Ah! My Goddess Volume 1 Season 2

Chimaera

These episodes are set during the holiday season, nearly a year after Belldandy comes to live with Keiichi, and while it is season two, there’s plenty of opportunity to catch up right away with the story in progress.

imageApparently a recent battle with a mysterious figure named the “Lord of Terror” has left the system that brought Belldandy to Earth damaged, so the contract binding Belldandy and Keiichi has been lost. Without a contract, Belldandy’s days are limited. Cheerfully, Belldandy doesn’t see this as much as a problem because there are lots of goddesses in the system and she remains faithful to the idea that a solution will present itself before she is recalled to heaven. Her sisters Urd and Skuld aren’t so sure, and so we get a glimpse of multiple goddesses working on the couple’s behalf to keep them together once initial attempts to fix the system fail . The episode feels like a race against time as it inspires the pair to go out on a “real date” because they feel their days are numbered. Yes, after nearly a year, this glacially paced relationship takes a tiny inch forward. This is amusing to the newer viewer and no doubt leaves current fans cheering in the stands. The awkward moments are perfectly balanced against the sentimental and sweet ones, there really isn’t much you can do more than let out an occasional “aww!”. Ah! My Goddess is romance played out in a delicate and gentle way, giving the viewer more to cheer about than get impatient over. Patience is a blessing sometimes, especially for this pretty goddess and her sweet, shy and earnest companion. Sure, you know they’ll probably get together – eventually. How can they not? They’re perfect for each other, but honestly, there’s no need to rush the process to whatever conclusion it is headed towards. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

imageNew viewers will warm up quickly to Belldandy, her sisters Urd and Skuld, Keiichi and his sister Megumi. Even the prissy, spoiled, rich narcissist Sayoko manages to illicit a tiny bit of sympathy as attempts to win Keiichi away from Belldandy naturally fail. The episodes may move slowly for some viewers – most of the episodes are focused on the “upcoming” Christmas holidays, and while most series would spend about two episodes tops on this, if that, Ah! My Goddess takes it slow and manages to capture the festive feeling in three episodes without making it feel like filler. First we see Belldandy focusing on her presents for Keiichi, then vice versa, and finally the viewer is treated to a season party hosted by none other than Sayoko, who has stupidly set herself up as Belldandy’s nemesis and tries to win Keiichi away from her. Silly Sayoko, don’t you know better than to set yourself up against a goddess? It just never works, but it sure is fun to watch. Besides, drunk goddesses are funny, especially one determined to spread happiness all over the place with Keiichi racing all over town to keep up.

Truly one of the most artistically pleasing anime series I’ve seen with a beautiful score to match, Ah! My Goddess is filled with rich sound and top quality voice acting from start to finish. This series is perfect for any fan of drama with a fine dose of light romance and has a definite “feel good” vibe from it. You can’t help but walk away in a better mood than you started with.

As a bonus, the special features include commentary with Elieen Stevens (Belldandy) and Drew Aaron (Keiichi). They provide a voice over on episode one and are a delight to listen to with a free-form conversation that delves into a bit of commentary on the characters, the series, and how the voices compare with other series that they have done. Belldandy wins the hearts of all the guests at the party she is at in episode four, but learning that it is the actress singing instead of some J-pop artist of the minute makes it an extra treat for the listener.

Entertainment: 10
While the tag on this series is “Be careful what you wish for”, I seriously believe this warning is unmerited- who wouldn’t wish for something so enjoyably done like this?

Technical: 10
With crisp sound and soft artwork, Ah! My Goddess simply doesn’t fail to please.

Overall: 10

DVD Features: Episodes 1-4, English 2.0, Japanese 2.0 with English subtitles

DVD Extras: Commentary with Eileen Stevens (Belldandy) & Drew Aaron (Keiichi, Clean Opening and Closing Animation, Production Artwork, ADV Preview

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