Ah! My Goddess: Flights of Fancy Vol. #3 (of 6) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, August 30, 2007
Release Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2007
What They Say
Ever since Peorth came to live with Keiichi, he's wished she would return to heaven. The only way to get Peorth to leave is for Keiichi to let her grant him a real wish, but what could a guy who already lives with three goddesses possibly need?! Then, someone arrives at the auto club who strikes fear into the hearts of the senior members! The stranger challenges Keiichi to a race, but what's really at stake in this contest? And Urd's long-lost love returns. He's determined to win Urd back, but he's convinced Keiichi presents a threat. Unfortunately, he's the jealous type, and poor Keiichi may get caught in the middle of this supernatural sweetheart's spat! The excitement continues in volume three of Ah! My Goddess Two - Flights of Fancy!
The Peorth saga concludes with a healthy dose of sexy fanservice and the series moves on to more standalone tales.
This season is little different from the previous one in that it has the two standard tracks associated with it. Both the Japanese and English tracks are done in a stereo mix which comes across well though fairly simple. The show is generally dialogue driven with only some mild moments of ambient sound or use of magic so there isn't a lot of activity for it in general. In listening to both tracks they sound pretty comparable in terms of dialogue placement. We didn't have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally airing in 2006, the transfer for this series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. With solid production values and plenty of light animation scenes, the transfer for this show in general looks very solid and pleasing on the eye. Outside of a couple of areas of noise with some of the characters hair, this is a very clean looking show. The only area that looks bad is during the opening sequences as there is some noticeable blocking going on in the backgrounds. The opening also looks pretty horrible for the font used for the credits, though not anywhere near as bad as the scrolling end credits which are almost unreadable at times.
With a lot of white space and a white keepcase as well, Peorth takes the stage with a cover to herself and her goddess behind her. The soft green used works well with the design as it allows for Peorth to really stand out here. The logo, with the addition of "Flights of Fancy", is done in silver which looks great against the soft green shadow around it. The back cover is similar in color and design as the left side features the summary and a few shots of the show. The right side has more shots as well as a breakdown of the discs extras and production information. The technical grid along the bottom has all the pertinent information in an easy to read format as well as including the total number of volumes in the series. No insert or booklet is included with this release.
The menu design keeps to the same kind of feeling as it uses a brief clip of animation from the opening with Belldandy holding the bagpipes as petals float by. Having the clouds slowly move by looks great as it goes underneath the larger area where the navigation is. Episodes are selectable from the top while the languages and extras section are quick and easy to access. The disc correctly read our players' language presets and defaulted to Japanese with full subtitles.
The third volume of the series has a couple of good extras on it. For dub fans, there's a commentary track by English voice actors for Chihiro and Troubadour in which they talk about their experiences with the series. The clean opening and closing sequences are included as well here.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While Ah! My Goddess has always had some element of fanservice to it, the arrival of Peorth has severely upped the sexiness factor. Urd has been such a regular for so long now that her skimpy outfits come across as positively tame in comparison to Peorth's. The same can be said for their approach to things, though more of that comes from their situations. Peorth is certainly an interesting character to have around, but in the way that you don't mind the visit but you hope they don't stay too long.
The first two episodes on this volume deal with Peorth and her continued need to grant Keiichi's wish. That's still not going well overall since Keiichi doesn't really know what he wants, and partially because he already has what he really wants. But like any man in any relationship, he really does want more but is having a hard time vocalizing it. Peorth has the basic idea right, though she's seemingly more intent on seducing him with his desires rather than getting Keiichi to just be more honest with Belldandy about what he wants. You have to feel for Keiichi though, as much of a weak lead as he is, just how easy is it to make a move on a Goddess? Particularly one as seemingly sweet and innocent as Belldandy is.
When Keiichi does make his wish, almost accidentally, the series makes a pleasant turn into some more seriously sexy fun. While we've had those moments before, with Urd showing off plenty of skin or Belldandy in her swimsuit, Peorth just has a real sense of sexuality about her and isn't afraid to use it. It really differs from Urd's playful manner since she's only messing with Keiichi while Peorth is looking to fulfill a wish. The swimsuit aspect figures into things once again as well as an indoor pool is the center place of attention for a bit. In a way, you almost feel bad for Peorth since the reason she was called down is valid but there are mitigating personality issues to all of it. Her issues with Belldandy do start to come out though and they wrap things up smoothly enough so that the entire arc can be moved past.
The second half of the disc is a bit more traditional as the two standalone stories play in familiar ground while introducing some new characters. Each of them offers something new that builds on what has come before without seemingly overpowering all of it. The first story gives us a nice look at the Auto Club and what it was like earlier when the first club manager returns to check in on Otaki and Tamiya. Naturally, those two cleared out at the first sign of her coming since they've messed things up quite a bit since she was there, both in terms of the club itself and some of the equipment. Chihiro is a fun character since she's got plenty of passion and drive but also a bit more maturity as she's out working in the world based on what she got into during her college years.
The other story deals with the past as well as an old romantic interest of Urd's returns. Through some simple but amusing flashback sequences, we see the brief romance that she shared with a heavenly being named Troubadour. The slightly foppish man who is as his name suggests, is a musician who travels with his harp as he is in search of the Golden Nightingale. He can only become its master after unlocking a scroll that contains the song needed to call it. Naturally, there are issues between he and Urd over how their relationship ended and Urd is trying to convince him, and herself, that she's actually over him. What proves to be the most amusing about it is how Troubadour misinterprets Urd's situation in regards to Keiichi. Even Belldandy misinterprets a bad looking situation in a completely different manner later on that sends the visuals of a threesome down every adult viewers mind.
Ah! My Goddess hits up another solid four episodes in its franchise here with stories that are familiar yet still a lot of fun. The manga has quite a few volumes to it so it's great to finally see things beyond the first few OVAs animated at long last. The introduction of Peorth has been a lot of fun but it was smartly kept to just a particular arc instead of her becoming a new resident. The addition of some more background stories hasn't altered what has come before but rather built nicely on it. If anyone makes out poorly in these episodes, it's Belldandy and Skuld who have very little to do outside of a few cute expressions and a few mild comments. Yet even with that, these were quite a lot of fun to watch and it just flew by. Fans of the series will definitely enjoy these latest episodes.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Clean Opening,Clean Closing,Commentary with Veronica Taylor (Chihiro) and Dan Green (Troubadour),
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.
Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Ah! My Goddess