make sure that she'll always remember him. Belldandy takes the time to knit him a sweater and to pray to the Lord to give her the one wish that she wants, to be with Keiichi. Urd and Skuld? Up to no good in coming up with a plan to keep everyone together on Earth.

As mentioned before, these episodes are definitely more in the dramatic side than the comedic, though there's still a fair number of funny moments. The dramatic side really takes center stage here and everyone does a good job in pulling it off, especially Keiichi in how he throws himself into a large amount of work to earn some extra money to get the ring that he needs.

Unfortunately, just like the first volume, the amount of video problems here make it hard for me to recommend it. It doesn't look good on our system for a lot of it, but there are a number of really great looking scenes. They're just outweighed by the heavy cross coloration scenes. If you had good luck with the first volume, you'll probably have just as good a time with this one. If you had nothing but trouble with the first volume, you've probably already started to figure out how to get the imports.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Commentary track featuring voice actors Juliet Cesario Scott Simpson Pamela Widener and Voice Director Scott Houle,Music and sound effects track,Slideshow featuring production cels and slides

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: C
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: AnimEigo
MSRP: 24.95
Running time: 69
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Ah! My Goddess