Last updated May 29, 2005.

January 24, 2005:

Keiichi and Belldandy
Keiichi startled by Belldandy

I kinda hope Keiichi will have an opportunity to change his clothes sometime before the end of the fourth episode. He's worn the same outfit for the first three episodes, and he's wearing the same thing in the preview for episode four. In fact, he was sleeping in it at the beginning of episode one, and even did his morning calisthenics in it that day.

Belldandy startling the locals
Belldandy startling the locals

At least Belldandy can change her outfit at will.

January 28, 2005:

Well, it looks like Keiichi is going to be one of those anime characters who gets stuck wearing the same outfit for an entire series (not counting his ridiculous, green-striped suit). It appears ya gotta be a girl to get a change of clothes in this universe.

Belldandy outfit watch

The Ah! My Goddess television series has been refreshingly pleasant so far. It is also a bit funnier than I was expecting. This is not to say that it is a laugh riot, but I am enjoying the little comic elements that can be easy to overlook. For example, I liked the way the cow-colored cat just sort of lackadaisically looked upwards (despite its proximity to ground zero) when Sayoko got smacked down by the Coercive Force for the first time.

Speaking of Mishima Sayoko, Noto Mamiko fans will likely enjoy the fact that she is playing an assertive, somewhat malevolent character for a change. I'm glad to see that she isn't playing Sayoko as a raging bitch, though. In fact, it's rather easy to sympathise with her.

There has been quite a bit of discussion regarding Belldandy's apparent distress in episode two at learning that Keiichi's wish was approved. In the Dark Horse Comics translation of the original manga, it appears Belldandy's agitation is a response to Keiichi saying "I was just kidding!" at the last minute, once the magic starts tearing up the room. Belldandy checks for confirmation and says, "What? You mean it's final?" then tells Keiichi, "The wish you made has already been accepted by the system. The Almighty said it's too late to change it."

Henceforth in the manga, Belldandy seems pretty happy to be with Keiichi. Mostly she just worries that perhaps she is doing him more harm than good, and that maybe he won't want—or shouldn't want—her around anymore.

In episode two of the new television series, Keiichi also says he's just kidding when the magic starts. As in the manga, an agitated Belldandy hits the phone for confirmation. Solar's fansubs translate her parting line as, "It can't be, God!" AonE-AnY, on the other hand, translate it as, "No, please, God..."

I don't know moon language, but in my understanding, the actual phrase spoken in Japanese is typically used to connote minor disappointment or resigned dismay. It is often translated as the colloquialism "no way." I've never heard it used to indicate abject horror; there is a different well-known phrase used for THAT particular expression.

I am inclined to believe Solar's interpretation of the line is the more accurate one, and while not as definite as in the manga, I think we can be quite sure that Belldandy does not feel she got a raw deal in the matter.

Scrutinizing Belldandy's reaction via freeze frame

If you really care to obsess over it, there is also no visual indication to suggest Belldandy is anything more than anxious about the wish. E.g., there is no split-second shot of her composing herself before turning to face Keiichi after getting off the phone.

Moreover, I don't remember anything in the manga that might suggest Belldandy didn't want the job. Granted, I can't recall the 200 chapters of manga with crystal clarity, so they may have explored this very plotline somewhere along the way, but it's definitely not in the early volumes at least. I think we can be reasonably certain that the anime series is not about to depart from the established canon by playing up that particular angle.

February 04, 2005:

Aa! Megami-sama watch continues.

Belldandy and Keiichi
Belldandy and Keiichi

Episode five marks the beginning of the Belldandy-Keiichi romance plot, with Keiichi making his first steps in addressing his new feelings for Belldandy. We also see his ridiculous green suit again. That suit is probably unlucky, dude.

The story is adapted from the corresponding section of the manga, with a few notable differences.

Also, did they always have that second television set?

Urd and Skuld
Urd and Skuld

In other news, The Adventures of Mini-Goddess is pretty awesome.

February 11, 2005:

The sixth episode of Ah! My Goddess introduces Keiichi's sister, Megumi. Again, it follows the manga fairly closely. It appears they tried to save a little on the animation budget this episode, or at least spread it around, but the art itself was fine.

Belldandy, Megumi, and Keiichi
Belldandy, Megumi, Keiichi, and more evidence that the show is produced in widescreen

Some people have complained about the pacing of the series, but I like it just fine. After all, anyone looking for quicker plot development can already look to the OAV. The television series' leisurely pace is true to the original manga, which is famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) for its lack of progress in the main storyline.

In fact, if the Aa! Megami-sama series essentially turned into To Heart except with goddesses and Inoue Kikuko sweetness, that would be fine with me.

February 18, 2005:

Episode seven of Ah! My Goddess features the matter of Valentine's Day and Belldandy making chocolate for Keiichi. The episode is substantially different from the Valentine's Day story from the manga, but the major themes are intact.

Belldandy making chocolate
Valentine chocolate is serious business.

Episode seven also features the first real movement towards exploring Belldandy's feelings for Keiichi, and has a bit of matchmaking by Megumi.

Belldandy and Keiichi
Belldandy and Keiichi share a moment.

There is a lot of comedy, and a lot of romance, and a little hint at something more ominous in the works. It also features Sayoko bitching someone out.

Overall, it is a very good episode, and I think Aa! Megami-sama manga fans will be quite pleased. Urd arrives next episode, and Skuld gets at least a cameo, so if the manga fans have any complaints, it will likely be that Keiichi and Belldandy's relationship was further along in the manga by the time Urd arrived. However, I think the pacing makes more sense this way when you consider the big picture. In the manga, their relationship got off quickly enough, so all the subsequent stalling and stonewalling feels peculiar.

Anyway, I am enjoying the series a great deal.

A couple of spoiler images from episode seven: (1) (2)