R2 DVD Reviews
Sunday, 09 December 2007 16:00
For anyone who’s been waiting impatiently for Keiichi and Belldandy to get it on, this volume finally delivers. Sort of. Meanwhile, Urd’s lost her goddess license, and Marller’s latest plan doesn’t work out quite as she expected it to...
19 - Ah! Please Don't Look at Me Like That!?
The lack of any real progress between him and Belldandy is beginning to get to Keiichi - and he's not the only one. In fact, the only person who seems happy with the way things are going (or not, as the case may be) is Skuld. Once again, Urd takes it upon herself to try and move things along - but when Skuld finds out she's up to something, she takes her own steps to ruin Urd's plans. They don't quite have the desired effect, though, as Belldandy suddenly becomes a lot more forward with Keiichi...
20 - Ah! If You're a Real Man, Save the Goddess?
Urd and Skuld are away for the week, leaving Keiichi and Belldandy home alone - with Keiichi promised divine retribution from Urd if he doesn't take full advantage of the peace and quiet, and from Urd if he does. Damned if you do, damned if you don't - but when Skuld backs up her threats by turning Keiichi into a girl, it marks the beginning of a week of hell for Keiichi. Meanwhile, Belldandy's efforts to undo the spell only lead to her becoming ill
21 - Ah! What Wouldn't I Give for an Angel With White Wings?!
Every full-fledged goddess has an angel for support - in Belldandy's case, it's Holybell, and now Skuld's getting to the stage where she wants to get an angel of her own. Belldandy's only too pleased to help her little sister, but Skuld's methods of working through the tests that Belldandy sets for her kinda miss the point - to get her angel, she's going to have to work on her magical ability, and not just rely on her gadgets. Urd also has an angel - but she becomes unusually defensive whenever anyone asks her about it.
22 - Ah! The Devil's Whisper Coming from an Urn?
Marller's braving the underworld in search of a legendary urn, which she hopes will be of use in getting her own back on Urd & the others. She manages to retrieve it, too - although not without having to make an effort - and sets about unleashing its power on an unsuspecting city. The first evidence that something's wrong: a string of bad luck, seemingly affecting everyone Keiichi knows. Usually it falls to Urd to deal with Marller's plans, but since her operating license has been temporarily revoked by the Almighty, she's stuck on the sidelines – and the lack of magic leaves her open to temptation. If getting her magic back means turning to the Darkside, so be it - the Lord of Terror has an opening...
A firm emphasis on comedy this volume, with all sorts of mayhem from Keiichi being turned into a woman (and suiting a school uniform scarily well), to Belldandy becoming a bit of a harlot and Urd facing the lure of her demonic side. There are a few serious moments thrown in for good measure, but they’re on the sidelines of all the fun. The problem is that, while all that comedy is certainly enjoyable to watch – I don’t think anyone could call these episodes bad, by any stretch of the imagination - they just don’t really advance the main event (the Keiichi / Belldandy relationship) by all that much.
The best moments here belong to Urd, who gets a lot of the attention through a look at her past and some of the consequences that’s having on her present. Let’s just say that she’s susceptible to the lure of evil in episode 22 for a reason. She’s probably got the most personality out of the three goddesses, so having her be the focus of the show for pretty much two full episodes is no bad thing – her mayhem pulls attention away from the fact that nothing’s really happening between the lovebirds (that isn’t prompted by magical influences, anyway), and her antics are enjoyable to watch, whereas Skuld’s are just annoying. There’s just something about her whole driven-by-jealousy attitude that rubs me up the wrong way.
Unlike most discs, where each story more-or-less stands on its own, this disc ends on a clear cliffhanger, with Marller being close to achieving her goal of ruining Belldandy’s day – although her plan still isn’t playing out quite how she’d like it to, she’ll take whatever victories she can get. It’s a good place to leave the story, as for once I’m now quite eager to get my hands on the next volume to see what happens next, which isn’t a feeling I’ve had about the previous volumes. I do enjoy Ah! My Goddess, but while it always brings a smile to my face, it does also have a few niggling faults that stop it from being a must-see release.
More of the same from Ah! My Goddess in a lot of ways, then, but the disc is saved by a heavy serving of Urd and her antics, and some good comedy moments that almost make you forget that Keiichi and Belldandy still aren’t making any romantic progress. No matter how much you realise that they never will, it’s still a frustration that they don’t just get on with it – but these things were sent to try us. Overall, plenty here to enjoy, despite the failings, and if you’ve enjoyed the previous volumes then this one won’t disappoint either.