Reality is just a crappy game for Keima who is only interested in girls he can acquire and win over in videogames.
What They Say
Katsuragi Keima, a high school sophomore in class 2-B of Majima Academy, is a dating sim master and known as the "God of Conquest." Elci, a demon descended from Hell, comes to speak to Keima for entering into a deal with the devil. In order to protect his life, he must capture the "Loose Souls" which exist in people's hearts. To do this, he must make real-life girls fall in love with him! A loose soul escapes into his classmate, track-and-field athlete Takahara Ayumi's heart. Will he really get her to fall in love with him?!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the manga series Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai by Tamiki Wakaki, The World God Only Knows has had ten volumes come out since it started in 2008 which is a pretty good count compared to some other series. Being a weekly serial in Weekly Shonen Sunday, it's managed to build up a decent fanbase over that time as it follows the life of Keima Katsuraga, a seventeen year old high school student who is mainly interested in just girls, though they tend to be just of the digital game variety as opposed to the real world. In fact, it's amusing that he has little real interest in the real thing, though not a surprise considering other shows that have run down this road before.
Keima's reputation is pretty solid in the gaming community world as he's known as the God of Conquest from his own site due to the way he so masterfully wins so many games. Everything changes for him though with the sudden arrival of Elucia, aka Elci, who has literally dropped out of the sky as Keima apparently signed a contract to help her find "Loose Souls." Though she seemed to have come from above, she's actually from Hell and Keima signed a contract via email without realizing it and is now caught up in this deal where he has to help Elci collect these souls that are in people's hearts. Because of his association and contract with Elci now, through the bureau chief Dokuro, he's able to get a view of the wispy loose souls when he looks at people. And as much as he'd like to just get past the whole thing, he's got a new collar around his neck that may cut off his head if he doesn't do the job right.
The method of helping these loose souls isn't entirely clear, though Elci tells him that all he has to do with the first one she's found, a track runner named Ayumi, is to kiss her. For a guy whose completely conquered women in the virtual world, he's done less than nothing in the real world. With the threat of his own head being cut off, Elci also informs him that if he fails, she could end up the same way with her head being cut off. The fun of the show comes from two essentially clueless people trying to save the others through means that simply go against their natures. For Keima, it's even worse as he looks at real girls and sees that they aren't living up to what he believes they should be like from the idealized game versions. Thankfully, Elci is able to make adjustments to reality (for better or worse) to try and nudge Keima into doing his job.
The visual design for this series is decent as it plays with a fairly typical high school setting that's real world taken up a notch or two with the character designs. They're the softer and rounder types as opposed to a full reality based show and that colorful and vibrant nature that's mixed with it allows it to look good while touching upon the nature of its going beyond reality. The characters in general look good with above the basic uniform designs and the like and the backgrounds are definitely well done, causing this to look like one that's straddling the line of what kind of world it wants to present. It's going for that real world approach while bringing in the fantastical elements that aren't taken to the extreme. It's a pretty good approach overall.
The World God Only Knows has a nice enough idea behind it and it feels like a more perverted version of Ah! My Goddess in a way, though not to an extreme. And I think that's both its strength and its weakness. The show plays up Keima's lack of real world experience but it's not really an extreme. Elci's otherworldly nature isn't done over the top either though she has a spot of fun with it and is certainly not normal. But she's not wearing an incredibly gaudy or revealing outfit. Playing things to the middle keeps it from getting an overly strong reaction, but it's also something that can keep it really winning people over. It's often the extremes that garners fans because it takes chances and tries to do something new. This show plays with the familiar and is tweaking it a bit, but it's also doing something really interesting. It's bringing out some solid emotion. Watching as Keima deals with Ayumi, you have to wonder how much of it comes from his game playing experience and the truths to be found within that as opposed to his own natural skills he may not be aware he has. The World God Only Knows can easily become a one trick pony, but with it playing with people's hearts, it has the chance to rise above that and become something more.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.