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Ah! My Goddess TV #6: Last Dance PDF Print E-mail
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R2 DVD Reviews
Tuesday, 05 February 2008 16:00
Ah! My Goddess TVAh! My Goddess’s first season draws to a close, with more of a whimper than anything else as the show is still steering clear of doing anything that might annoy fans of the franchise. The end result is okay as far as it goes, but somehow lacking...

23 - Ah! The Savior of the World Arrives with the Sound of the Flute?
Urd's awakening as the Lord of Terror leads to problems in heaven, as the resulting power surge crashes the Yggdrasil system and leaves heaven open to attack by demonic forces. Belldandy's aware of what that could mean, so takes it upon herself to break the seal on her own powers - an act that could cost her more than just her Goddess license - and try to deal with the problem herself. Urd, meanwhile, is enjoying tormenting Keiichi and Marller, and plotting to unleash the Ultimate Destruction Program - a way of releasing the demon hordes upon Earth. Activating the Program involves unleashing a very specific amount of chaos first - Belldandy's determined that Urd's not going to get the chance to do that, but she hadn't counted on the Lord of Terror's deviousness...

Yggdrasil OperatorsUnder arrest?

24 - Ah! Always By My Side
The Lord of Terror has transferred his soul into Midgard, the program vaccine that had been supposed to defeat him - and he's hardly likely to use Midgard against himself, leaving Belldandy and the other goddesses with a problem. A problem called the Gate to the Netherworld, to be precise - summoned by the Lord of Terror, if the Gate is opened it will be all over for Earth, as demons would be able to freely pass through from the other side. To make things worse, the Lord's ability to freely hop between hosts is making him almost impossible to defeat, prompting the Almighty to dispatch some heavenly special forces, in the form of Goddess First Class Lind, with orders to destroy the Lord of Terror, even if that means killing his current host. Unfortunately, by the time Lind arrives, that host is Keiichi...

Unleashing her own terrorHeavenly retribution

25 - Ah! Urd's Little Romance
With the Lord of Terror defeated, it's back to normal life at the shrine - except for Urd. With the Lord of Terror having heavily drained her power while possessing her, she's run short of the power needed to maintain herself on Earth, and the shortage has manifested itself by reducing her to the size of a child. No surprises for guessing that she's not happy about this. Until she regains her strength, though, she's stuck in diminutive form - and it's in this form that she meets young boy Shohei, who quickly falls in love with her - but can the shy & quiet Shohei keep up with his new girlfriend's whirlwind style..?

Little UrdLoverboy

26 - Ah! Is My Heart Pounding Because I'm a Grownup?
One episode of Urd being shrunk leads to one episode of Skuld being enlarged - same reason that Urd shrunk, slightly different effect, and Skuld's extremely happy with her new, rounded, firm, voluptuous, shapely figure. It's temporary, of course, which is less pleasing - so Skuld determines to make the most of the time she had as a grownup. No sooner has she headed out into town, than she has an trail of young male admirers behind her - but she's about to find out that not all males are as honourable as Keiichi, and that being treated as a grownup woman has its downsides. Later, she begins to realise that she may just be in love with Keiichi...

All growed upFirst kiss?

It’s not often that Ah! My Goddess does anything that could truly be life-threatening for some of the characters, but that’s what we get here, and it’s done really well. While it’s not really what the series is “designed” for, if you like, the two episodes that deal with the Lord of Terror are almost action stories. Perhaps I’d just reached my tolerance limit for romantic comedy, but this story pushed all the right buttons with me – and there was enough humour dropped into the mix to make sure that it didn’t feel too out-of-place compared to the rest of the series.

The final two episodes take the opportunity to take a slightly different look at Urd and Skuld, with Urd taking on the form of a young girl in one and having to deal with a young boy who quickly falls in love with her, and Skuld becoming a full-grown woman in the other and discovering that her feelings for Keiichi aren’t just grounded in jealousy.

The Skuld episode is probably the better of the two – I haven’t really liked the way that Skuld was portrayed in this series (too much of a spoilt brat), but her episode here finally begins to address that and brings her personality more into line with the image I had in my head of her from past exposure to the A!MG universe. Her “date” with Keiichi provides some good moments of fun, while also giving her a few touching little scenes that show that while she’s still a little girl, she’s maybe beginning to grow up on the inside.

Urd’s episode is almost the opposite of that – she’s just a big kid at heart anyway (bottle of sake notwithstanding), and her chance to be a little kid and play with other little kids is something she seizes with both hands, as she knows it isn’t going to last for long. The story here is enjoyable enough, but didn’t grab me quite as well as the other episodes on the disc did.

If you’re looking for any of the fringe characters to get a decent run out, this isn’t the disc for you – Marller features briefly in the first episode, but most this release is all about Keiichi and the three goddesses. As the final disc in the season, that’s appropriate enough, but it does limit things a bit.

Of course, while it’s the final disc in the season, it’s not the final disc in the series, as 2nd season Flights of Fancy will be arriving in the UK in January, courtesy of ADV That means I can’t really criticise for the lack of any Belldandy / Keiichi resolution (which has never going to happen, anyway), or the way the season didn’t end on a real high but instead almost petered out with the Urd & Skuld stories – there’s no need to do anything really special when you’re not done yet. In a way, that’s Ah! My Goddess’ biggest failing – it’ll never be done, really. While I do enjoy the series, I’m also used to my anime eventually coming to an end, and we don’t get that here.

As another disc in a long-running series, this volume of Ah! My Goddess delivers exactly what you’d expect from it, with the added bonus of some real action as the Lord of Terror is dealt with. From that point of view, it’s perfectly enjoyable and, if you’ve enjoyed what you’ve seen so far, it’s well worth picking up. I can’t help but feel that I’d enjoy it more if there was an end in sight, though – and as yet, there isn’t.

Rating - ***

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